National Geographic : 1957 Jan
For about two centuries the boom ing barks of gentle St. Bernards have promised help and compassion for Al pinists imperiled by fog, avalanche, and storm in the Great St. Bernard Pass between Switzerland and Italy. Here Father Gratien Volluz, Father Jean-Louis Formaz, and attendant An selme Ronc trudge past a granite cross toward the St. Bernard hospice. The sled-borne man simulates an injured skier. All the dogs show keen interest in the operation. Snow-streaked Grand Combin (left) and Mount Velan (center) reflect the hardships borne by monks and dogs in the November-to-May winters. Above: According to monks at the hospice, the dogs have never carried brandy kegs in rescue work. They often pose with the traditional casks for the benefit of visitors. + Six-month-old Almira displays her efficient paws, enormous aids in "swimming" through snow.