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An Impromptu Ascent of Mont Blanc   By:

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First Page:

[Illustration: VILLAGE OF CHAMONIX.

1 Summit of Mont Blanc. 2 Bosses du Dromadaire. 3 Dôme du Goûté. 4 Aiguille du Goûté. 5 Grands Mulets. 6 Glacier des Bossons. 7 Montagne de la Côte. 8 Glacier de Taconnaz.]

AN IMPROMPTU ASCENT

OF

MONT BLANC:

BY

W. H. LE MESURIER.

LONDON: ELLIOT STOCK, PUBLISHER, 62 PATERNOSTER ROW.

BIRKENHEAD: E. GRIFFITH & SON, HAMILTON STREET. 1882.

BIRKENHEAD:

E. Griffith & Son, Printers, "Caxton" Works, Hamilton Street

[Illustration]

PREFACE

The interest which still follows individual ascents of Mont Blanc, notwithstanding the attraction of other mountain peaks, must be my apology for once again repeating an oft told tale; but with this endeavour, to make the narrative a true and unvarnished account of what we did and how we did it, and to present the accompanying illustrations (which, for the most part, are taken from photographs) free from exaggeration.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Evening at Chamonix Excursion to the Brévent View of the Mont Blanc chain.

CHAPTER II.

Commencement of the ascent Pierre Pointue Crossing the Glacier des Bossons An awkward bit "Cabane" on the Grands Mulets.

CHAPTER III.

View from the Grands Mulets A foreign invasion Trying to sleep Preparation for a night march.

CHAPTER IV.

The start at midnight Ascending the Montées Arrival at the Petit Plateau An attempt at breakfast on the Grand Plateau The expedition jeopardised through mountain sickness Churlish "foreigners" The ascent resumed Repose on the Rochers des Bosses Climbing the Mauvaise Arête The final assault The goal reached.

CHAPTER V.

Descending the "back bone" Approach of clouds An unfortunate slip Floundering in the snow In danger An awkward descent In and out of the snow The "Cabane" at last Delicious repose The journey resumed Re crossing the Glacier A thunderstorm in the Forest des Pélerins Welcome back.

CHAPTER VI.

A few words on our complexions Certificates procured Ladies' preparation for an attempt Nipped in the bud Concluding remarks.

APPENDIX.

A brief account of some of the most noted ascents Routes to Chamonix from the Lake of Geneva.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE

THE VALLEY OF CHAMONIX Frontispiece.

MONT BLANC FROM THE BRÉVENT, SHEWING THE ROUTE 13

THE GLACIER DES BOSSONS 18

THE "CABANE" ON THE GRANDS MULETS 26

MONT BLANC FROM THE COL DE BALME 42

COMING DOWN THE GLACIER DES BOSSONS 50

DIAGRAM SHEWING THE RELATIVE HEIGHTS OF MONT BLANC AND SNOWDON 56

MAP OF ROUTES TO CHAMONIX 72

CHAPTER I.

"And thou, fresh breaking Day, and you, ye Mountains, Why are ye beautiful?"

On a delightful evening in the month of July, 1881, table d'hôte being over, my friend S and myself were seated under the verandah of the hotel d'Angleterre at Chamonix; there were many others besides ourselves, chiefly English and Americans, grouped in parties, some taking their coffee, others smoking, and all devoting their attention to the summit of Mont Blanc whose diadem of snow was being warmed in colour if not in reality by the last rays of the setting sun. Though seven miles off as the crow flies it seemed much nearer, and it was hard to realize that some twelve or fourteen hours of incessant toil must be undergone before the foot could be planted on that rounded crest of eternal snow, that guide and porter must be employed, and that ropes and ice axes must be brought into requisition before those apparently gently sloping hills of pure white down could be traversed... Continue reading book >>




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