Edward Whymper- First Ascent of the Aiguille Verte 1865

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 13, 2011 - 10:26pm PT
Once in a while in my historical poking around I come across a real gem. This is one of the best yet. This Edward Whymper account of the first ascent of the Aiguille Verte on June 29, 1865 appeared in the august 18, 1866 issue of The Leisure Hour.

This engaging account is more centered on the actual climb and longer than the one in Scrambles Amongst The Alps. I would be interested to learn if this account ever surfaced elsewhere.

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This engraving appeared opposite the last page of the article and is here just because it's interesting.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2011 - 11:14am PT
Great read over coffee Bump!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 15, 2011 - 11:18am PT
Luv the bivy shot! However did you find this?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2011 - 01:58pm PT
The magic of ebay.

Twain's account of what? Check the publication date.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2011 - 09:02pm PT
Bump for a classic!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2011 - 12:29pm PT
So many aiguille, so little time!
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 5, 2011 - 02:26pm PT
Then, a few years later...

Chamonix 1896
Chamonix 1896
Credit: Brian in SLC
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 9, 2011 - 11:54am PT
Hey, Steve, I found this book review in an 1898 "Scientific American".
Sounds like it could be gud, especially the odd characters!

Credit: Reilly
Credit: Reilly
Tomcat

Trad climber
Chatham N.H.
Sep 15, 2011 - 10:05am PT
I picked my brother up last night after dark as he returned from a solo hike on Baldface.He mentioned how many times Scrambles Amongst the Alps came to mind for him, in particular the iconic " in attempting to pass the corner, I slipped and fell",illustration.

Except for some stuff in Ascent, I have never really read anything to compare, as far as his ability to illustrate anything he wanted from a climb.It was as if he always had the perfect image of an event, the likes of which no one would, or could.

So much fun to read.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Sep 15, 2011 - 10:28am PT
It's such a shame nobody took a photo of Sheridan Anderson's poster on the 100th Anniversary of the First Ascent of the Matterhorn.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
Bump for the roots...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 2, 2012 - 01:06pm PT
"It has frequently been noticed that all mountains appear doomed to pass through the three stages: An inaccessible peak - The most difficult ascent in the Alps - An easy day for a lady."

 A.F. Mummery, but perhaps apropos.

Interesting that the Aigulle Verte was climbed only days before the ascent of the Matterhorn.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 10, 2012 - 01:14pm PT
Warm up Bump...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2012 - 05:04pm PT
This is perhaps the earliest account written by Whymper about mountaineering and his initial flirtation with the Matterhorn.

It appeared in the October 4, 1862 issue of The Leisure Hour.

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I love the disclaimer!

213

climber
Where the Froude number often >> 1
Mar 31, 2012 - 09:02pm PT
Super cool! The Aiguille Verte is my FAVORITE mountain!
S1W

climber
Mar 31, 2012 - 09:48pm PT
Credit: S1W

First light on the summit arete of the Aiguille Verte. The Whymper Couloir (which drops off to the right in this photo) tops out at the saddle, just a short distance from the summit.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2012 - 12:33pm PT
Nice shot S1W!

Any more in your slide box to share?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 1, 2012 - 10:17pm PT
Thanks Steve;

Great to go back to the old magazine article and all the follow-up info.
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Apr 2, 2012 - 03:01am PT
Access to Berkeley's Doe (main) Library stacks is limited to honor and graduate students only; otherwise you have to request your book from library staff.

On such shaky credentials, many's the rainy Saturday I'd spend in my favorite section of the stacks, which included first editions of Whymper and Mummery. Whymper was an engraver by trader; those images were self produced.

I was never tempted to steal anything out of Doe. But, I did "steal" a 1954 Voge High Sierra Climber's Guide from Moe's Bookstore for $0.50.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Apr 4, 2012 - 09:04am PT
Steve-

Thanks for posting this, it is a fun read.

The 1896 Whymper guide to Chamonix mentioned above is pretty entertaining on several levels . The birdís eye view drawing of the tiny Chamonix village is worthwhile by itself. Also of interest are the account of the first ascent of Mont Blanc and the line drawings of the Dru and other landmarks. I picked one up from Chessler a few years back.

Here, Whymper gives advice on how to choose a guide.

1. Before engaging a Guide, make inquiry of his antecedents from those who know.
2. Avoid men notorious for accidents.
3. For difficult or long excursions, give preference to men of middle age, rather than to the youngest or oldest.

Sound advice even today when choosing a climbing partner!





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