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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

46.7251614, 8.1909081

Sat 12. [12 July 1902] We left the hotel at 5.10 and walked up the
Vorder Wellhorn by the Schˆnb¸hl Chalets and the ironstone path - a
very tedious pull up. We did it fast and I felt it a good deal. At 7.40 we
stopped for 5 minutes and roped. As we were sitting a chamois
strolled up over a ledge of rock not 30 yards from us and fled
precipitately when it saw us. We saw another running up the arete
above us and sending down quantities of stones. We then climbed
over easy rock, once iced and up a not very difficult ledge onto the
arete overhanging the glacier, by which we made our way to the top,
8.40, a record I think. We breakfasted till 9.10. Lily's Peak was just in
front of us looking very forbidding and the arete to the Wellhorn
looked awful, especially a smooth gendarme in front of us which
Ulrich thought wd give us some trouble, and the overhang above. We
went down the S face of the Vorder Wellhorn to the foot of Lily's Peak,
about a 1/4 hour and then up to the arete by a slope of blackish rock.
The smooth gendarme turned out to be not very difficult. The rock
was not steep and we got up it without kletterschuh, taking a little to the
right 10.35-40. We then followed the summit of the arete which is
narrow but of good rock, and crossed up and down 3 gendarmes. It
was amusing work. At the 3rd we came full in view of the overhang
which is formed by a jutting out rock like a {roof} ceiling which
supports the top of the arete. There was a 4th gendarme leaning up
against this bit of the arete, but we did not continue on to it, but went
down the 3rd gendarme on the S side and round a grass slope which
brought us to the left of the overhang. The rocks up to the arete were
comparatively easy, with a good deal of water running down them.
We went a little to the left then slightly to the right up onto the arete and
lunched above the overhang 12.45-1.20. We or rather I, now thought
that all our difficulties were over, but they were really only begun. The
next piece of the arete is extremely rotten and tedious to climb, the
stones lying like slates on a roof and falling with every touch. It is also
very narrow and descending on one side to a precipice and on the
other to very steep snow slopes. It took us nearly an hour. It ends in a
sharp gap, on the further side of which the rock rises steeply to the
final ridge. There seem to be two possible ways up this bit of rock,
one to the left and one to the right. We chose the one to the right which
consists of 2 small chimneys. The first is about 20 ft high and offers
good {foot}holds; it leads onto a small platform on the NW face of the
mountain. Ulrich and Heinrich went up to this leaving me below, very
cold, and worked for a good half hour, calling down to me that it was
not easy. They drove in a nail and tried to throw a rope, the latter
without much success. Finally Ulrich put on Kletterschuh and Heinrich
making himself secure by a rope round the nail, U. was able to climb
over his shoulders into the chimney. The second chimney is about 15
ft high but it is difficult to get in to from the exposed platform. I then
came up to the platform, H. went up and I followed. We left the nail.
We reached the summit in about 20 minutes, a very cold wind blowing
on us 3.35. We came down the NE side of the Wellhorn bearing a
little to the left and reached the glacier at 5. We eat here for about 1/2
an hour, then crossed the glacier under threatening seracs (a thing we
had no business to do, but it saved us nearly 3 hours, for otherwise we
shd have had to go up the Dossensattel and down to the hut) and
came down by the nÈvÈs below the hut onto the Rosenlaui path 6.35.
We got in at 7.45, I found Robert Collier to my great delight.

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