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A NIGHT ON THE MATTEMORN

It is only a couple oi years ago tbat we heard of two Englishmen, nrmed Davlei and Borckhardt, who over ratihly undertook to ascend the Matterhorn without the training and cxperlenoe necessary for suoh a feat, and apparently too lightly dressed for those sudden changes of temperature tbat must always he teokoned with m the Alps. They reaohed the top safely having had Sue weather so far ; but soon after they began the descant a severe storm of snow, or rather hail, oame on, which bewildered and rather exhausted the travellers. Their legs failing under snara, their olothes it< zan to ice, tbey had to come to spend the night on the mountainside within hearing, but out of help of another pnr'y, which started a little before them. Their supply of food was frozan, even the trine ; the guides themselves were slightly frostbitten. '* Never," says Mr Davies, • ' have I had a more awful experience than that desolate night on the Matterhorn. We were chilled to the bone, and too exhausted to atand, The wind rose, and each gust blew the snow m our faoes, outtlng us like a knife. Aufdemblatter did his best to make us believe tbat there was no danger. 'Only keep yourselves warm — keep yourselves warm — keep moving, and we shall go down all right to-morrow when the Bun rißea.' 'It Is no use,' I replied j 'we shall die here,' They ohafed our limbs and did their best to make us stand up, bnt it was m vain* I felt angry at their Interference. Why oould they not leave u« alone to die ? I remember striking wildly but feebly at my guide, and he Insisted on rubbing me. Every movement give me such agony. I was racked with pain, eepeMally m my back and loins— pain so intense as to make me cry out. The guides had fastened the rope round the rock to hold on by, while they jumped to keep up the circulation of the blood. They brought us to it and made as jamp twice or thrice. Move we could not ; we lay back prostrate on the snow and ioe, while the guides varied their jumping by rubbing our Hmbtt and endeavoring to make ub move our arms 'and legs; They were getting feebler and feebler. Barokhardt and 1, as soon as we were fully oopvlnoed thftt death was imminent for nnte t did our best to persuade our guides to leave us where we ley and make their way down the hill. They wete married men with families. To save us was impossible; they might at least save themselve. We begged them to consider their wives aad children and to go This was at the begin Ding of the night. They refused. They would rather die with ub they said j they would remain and do their best." Next morning brought no rejief i They remained exposed to the cruel snow for eighteen hours m all, till m the afternoon tbe storm lulled. The guides, who oould not help on both their employers, persuaded Mr Davies that the best thing to be done was to leave his friend, the most exhausted of the party, and go forward to hurry up ad that might already be on the way. rJo they did, and before long fell m with a rescue party, who reaohed the spot to find Mr Borckhardt dead.-^'i Mountain Lore."

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890304.2.25

Bibliographic details

A NIGHT ON THE MATTEMORN, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2078, 4 March 1889

Word Count
574

A NIGHT ON THE MATTEMORN Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2078, 4 March 1889

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