National Geographic : 1965 Sep
challenge us all the more!" Safe climbing, Andre explained, is done with guides. If you are inexperienced but sound of wind and pocketbook, you can start with a guide on simple climbs and eventually yodel from the highest needle in the neighborhood. The Guides of Chamonix, a company formed in 1823, are among Europe's proudest and best. Mountain Tour Begins at Sea But, as I say, my love for the Alps takes a gentler form. At summer's start, I had em barked on a tour that would show me and my family many facets of these magnificent mountains. We would discover for ourselves why man for centuries has succumbed to the lure of the Alps. First we drove to the French Riviera. There 352 amid palms and bougainvillea, dark rocks slant upward out of the Mediterranean, and the Alps begin their irresistible inland tide a tide that ends in the great crests of Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Jungfrau, and Gross Glockner (see double Supplement Map, Switzerland, Austria, and Northern Italy, distributed with this issue). As we skimmed along the Cote d'Azur on one of the speedy hydrofoil cruisers that ply between Sanremo and Cannes, the mountains seemed like a wave about to break over the line of gleaming dwellings along the coast (above). These were the Maritime Alps, the first of range on range that curve north and east-growing higher and whiter as they en compass northern Italy and spill into Switzer land, Austria, Germany, and Yugoslavia.