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Scrambles Amongst the Alps

Edward Whymper

Book Overview: 

Scrambles Amongst the Alps is one the great classics (some would say the greatest) of early mountaineering literature, and Edward Whymper one of the leading figures of the early years of Alpine climbing. He is best known, of course, for his many attempts on the Matterhorn, and for the loss of four members of his climbing party after the successful first ascent of the peak in July, 1865. Although the Matterhorn stands in ways in the center of his book, there are descriptions of many other ascents as well, in the Alps of France and Italy, as well as those of Switzerland.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . in his company, proceeded to the summit of the pass which I had crossed in 1860; but we were baffled in our attempt to get near the mountain. A deep notch with precipitous cliffs cut us off from it: the snow-slope, too, which existed in the preceding year on the Piedmontese side of the pass, was now wanting, and we were unable to descend the rocks which lay beneath. A fortnight afterward the mountain was ascended for the first time by Messrs. Mathews and Jacomb, with the two Crozes of Chamounix. Their attempt was made from the southern side, and the ascent, which was formerly considered a thing totally impossible, has become one of the most common and favorite excursions of the district.

We returned crest-fallen to Abries. The shepherd, whose boots were very much out of repair, slipped upon the steep snow-slopes and p. . . Read More