Gustave Doré, L’Ascension du Mont Cervin (1865).  Mont Cervin, French appellation for the Matterhorn.  Doré captures the first ascent of this peak by Edward Whymper and his team, which did not end well; Doré represents the tragedy on the descent here.


from Edward Whymper, Scrambles Amongst the Alps in the Years 1860-69 (1871):  “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.”


Swiss mountaineering photographer Robert Bösch (previously featured here) and Swiss mountaineering outfitter Mammut (previously featured here) make an awesome creative team. In collaboration with groups of impressively skilled and daring mountain climbers, they’ve produced some truly jaw-dropping photos.

The top photo is their most recent creation, a work of spectacular coordination and photographic skill. Shot on the famous Matterhorn in the Pennine Alps, a group of climbers positioned red lights to illuminate the route taken by English explorer Edward Whymper and his team back in 1865 when they became the first people to ascend the Matterhorn.

"…the planning and coordination that was required for this image was nothing short of astounding. Working against time and weather, Bösch and the team toiled endlessly to ensure they captured the best possible results that properly honored those who travelled the mountains before and inspired those who hope to in the future.”

Click here for a behind-the-scenes production video.

Head over to PetaPixel to view additional photos (and making-of videos) by Robert Bösch and Mammut.

Anyone else sick of hearing about the US election yet? My OZ friends are all getting social media reminders to vote today, and they’ve never even been to the US…well, it’s all over soon, but let’s do some cute in the mean time!

House Sparrow - Passer domesticus

In the temple at Dier-el-Bahari

The sparrow is one of the limited number of species distinctly benefiting from human settlement. Where humans are, sparrows are, often en masse. Go just a half-mile into the wilderness beyond a settlement, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find even one individual. Other closely-related passerines (“songbirds”) like finches and thrushes can survive where humans live, but none have adapted to the point that they’re rarely found in the “wild” any longer, and few other avian species have thrived as well as sparrows in settled lands.

The sparrow is perched on a wall at the temple at Dier el-Bahari, most well-known for Hatsheput’s tomb. It’s next to an engraving of Horus, depicted as a Lanner falcon (Falco biarmicus) carrying a Shen ring, a symbol of eternal protection.

Egyptian birds for the most part seen in the Nile Valley. Charles Whymper, 1909.

Still, the last sad memory hovers round, and sometimes drifts across like floating mist, cutting off sunshine and chilling the remembrance of happier times. There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell ; and with these in mind I say : Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strenght are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime.

Edward Whymper, Scrambles amongst the Alps

C’est la somme d’indicibles joies, des douleurs volontairement enfouies, de surprenants sourires, de rêves perdus qui fait la vie de chacun. Quand on demande “Qui êtes-vous ?”, il ne faudrait pas répondre un métier, un âge, une donnée chiffrée mais : “Je suis celui que le geste poli d’un garnement des rues émerveilla. Celui qui, une seule journée durant, se rêva explorateur. Celui qui, un jour, renonça à ce travail, à ce rêve, à cette personne, à cette pensée, à ce geste précis.”Qu’est-ce qui nous fait vraiment nous-mêmes, si ce n’est ces instants fugaces et insaisissables qui peuvent tout changer ? Et cette idée de prudence mêlée au courage, crois-tu que nous devions l’appliquer à ce “nous” qui naît peut-être ?

"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are not without prejudice, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think of what may be the end." -Edward Whymper. #colorado #independencepass #autumn #quotes

In anticipation of next year’s 150th anniversary of Edward Whymper’s first ascent, guides on Matterhorn lit up the historic route with headlamps. Whymper and six other men reached the summit of the 14,692-foot-tall Alps peak on July 14, 1865 via the now-classic Hörnligrat route. Four members of the party died during the descent.

posted by SpartacusRex1 on Reddit