Posts Tagged ‘mountain’

My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 26 – 27

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
Drawing of the train at Martigny by John Radford Abbot

Drawing of the train at Martigny, by John Radford Abbot

Thursday, August 26

Zermatt, Visp, Chamonix(?)

Left Zermatt at 11 o’clock. It rained off and on all day. However, we had a very nice ride to Visp with occasional view of the Breithorn. We got our wonderful complé at Visp. it was a corker. Left Visp at 2:13 and arrived at Martigny(?) where we changed into the electric road for Chamonix(?). It was a wonderful ride, although the views were shoded(?) by the rain. We rose 2,000 ft. in 2 miles. We changed time at Chatelard 1 hour. No customs. Got to Chamonix(?) at 7:48 and went to the Central Hotel. Walked round the town in the evening. Punk(?) weather.

Mer de Glace, the longest glacier in France

Mer de Glace, the longest glacier in France

Friday, August 27

Chamonix (Merde Glace)

Very poor weather. Clouds low although we did get a view of Mont Blanc from our window through a rift in the clouds. It is a beautiful mt. We set out for the Mer de Glace about 9:30. It took us not quite 2 hours to get to Montenvert(?). When we got there everything was in the clouds.We climbed higher up the mt. but could not get above the clouds. When we descended again we found that the clouds had lifted from the glacier and we got a good view of that. We walked across the glacier in about half an hour. It is literally a sea of ice, with great crevasses. It was bully short crossing it. On the other side we descended a steep rocky path, the last part called the Mauvais(?) Pas, where the path descends along the face of a cliff and iron rails are used, to the Chapeau, a little but with a good view of the Mer de Glace from there it took us an hour and 10 minutes to descend to Chamonix. It began to rain before we got there and we got pretty wet. We got lunch at the hotel at 3 o’clock and spent the afternoon doing the town, buying post cards etc. After dinner we went to a moving picture show of the ascent if Mt. Blanc, etc. It was corking.

Drawing of Aiguille du Dru in the Chamonix Valley, by John Radford Abbot

Drawing of Aiguille du Dru, part of the Mont Blanc massif, by John Radford Abbot


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

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016


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


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 14 – 15

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
Drawing of Matterhorn by John Radford Abbot, 1909

Drawing of the Matterhorn, by John Radford Abbot

Saturday, August 14th

Guttanmen(?), Furhablick(?)

Intended to have breakfast at 7 but didn’t till 8:15. Mighty good hotel food and lodging. About 6 francs apiece for lodging and 2 meals. We got started at 9:10. We took it rather easily, stopping every now and then at points of interest or a brook. Our first stop was at the wonderful Hamdeck(?) Falls. After 6 or 7 miles we came to the Grimsel(?) Hospiz(?), 3 miles by the road from the top of the Grimsel Pass (7000ft) we turned to the left and started out to do some mt. climbing to avoid the zigzags of the road. It was steep but interesting work. We soon came to snow and had more than one snow ball fight. Even though it was late, in stead of regaining the road, we decided to climb to  the top of the mt. we were on and get the view. After some more steep climbing we got to the summit. Chug had a pretty hard time. The view was superb. We could see both the Grimsel and Furka passes from many miles, snow capped peaks all around, the beautiful Rhone glacier and the little narrow mt. stream that finally becomes the Rhone. In the distance, we could see the Matterhorn. Thayer, Abe, and Dale went on to another peak to get a better view of the glacier. We reached the summit of our mt. (8,700ft.) the Näglisgrat(?) at 2 and started to descend again at 3:15 We were hungry then, having had nothing to eat since breakfast The descent was very steep and the most exciting climbing we have done yet. It took us about ½ an hour to get down one slope of 25 yds. The descent from the top of the Grimsel to Gletch(?) is very steep anyway and the road zigzags a lot. but we went by still steeper short cuts, getting to Gletch(?) a little after 4. We all had complés(?) at the Rhone Glacier Hotel. Leaving Gletch at 5:15 we continued along the valley besides the river Rhone to the bottom of the glacier, where we got a splendid view of one of the largest and best glaciers in Switzerland, and then turned up and started up the bed of a mt. torrant(?) to the zigzag road. Steepest cuts yet. We went 1 mile [word crossed out and unreadable] and hour. We got to our hotel, the Furkablick at 7:30. It is very good. In the P.M. the wind rose and the dust was fierce

