button to main menu  Martineau's Complete Guide to the English Lakes, 1855

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Page 90:-

Keswick, fourth tour
  ascent of Skiddaw

  mountain guide

The ascent of Skiddaw is easy, even for ladies, who have only to sit their ponies to find themselves at the top, after a ride of six miles. There must be a guide,- be the day ever so clear, and the path ever so plain. Once for all let us say, in all earnestness, and with the most deliberate decision, that no kind of tourist should ever cross the higher passes, or ascend the mountains, without a guide. Surely, lives enough have been lost, and there has been suffering and danger enough, short of a fatal issue, to teach this lesson. But the confident and joyous pedestrian is not the most teachable of human beings. In his heart he despises the caution of native residents, and in his sleeve he laughs at it. The mountain is right before him; the track is visible enough; he has a map and guide book, and boasts of his pocket-compass. With the track on his map, and track on the mountain, both before his eyes, how should he get wrong? So he throws on his knapsack, seizes his stick, and goes off whistling or singing,- the host and hostess looking after him and consulting as he strides away. For some time he thinks he can defy all the misleading powers of heaven and earth. But, once out of reach of human help, he finds his case not quite so easy as he thought. Instead of one path, as marked
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