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Mountaineering is grand sport in many parts of the world. Finding your way and making yourself comfortable in the mountains bring into practice all your Scoutcraft.

In mountain climbing you are continually changing your direction, because, moving up and down in the deep gullies of the mountain-side, you lose sight of the landmarks which usually guide you. You have to watch your direction by the sun and by your compass, and keep on estimating in what direction your proper line of travel lies. Then again you are very liable to be caught in fogs and mists, which upset the calculations even of men who know every inch of the country.

On steep hill sides the Scout staff will often come in handy for balancing yourself.

On steep hill sides the Scout staff will often come in handy for balancing yourself.

Lost in the Mountains

I had such an experience in Scotland one year, when, in company with a Highlander who knew the ground, I got lost in the mist. Supposing that he knew the way, I committed myself entirely to his guidance. But after going some distance I felt bound to remark to him that I noticed the wind had suddenly changed. It had been blowing from our left when we started, and was now blowing hard on our right cheek. However, he seemed in no way disturbed and led on. Presently I remarked that the wind was blowing behind us, so that either the wind, or the mountain, or we ourselves were turning round. Eventually it proved, as I expected, that it was not the wind that had turned, or the mountain. It was ourselves who had wandered round in a complete circle. We were back almost at the point we started from. Scouts working on a mountain ought to practise the art of roping themselves together, as mountaineers do.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

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