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CHAPTER VIII.

FROM ST. MICHEL ON THE MONT CENIS ROAD BY THE COL DES AIGUILLES D'ARVE, COL DE MARTIGNARE, AND THE BRÈCHE DE LA MEIJE TO LA BÉRARDE.[1]

"The more to help the greater deed is done."

Homer.

When we arrived upon the highest summit of Mont Pelvoux, in Dauphiné, in 1861, we saw, to our surprise and disappointment, that it was not the culminating point of the district; and that another mountain—distant about a couple of miles, and separated from us by an impassable gulf—claimed that distinction. I was troubled in spirit about this mountain, and my thoughts often reverted to the great wall-sided peak, second in apparent inaccessibility only to the Matterhorn. It had, moreover, another claim to attention—it was the highest mountain in France.

The year 1862 passed away without a chance of getting to it, and my holiday was too brief in 1863 even to think about it; but in the following year it was possible, and I resolved to set my mind at rest by completing the task which had been left unfinished in 1861.

In the meantime others had turned their attention to Dauphiné. First of all (in 1862) came Mr. F. Tuckett—that mighty mountaineer, whose name is known throughout the length and breadth of the Alps—with the guides Michel Croz, Peter Perm, and Bartolommeo Peyrotte, and great success attended his arms. But Mr. Tuckett halted before the Pointe des Ecrins, and, dismayed by its appearance, withdrew his forces to gather less dangerous laurels elsewhere.

His expedition, however, threw some light upon the Ecrins.

  1. For routes described in this chapter, see the General Map and the plan in the text at p. 183.
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