Posts Tagged ‘zermatt’

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 22 – 23

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
View of Gornergrat, a ridge of the Pennine Alps, offering views of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and other peaks

View from Gornergrat (Gormergrat in transcription), a ridge of the Pennine Alps, offering views of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and other peaks

Sunday, August 22

Stresa, Visp, Zermatt.

We left Stresa on the 8:45 train on a pouring rain. The rain was good for travelling as there was no dust or dirt. This is the first real rainy day we have had on the continent. It was a very slightly ride to Visp through the great Simplon(?) tunnel, 12¼ miles. Had a wonderful complé at Visp, the best yet, but we had to leave at 12:40 to catch the train for Zermatt. It is one of the best scenic roads in the world on a clear day, but we couldn’t see much on account of the rain. We got to Zermatt at 3 and walked the whole length of the town to the Pension dis Alps, a dandy little place. We are living in Pension for 6½ francs a day. The rain stopped when we got there and a little later, about 5 o’clock. the clouds lifted a little and we could see the best part of the Matterhorn. The clouds settled down again in a few minute however. We walked around the town till 7 o’clock and then went back to the hotel for dinner, a corking dinner. Zermatt is a very attractive little town, especially at night when the guides are all around. The shops are very fascinating, especially wood carving and post-cards. We went to bed fairly early.

Sketch of Monte Rosa by John Radford Abbot

Drawing of Monte Rosa, by John Radford Abbot

Monday, August 23

Zermatt (Gormergrat(?))

Beautiful day with only a few light clouds in the sky. We spent the whole A.M. fooling round the town and buying post cards etc. After an early dinner we started off about 2 o’clock to climb the Gormergrat(?), 10,000 ft. our highest mountain yet. It was a good stiff 3 hours walk to the top on a good steep path. About 3 inches of snow had fallen Sunday and the hot sun had melted it so the walking was fierce. The view from the top on a clear day is considered the finest in Switzerland. The clouds hid the Matterhorn and other peaks on the north and east, but we got a splendid view of Monte Rosa, Lyskamn(?) and the Breithorn. We spent about an hour on top and then started to descend. About 15 minutes later the clouds cleared off and we got a view of the Matterhorn and all the other peaks so that we did not lose the panorama view after all. It is a wonderful view all right. We came down in about an hour and a half. Got supper at the hotel and walked about the town till bedtime. Bought postals etc. and talked with André, an old guide about climbing the Rimpfischhorn(?).

Drawing of the north face of Mont Cervin (known as the Matterhorn), by John Radford Abbot

Drawing of the north face of Mont Cervin (known as the Matterhorn), by John Radford Abbot