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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her father, Sir Hugh Bell

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Bell, Sir Thomas Hugh Lowthian
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 letter, paper

46.6482045, 8.1497133

Kurhaus Rosenlaui Berner Oberland Saturday. Dearest Father. The fine weather has come back and we have had 2 brilliant days which must have got the high mountains into condition again, so tomorrow I return to Grindelwald for a hut on Monday. I am very sorry to leave this nice place and these nice people. It has been a most satisfactory expedition and I have had 2 capital days' climbing in the Engelhörner range. Yesterday, especially, I had an enchanting climb up a thing called the Simili Stock, not very long, but 2 hours up and 2 down of as good rock climbing as I have ever done, as good as the Grépon as far as it goes. There was another party on it, 2 young men, Mr Bulston and Mr Rumbold (he is one of the diplomatic Rumbolds) with one guide. This guide was a friend of Ulrich's and had begged to be allowed to come up with us as the thing is quite impossible for a single guide. It made the expedition take rather a longer time, but I liked the two boys very much and their guide came in handy when 3 people had to stand on each other's shoulders, which occurred on the way up. We made a new way up - not on purpose! - by a chimney which was long and extremely hard. Ulrich led up and acquitted himself very well, but it was difficult enough to follow, even with the rope to hold on by. We came down by the usual route - the mountain has only been done 5 times - and found it considerably easier, especially as there were 2 good nooses of rope in position which we were able to use, passing a very thin rope we had with us through them to facilitate the descent of the last man, who was of course Ulrich. It was gorgeous fun; I have seldom enjoyed a day more. Today I took Gerard Collier and we went for a thing called King's Peak. On the way we were attracted by a small peak which had never been climbed and we went up it first. It was a very good 35 minutes climb from the saddle, difficult and rotten - most exhilarating! We built a cairn on the top of it and called it Gerard's Peak. We then breakfasted and turned our attention to King's Peak which has a great reputation, but, I think, an undeserved one. It was a quite easy climb of under an hour from the saddle. These things are very like Dolomites and it's about the only place in Switzerland where you can find virgin peaks. There are half a dozen more of these nameless and unclimbed; if we were here another week we would have a shot at them all. I'm rather tired tonight after 2 hard days of 12 hours each. But they have been most amusing. I must tell you I have now become a sort of daughter to the Monkswells! they have been such dears. My second guide, Heinrich, has left me today to go to his military service. I am very sorry to lose him. I met a cousin of these two, another Heinrich Fuhrer, in Grindelwald on Monday. Ulrich continues most satisfactory. He's the best man I have ever seen on a mountain. I shall find letters tomorrow - joy! Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

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