My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 24 – 25

January 5th, 2016 by Alexia Hagler


Tuesday, August 24

Zermatt (Rimpfischhorn(?))

Abe’s birthday. He got two presents from Dale and Thayer, a music box and an aligator. Beautiful day We had decided to climb the Rimpfischhorn(?) in the P.M. and we spent the A.M. engaging the guides, Theodule Biner(?) and Heronimus Kronig, both very good, and making our preparations. We all had nails put in our shoes and bought dark glasses and Abe and Dale bought winders and mittens as well. I used my thick socks for mittens and wore two pairs of regular socks on my feet. At 3 o’clock we started off. Each of the guides carried an ice pick and a coil of rope and we had 2 alpinestocks for the bunch It was an easy walk up to the hut over a good but steep path. We took it easy and got to the Futh(?) Hut at 5:30. Dinner was not till 7 so we climbed a ridge to have a look at our mt. It’s a dandy. We descended again about 6:30 as it was getting cold and found that three others parties had arrived. It was very cold and we were frozen during supper. It was a good meal but served very slowly. The Englishmen were very pleasant. After supper we froze awhile longer and then turned in about 8:30. It was very cold and I wore everything to bed except my shoes, coat, and hat.

Wednesday, August 25

Zermatt (Rimpfischhorn(?))

We were waked up at 2:30 A.M. and went down to breakfast at once. It was pretty cold, but the breakfast was very good. We started out at 3:30. Each guide carried a lantern. We were the third party to start out, but we soon took the lead We lost the path soon after leaving the hut and had some good rock climbing before we regained the path again. After about 1½ hours we struck the snow. Dawn was just breaking and we soon put out the lanterns. The first sunlight on the snow fields of Monte Rosa was very beautiful After gaining the top of a ridge we were roped together and made A very steep descent on to the glacier. We walked for about an hour over great snow slopes, gradually ascending, steep at the latter(?) parts to the rocks. We had some very steep climbing over rocks to the summit which we reached at 8:45. Grand view. It was very cold so we only spent 35 m. on top. The descent was much easier. We made the hut about 12, paid our bill and dropped the guides. We got to Zermatt at 2:10 and got lunch at the hotel. We spent the rest of the day walking about the town and seeing the sights.

Picture of Winkelmatten Church in Zermatt

Winkelmatten Chapel in Zermatt

Drawing of Winkelmatten Church in Zermatt by John Radford Abbot

Drawing of an old church in Zermatt, by John Radford Abbot


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