National Geographic : 1913 Aug
Photo by G. R. Ballance CATTLE ON BREVENT These hardy Swiss cattle ascend the mountains each year in the early summer to graze on the high mountain pastures, which are technically known as Alps AN UNWELCOME GUEST With this party was a fourth man, .a youth of 24, named Jacques Balmat, who seems to have attached himself to the others against their wishes. Just before the start for the summit, Balmat had spent two days alone on the Dome du Gouter looking for routes, and was re turning when he met the other three on their way up. He was an unwelcome member of the little party, for he wished to win the reward and so did they. However, he would not be shaken off. When the others gave up the attempt, he stayed be hind to look about further, the others perhaps having deserted him purposely. "I found myself," said he, "alone, and was divided between a wish to rejoin them and an ambition to attempt the as cent alone. I was piqued at being left behind, and something told me that this time I should succeed." He gave up the idea of proceeding by the ridge of the "Bosses," and so descended a little to what is known as the "Grand Plateau," crossed it and ascended again on the other side over an icy path along the crest of the rocks called the "Rochers Rouges," on the armlike ridge of the mountain opposite. This route, now known as the "Ancien Passage," has long since been abandoned, owing to its danger. BALMAT'S HEROIC IEAT Balmat had to dig steps in the ice with the end of his stock, and finally, after in credible toil, he saw his way clear to the very top, for the "Rochers Rouges" are less than I,ooo feet from the summit. But night was approaching and clouds had begun to form around the summit, and besides he thought no one would be lieve his story if he did reach the summit, so he decided to retrace his steps.