Art of Travel.
It is convenient, but not necessary, to have a well-greased leather sheath, a tube of eighteen inches in length, through which the rope runs, as shown in both figures. It lies over the edges of the cliff, and the friction of the rock keeps it steadily in its place.
It is nervous work going over the edge of a cliff for the first time ; however, the sensation does not include giddiness. Once in the air, and when confidence is acquired, the occupation is very exhilarating. The power of locomotion is marvellous : a slight push with the foot, or a thrust with a stick, will swing the climber twenty feet to a side. Few rocks are so precipitous but that a climber can generally make some use of his hands and feet ; enough to cling to the rock when he wishes, and to clamber about its face. The wind is seldom felt by a person touching the face of a precipice : it may blow a gale above, but the air will be comparatively quiet upon its face ; and therefore there is no danger of a chance gush dashing the climber against the rocks. A short stick .is useful, but not necessary. There are three cautions to be borne in mind. 1. As you go down, test every stone carefully. If the movement of the rope displaces any one of them, after you have been let down below it, it is nearly sure to fall upon your head, because you will be vertically beneath it. Some climbers use a kind of helmet as a shield against these very dangerous accidents. 2. Take care that the rope does not become jammed in a cleft, or you will be-helplessly suspended in mid-air. 3. Keep the rope pretty tight when you are clambering about the ledges : else, if you slip, the jerk may break the rope, or cause an overpowering strain upon the men who are holding it above.
Turf and solid rock are much the best substances for the rope to run over. In the Faroes, they tar the ropes excessively; they are absolutely polished with tar. Good ropes are highly valued. In St. Kilda, leather ropes are used : they last a lifetime, and are a dowry for a daughter. A new rope spins terribly.
Leaping Poles.-In France they practise a way of crossing a deep brook by the help of a rope passed round an overhanging branch of a tree growing by its side. They take a run