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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 9 (December 1, 1938)

Divide Crossings

Divide Crossings.

Forsaking the wind-swept valleys of Canterbury for the headwaters of some West Coast river the divide crosser must be prepared to brave the rougher travel and conditions which the latter crossings entail.

The rivers on the eastern side of the Main Divide are long, with a gentle slope to the sea, but in West-land they are comparatively short, very steep, and impassable if in flood. Like mighty cataracts they fill the rocky gorges with leaping waves, surging down and around the massive boulders that bar their path.

Travel in the rain-saturated undergrowth becomes arduous and slow, yet the mountain explorer faces all these difficulties revelling in their fierce caress.

Mountaineering stores up a fund of memories that will endure through a man's lifetime. Mr. F. S. Smythe, the famous Everest climber, writes in this connection: “In the hills it is the memories that count most, and it is these memories that will sustain us in our old age when the voice of the high mountains whisper back through the span of years.”