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Mountain Climbing

Simon N. Whitney
JAMA. 1977;237(20):2187. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270470023005.
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To the Editor.—  Dr Miller (237:532, 1977) correctly points out the oddities in the mountain climbing cover (Nov 8,1976), but he is hasty in concluding that the men shown are "crazy" or "30 ft from their car" and that the picture is "obviously staged."If The Journal published a picture of a surgeon in morning dress in the operating room, its readers would deduce that he was one of our professional predecessors, not that he was ignorant of the principles of asepsis. Similarly, the photograph on the cover documents an earlier era in mountaineering. The protective techniques shown were once accepted,1 and the manila rope being used was also once the standard. Nowadays, you're not likely to see a manila rope except, perhaps, on the wall of a climbing lodge. (The synthetics do a much better job.)I think it's a lovely picture. Their techniques were appalling by modern


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