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of reach of the breakers. She was then unloaded as soon as possible, and turned bottom upward. The goods had suffered considerably by the wetting; they were all unbaled, and dried by a large fire which we built on the shore."
For two or three days they were tossed about on the river, now attempting to make way, now forced to land again, and always drenched to the skin. The missionaries and their party, too, who had set out in the barge from Walla Walla, were in no better plight. On the 14th the three canoes were again loaded, and again made the attempt to proceed; but in a short while one of them was stove, and another greatly damaged, so that they had to be unloaded and drawn out of the water. An effort was now made to procure one or two canoes with a pilot from an Indian village five miles below. This proved a hazardous and fatiguing journey; but was rewarded by getting one canoe and several Indians to assist in the navigation. With this reinforcement, and with the boats mended, the party again attempted the descent of the river. The voyage this time was more fortunate, and next day they all arrived at the fort, which was the end of their journey across the wilderness. The time occupied in this dangerous expedition had been six months and three days. Unharmed by fatigue or accident, with a constitution strengthened by healthful exercise, and a mind buoyant with the novelty of the scenes they had passed through, the travelers felt sincerely thankful to that kind and overruling · Providence which had watched over and protected them.
Ascent of Mont Blane. MONT CONT BLANC, as is generally known, is the
highest peak of the Alps, and the loftiest ground in Europe, being fifteen thousand, six hundred and sixty-six feet above the level of
It is situated in the duchy of Savoy, now a part of the kingdom of Sardinia, in a range of mountains between Sardinia and Turin, and rises immediately above the narrow valley of Chamounix, from which place alone is the ascent to the summit ever made. Though Chimborazo is between six and seven thousand feet higher than Mont Blanc, it only rises eleven thousand, six hundred feet above the neighboring valley of Quito; in this respect Mont Blanc may be considered as a more remarkable mountain, as it rises twelve thousand, three hundred feet above the valley of Chamounix, the whole of which vast hight can be scanned at once from the opposite eminences. For seven thousand feet below the top Mont Blanc is perpetually covered with ice and snow. The distance from the bottom to the top, by the shortest route which can be pursued, is considered by the guides as eighteen leagues, or fifty-four miles.
Speaking with precision, Mont Blanc is only the most eminent of a range of peaks springing from vast extent of eminent ground on the south side of the valley of Chamounix. When the traveler enters the valley on the opposite side at an eminence called the Col de Balme, this range, coming at once into view, oppresses his imagination with a vastness unexpected even in that land of Alpine grandeur. While the vale below smiles with the most luxuriant vegetation, the sides of the hills are clothed, for a considerable way up, with dark and dense forests, and higher still, with the accumulated hoariness of centuries.
To attain the summit of a mountain so lofty as Mont Blanc, was long an object of ambition, both to the native peasantry and to men of science, before any one was so fortunate as to effect it. It was first tried in 1762, again in 1775, and on four occasions down to 1786, without success, At length, in the year last mentioned—8th August—this difficult enterprise was accomplished by Dr. Paccard, a native of Chamounix, in company with a guide named Balma. The mountain was ascended in the succeeding year by M. de Saussure, who gave to the learned world a very minute account of all the phenomena which he observed in the course of the expedition. Another attempt in the same year, one in 1791, a third in 1802, were the only successful attempts down to 1812, when a Hamburg gentleman, named Rodatz, gained the summit. From that time till 1827, seven successful attempts were made, besides one of the contrary description in 1820, which was cut short by the descent of an avalanche, and the loss of three of the guides. In August, 1827, the ascent was performed by Mr. John Auldjo, of Trinity College, Cambridge, who published an account of it, illustrated by maps and drawings. In 1830 Captain Wilbraham made a successful ascent; and in 1834 another was performed by Dr. Martin Barry, who likewise gave an account of his adventures and observations to the world. This last ascent was performed on the 17th of September, a week later in the year than any preceding ascent, and considered on that account as more than usually dangerous. A few weeks still later, a French gentleman, having been informed that no countryman of his had ever made the ascent, while it had been made by eleven Englishmen, besides several natives of other countries, determined instantly to wipe away this imaginary reproach upon the fair fame of his country, and the consequence was