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winding some time among chasms and enormous towers, we arrived at the edge of another crevice, over which we could see but one bridge, that not of ice, but of snow only, and so thin, that it was deemed impossible to trust to it. A plan was resorted to, which enabled us to pass over in safety: our batons were placed on it, and in doing so, the center gave way, and fell into the gulf; however, enough remained on each side to form supports for the ends of these poles, and nine of them made a narrow bridge, requiring great precaution and steadiness to traverse. Other crevices were passed over on bridges of snow too weak to allow walking on, or too extended to admit this application of the poles. A strong guide managed to creep over, and a rope being tied round the waist of a second, who lay on his back, he was in that position pulled across by the first. In this manner the whole party were drawn singly over the crevice.” Rather more than half-way up the mountain, two sharp pinnacles of rock, called the Grand and Petit Mulets, rise above the snow and ice. The Grand Mulet usually affords shelter to the adventurers during the first night of their journey, if not also during the second—for the ascent and descent together more frequently require three than two days. When Auldjo and his party approached the Grand Mulet, they found it nearly inaccessible, in consequence of a tremendous fissure immediately below it. In front was a solid wall of ice, of prodigious hight, to which there was only one perilous approach, by means of a promontory projecting from the side on which the party stood. Coutet cut steps in the wall with his hatchet, and thus enabled the party to climb over it. When Dr. Barry came to the same place, Coutet had to cut and climb his way for a considerable distance along the front of an equally-terrific wall, and then to climb up to the top, to which, by means of ropes, he pulled up the rest. After ascending the wall Mr. Auldjo's route lay for some distance along the top, which was very narrow, and inclined in each direction toward unfathomable gulfs. “Taking my steps,” says he, “with the greatest caution, I could not prevent myself from slipping; as the space became wider, I became less cautious, and while looking over the edge into the upper crevice, my feet slid from under me: I came down on my face, and glided rapidly toward the lower one: I cried out, but the guides who held the ropes attached to me did not stop me, though they stood firm. I had got to the extent of the rope, my feet hanging over the lower crevice, one hand grasping firmly

the pole, the other my hat. The guides called to me to be cool, and not afraid: a pretty time to be cool, hanging over an abyss, and in momentary expectation of falling into it! They made no attempt to pull me up for some moments, but then, desiring me to raise myself, they drew in the rope till I was close to them and in safety. The reason for this proceeding is obvious. Had they attempted, on the bad and uncertain footing in which they stood, to check me at the first gliding, they might have lost their own balance, and our destruction would have followed; but by fixing themselves firmly in the cut step, and securing themselves with their batons, they were enabled to support me with certainty when the rope had gone its length. This also gave me time to recover, that I might assist them in placing myself out of danger.” The place appropriated for the repose of the travelers during the night, is a ledge near the top of the Grand Mulet, where it is just possible, by laying the batons against the rock, to form a kind of tent sufficient to cover the party during their sleep. Dr. Barry here found the air at forty of Fahrenheit, so that there was no suffering from cold. This gentleman, awaking at midnight, drew himself forth from the tent, and beheld a scene of unexampled magnificence and impressiveness. “It was,” says he, “a brilliant night. The full moon had risen over the summit of the mountain, and shone resplendent on the glazed surface of its snowy covering. The guides were sleeping. Thus, in the midnight hour, at an elevation of ten thousand feet, I stood—alone: my resting-place a pinnacle of rock, that towered darkly over the frozen wilderness above which it, isolated, rose. Below me lay, in the wildest confusion, the colossal masses of ice we had been climbing, and whose dangers we had narrowly escaped: around and above was a sea of fair but treacherous snow, whose hidden perils we had yet to encounter. The Jura Mountains, and many an unknown peak of Switzerland, seen dimly in the distance, gave me an earnest of the prospect from still more elevated regions. The vale of Chamounix was sleeping at the foot of the mountain: and, broken by the occasional thunder of an avalanche, the profoundest silence reigned. It seemed the vastest, sternest, sublimest of nature's imagery reposing—now starting as in a fitful dream—then sinking again into the stillest calm. It held me till, at the end of an hour and a half, a recollection of the coming day's fatigues rendered it prudent again to take repose.” Between the Grand Mulet and the base of

the summit expressly termed Mont Blanc, the way zigzags along a vast ascending hollow, broken by three plains of ice, the last and largest of which is called the Grand Plateau. This part of the journey is also obstructed by fissures and the debris of avalanches—vast masses, as formerly, being sometimes found serving as bridges across the openings. At one place, Mr. Auldjo and his party crossed a vast chasm by a large and lofty block of ice, which had stuck in it, and the side of which had to be cut by the hatchet, to allow of places for the feet and hands; so that the party passed along as boys are sometimes observed to do on the outside of the parapet of a bridge, with nothing, in the event of their falling, to save them from destruction. At another place, they came to a chasm crossed by a hollow or pendulous bridge of snow; and on this insecure place were induced to breakfast, on account of the shelter it afforded from the piercing wind which swept over the ice. “In one moment,” says the traveler, “without a chance of escape, the fall of the bridge might have precipitated them into the gulf beneath. Yet no such idea ever entered the imagination of my thoughtless but brave guides, who sat at their meal singing and laughing, either unconscious or regardless of the danger of their present situation.” A little above the Grand Plateau, the traveler

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