Edward Whymper


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Leslie Stephen made the first ascent of the Rothorn on August 22, 1864. He followed Melchior Anderegg and described "fumbling vaguely with my fingers at imaginary excrescences, my feet resting upon rotten projections of crumbling stone, whilst a large pointed slab of rock pressed against my stomach, and threatened to force my centre of gravity backwards beyond the point of support. My chief reliance was upon the rope; and with a graceful flounder I was presently landed in safety upon a comparatively sound ledge." From this point, he looked back and saw a picture that became fixed in his imagination and was engraved by Edward Whymper: Florence Crauford Grove and Jakob Anderegg scrambling up the same ledge. Stephen recalled his ascent of this peak now known as Zinalrothorn as "the nastiest piece of climbing I had ever accomplished."

Source: frontispiece of The Playground of Europe (London, 1871). This image is from the 1894 edition: Harvard College Library, Swi 685.10.3.


Leslie Stephen, Edward Whymper, Rothorn, Zinalrothorn


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