Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/497

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
477
THE MATTERHORN CONQUERED.

toward the summit for about 60 feet, then doubled back to the ridge which descends toward Zermatt. A long stride round a rather awkward corner brought us to snow once more. The last doubt vanished! The Matterhorn was ours! Nothing but 200 feet of easy snow remained to be surmounted.

A Tramp Abroad 0497h.jpg
ON THE SUMMIT.

The higher we rose, the more intense became the excitement. The slope eased off, at length we could be detached, and Croz and I, dashing a way, ran a neck-and-neck race, which ended in a dead heat. At 1:40 p. m., the world was at our feet, and the Matterhorn was conquered!

The others arrived. Croz now took the tent-pole, and planted it in the highest snow. "Yes" we said, "there is the flag-staff, but where is the flag?" "Here it is," he answered, pulling off his blouse and fixing it to the stick. It made a poor flag, and there was no wind to float it out, yet it was seen all around. They saw it at Zermatt—at the Riffel—in the Val Tournanche.   *   *   *

We remained on the summit for one hour—

"One crowded hour of glorious life."

It passed away too quickly, and we began to prepare for the descent.