climb by or climb along/up

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Shooting Stars

Senior Member
It was seldom that a human being, even a shepherd, climbed so high; but the goats, being able to climb by the steepest and most slippery paths, over the roughest rocks, knew well what soft , sweet grass grew there.( FAVORITE GREEK MYTHS BY LILIAN STOUGHTON HYDE)

I was wondering what “climb by the steepest and most slippery paths” means. Does it mean “climb along/up the steepest and most slippery paths”. But no dictionaries define by as along ( a path, road, etc.). Could you explain the usage of by in the sentence mentioned above and give more examples.

Thank you.
  • Barque

    Yes, it means the goats were able to climb up (using) the steepest paths.

    From the WR dictionary: one of the contexts where by can be used - "over the surface of, or using as a route or way of travel". Hope that helps.
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