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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

Community Reviews

Written in a late eighteen hundreds style, but none the less interesting. I was in Zermatt on a skiing trip in the mid eighties and my ski instructor was a mountain climber in the spring and Summer and we got to talking about the Matterhorn. I asked him if he had climbed it... he said " 3 to 4 hundr

Whymper's book about some of his first ascents of peaks in the Alps, including the first ascent of the famed Matterhorn alternates between really fascinating and dry. His curmudgeonly character frequently causes him to underplay the difficulties of his ascents and some of the stories suffer from tha

This is a classic among mountaineering books, relating the author's experiences climbing the mountains of the Alps from 1860-1869. The writing style and words used to describe his exploits can't help but make you smile, as in the following description of what happens when he falls while glissading d

One of the real classics within the adventure genre. The book is a time witness from the decades when the alps were still unexplored, when pedestrianism were a sport and when six bottle of wines, one bottle of whiskey and two cigars was adequate packing for the conquering of a four thousand meter hi

What language and what humor. A thoroughly enjoyable read not to be missed out on by all of us who live for the mountains.

I really enjoyed this book and found it very easy to read. It is very interesting to read of many first ascents and notable ascents in a time where the alps where still unconquered in many its highest reaches as well as the dynamic between the tourists and guides/locals. i I really appreciated the d

Didn't finish..

Splendido. Unico. Un libro scritto magnificamente (da uno che di professione non faceva lo scrittore) perché passa tra diversi generi letterari con grande maestria e competenza (dall’avventura al trattato scientifico, dal diario di viaggio meramente descrittivo a una serie di considerazioni personal

A great classic both of mointaneering and literature in one.
Edward Whymper wrote down first hand his impression and beautiful drawnings on his adventures and early climbs in the Alps (it's funny he called it just "scrambles", while in fact he was climbing pretty hard).

The book is very good, very int

Recent climbing fatalities in the French Alps drew me back to Edward Whymper’s classic work, an account of his many excursions and victories in the Alps and most notably the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 and the expedition’s tragic descent.

When Whymper first arrived in the regi

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