“Why do you climb?” The mountaineer has no answer to this question. The best things in the world cannot adequately be expressed in speech or print; they are part of the soul.' In Climbs and Ski Runs, Frank Smythe takes the reader on Alpine ski trips and Dolomite adventures, up first ascents in North Wales and on to the mighty Brenva Face of Mont Blanc. He places pebbles for runners, 'shoots' crevasses and is struck by lightning. And yet, all the while, he perfectly captures the moments that make climbing and mountaineering so special – moments that will resonate with anybody who has spent time in the hills. Frank Smythe was among the leading mountaineers of the early twentieth century and one of the finest climbing writers ever to put pen to paper. In Climbs and Ski Runs he documents his early forays into the mountains, giving a remarkable insight into that period of climbing and mountaineering. Yet it is not this that makes the book special. It is Smythe's ability to observe and recreate his surroundings and to write so compellingly about the climber's response to them, and to the moments of difficulty and danger, that brings Climbs and Ski Runs to life.