Sunday August 15th


We got up about 8 and had breakfast at 8:30. It was the finest day we have had yet, perfectly clear with a cloudless blue sky. Before setting out we determined to walk back to the top of the pass and get a view of the Alps. The view was great of the Finsteraahom(?) and the Bermese Alps and the upshot of it was that we decided to stay over that day and climb a mt. While at the Furka I collected 21 different kinds of flowers and later saw several others. We went back to the hotel and got lunches put up. Chug stayed at the hotel and the rest of us started out towards the Matterhorn. We skirted a glacier and then started to climb up a very steep gully over sliding rocks. Thayer and I got up aways and found it too steep to climb, so had to return slowly and carefully. We ate our lunch at the bottom and then went back to the hotel Furka to start out afresh. Climbed the Blumberg, a mt. composed almost entirely of loose rocks and then went on to a peak higher up, about 10,000 ft. Wonderful view of all the Alps, including Mt. Blanc. When we went back to the Blumberg, we found Chug on top. He had had a hard climb. Descended and got a complé at the hotel about 4. Sat around till dinner at 7:50. Went to bed early.


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: August 9 – 11

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
View of Stockhorn (Stodehorn in transcription)

View of Stockhorn (Stodehorn in transcription)

Monday, August 9th

Oberhofen [Thun(?)]

Thayer and I were waked up by a corking old thunder shower. We dressed and got to breakfast at 9:30. After breakfast we sent out our clothes to be pressed, got our wash ready, which by the way we had to take to the hotel surchees(?) about 4. And had a swim in the lake of Thun(?). It was rather cold but fine. Thayer dove off the [word crossed out and unreadable] roof. After lunch at 12:30 we sat round and talked things over while it poured outside. About 4 it cleared off and we 4 boys with Caroline walked to Thun(?), got some money, which we needed badly, bought some postals and candy and got back for dinner at 7:30. After d. there was a concert at the hotel but we spent most of the time at our rooms, writing to B.B. [unreadable symbol] Co. and playing the organ. Thayer wrote till after 1. There was a dandy rainbow at 1:30.

Tuesday, August 10th

Oberhofen. [Berne(?)]

Breakfast at 9:30. Swim at 11. Corking good swim too. We had our lunches put up and took the 12:04 boat to Lherzhjin(?) where we caught the train to Berne, arriving at 1:15. It was market day and we walked about the streets watching the people selling their wares. We bought 1,000 grams of cherries. We then went to the clock tower and saw the hour of 2 struck, etc. Then Dale bought a pair of boots and we all got rucksacks. Walked to the bear garden and spent an hour there. Got home by the same way in time for dinner. In the evening there was a dance at the hotel.

Wednesday, August 11th

Oberhofen [Stodehorn(?)]

Had to get up this A.M. in time to catch the 8:29 boat for Spiez(?) Caroline was with us. We took our lunch along in a rucksack and took turns carrying it. Had to wait an hour in Spiez(?) and then took the train to Erlenbach(?) and started out to climb the Stodehorn(?). It was cloudy, but hot, and we had to climb up a very steep rock path. However, for a while we followed along a fine mountain stream. After climbing about ½ or 2/3 way up we ran into the clouds and for the rest of the way up we could not see more than 25 yds. away. About 10 min. from the top we came to a little hut where we went in to eat lunch. They gave us some hot tea that was great because we had been cold since striking the clouds. After eating our lunch we started on the last steep climb for the top, arriving at 2:10. It had taken us 3½ hours to ascend. We got no view from the top owing to the clouds. After spending an hour on the top resting we started to descend by a different path. It was very steep but great fun. Part of the way we had a guide. When we were only a short distance from the top we came out of the clouds. The sun was very hot and between sweat and mud we were pretty dirty. Further on we came to some steep pastures down which it was easier to slide than anything else. We took many tumbles and our clothes were a sight at the bottom. It took us 1¾ hrs. to descend. From the bottom we walked 5 miles cross country to Thun(?). In all we walked 12 miles. We caught the 6:44 boat from Sherzbjen(?) after a strenuous sprint at the [word crossed out and unreadable] end. Got back in time to change for dinner though I had to wear my brown shoes which had just been mended. In the evening a fellow from Geneva   read poems It was bum. He only got 5 francs