In 1741, William Windham, Richard Pococke and others visited Chamonix in a large party. Richard Price drew this sketch of the Mer de Glace after their visit. Windham was at a loss how to describe the glacier: "You must imagine your lake put in agitation by a strong wind, and frozen all at once, perhaps even that would not produce the same appearance." On the ice, "we found in it an infinite number of cracks some we could step over others were several feet wide. These cracks were so deep, that we could not even see to the bottom; those who go in search of crystal are often lost in them, but their bodies are generally found again after some days, perfectly well preserved."
Source: William Windham and Peter Martel, An Account of the Glacières or Ice Alps in Savoy, in two letters (London, 1744), plate 1. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/3587445
Montanvers, Montanvert, Chamonix, William Windham, Richard Price