Jacques Balmat: Or, The First Ascent of Mont Blanc (Google eBook)

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Kerby and Endean, 1881 - Blanc, Mont (France and Italy) - 38 pages
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Page 11 - ... ridge which now faced us, and in the angle the smallest of the three glaciers fell, while further along the ridge a much larger mass of ice descended towards the valley, giving off a stream which fell in a beautiful cascade into the valley itself. By carefully examining the face of the ridge in front, I came to the conclusion that it would be impossible to ascend by the glacier on the right, nor yet by the small glacier on the left ; but it appeared that there was a practicable ascent towards...
Page 22 - ... and the other the other, so that no one might suspect where we were going, and we met again at the village of la Cote or du Mont. I had brought a coverlet, which served to enwrap the Doctor as they swathe an infant. Thanks to this precaution he passed a good night; as for me, I slept without waking until half past one. At two the white line appeared ; and soon the sun arose without a cloud, without a mist, beautiful and brilliant, promising us a famous journey at last. In a quarter of an hour's...
Page 19 - At last when daybreak came, I was frozen; but by dint of friction, and practising the most absurd gymnastics, my limbs became more supple, and I was able to begin exploring once more. I had observed, when descending to the Grand Plateau, that halfway down there was an...
Page 9 - But they did disappear — and with them the day. Turned as I was towards Chamonix; I had, on my left side the immense plain of snow which reaches to the Dome du Goute, and on my right — within reach of my hand — a precipice 800 feet deep : I dared not go to sleep for fear of falling outside my bed whilst dreaming. I sat on my bag and stamped my feet and clapped my hands incessantly to keep up the circulation. Soon the moon rose; pale, veiled in a circle of clouds : at eleven I saw a nasty mist...
Page 29 - There was no track to direct us; the wind was so cold that even the surface of the snow was not melted; all we found was here and there on the ice the small holes which our stocks had made. Paccard was like a child, without energy or will; I guided him in the good parts, and carried him over the bad. Night began to fall whilst we crossed the crevasse at the foot of the Grand Plateau. It came upon us all at once. At each step Paccard stopped, declaring he would go no further; I made him go on, not...
Page 13 - Mulets he had lain down, covered with the coat of one of his comrades. Arriving at last at the top of the Dome we saw something black moving on the Aiguille du Goute; we could not distinguish what it was; we could not tell whether it were a man or a chamois. We shouted out, and something answered us;—We remained silent awaiting a second cry; when these words reached us: "Ohe! "Halt! there are others who wish to ascend with you.
Page 30 - On my remarking 29 this to him, "it is for the best of all reasons," said he, "I hare no longer any use or feeling in my hands." I drew off his gloves ; his hands were as white as those of death. As for myself, the hand on which was the leather glove, in place of the hare-skin one, was in the same condition as his two. I said to him : " out of four hands, three are of no use.
Page 14 - It was a rope-dancer's path — but that was all the same to me. I believe that I should have succeeded in reaching the end of it if it had not been cut in two with crevasses; besides the Arete was so sharp one could not walk upon it, so not wishing to have to return backwards and astride, I retraced my way to the place where I had left my comrades. I however found nothing but my...
Page 21 - Go on ! For the rest, God's mercy ! " Then he began to sing, but not quite in tune. This seemed to worry the Doctor. Whereupon I took his arm, and said, "This is not all Doctor; no one must know of our project except our wives.
Page 16 - I tried to find; but the night was growing darker and darker, and my sight worse and worse. — I could not find it. The pain in my head, of which I have spoken, again attacked me; I felt no desire to eat or drink; violent palpitations of the heart made me almost vomit. I must make up my mind to remain close 16 to the crevasse until day break : to find the bridge of ice would take me another hour.

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