Ann Walker’s Entry
Anne Lister’s Entry
Up at 5 – breakfasted, then crossed the Alle [Allée] Blanche & Lake Combal, stopped at a Chalet in Col de la Seigne to eat poulet – saw people making cheese
road in some parts close to the border of Lake Combal – arrived at Cormayeur [Courmayeur] at 4 oclock – dinner at 5. excellent, red Vin d’Asti – but a very poor dinner – dearest spoke to Maitre d’hotel, who said it was accidental, & that we should fare better another time –
Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/14
[up at] 4 1/4
[to bed at] 10 10/..
no kiss very fine morning Fahrenheit 58 1/2° at 5 1/2 – breakfast at 6 – off from Motets (pronounced Mot-tes) at 6 20/.. – steep ascent the track often high over the torrent or some precipice. Adney frightened, nervous, and sickish – an avalanche on the glacier de Motets (as on the mer de glace) as we passed – At the top of the Col de la Seigne at 7 53/.. – Mont Blanc (left) hid – the great object for passing the Col de la Seigne is that from it is the best view of Mont Blanc – we were unlucky – the view, however, was still very fine – Mont Velan (said Michel) – it is the largest mountain, with long back, and in front of us – (no! Michel must be wrong – Mont Velan is to the East just above the great St. Bernard – it must have been Mont Cramont I meant? – our guides were not very au fait at the mountains hereabouts) just below us (rather to the left) the Allée blanche, and the lac de Combal at the farther end of which begins the Val Veni /Veny/ – on our ascent, and at the top, dais[i]es, michaelmas ditto, chamomile forget-me-nots, gentianella, etc. the nearest mont wooded, and pointed, (conical) seeming to close the valley straight before us is Mont Valesan – impossible – Michel must be wrong again – Mont Valesan is to the South of the little St. Bernard – was this last named mountain rather than the long-backed one, Mont Cramont? – wrote 5 minutes and began the descent (over snow) into the Allée blanche at 8 – rode over the 1st snow in 2 minutes – then walked over 2 others, small and hard and slippery – At the Chalet of L’allée blanche at 9 – the berger had only been arrived about a week – stopt an hour for Adney to eat cold fowl and veal and take the remainder of her bottle of Contamine vin d’Asti – she was nervous and not well this morning – must eat and drink well and be cheered up and then, as I tell her, she will do wonders – making gruyère and (as pronounced) Sarrat the latter all of cows milk – (did not the berger mean
Sérac, le fromage blanc et compact qu l’on tire du petit lait, que l’on comprime dans des caisses rectangulaires, et auquel on donne dans le pays le nom de Sérac’ vide Nouvel Itinéraire des vallées autour du Mont Blanc 2nd Edition, par J.P. and F.J. Pictet, Genève, Abraham Cherbuliez. and Paris Thomas Ballimore, rue de Seine St. Germain 1829. 214/324 duodecimo)
I had a little warm whey and tasted the butter fresh from the churn – merely a chalet – would be difficult for Adney to sleep here – Off again at 10 – in 1/4 hour look down upon the lake – at it at 10 35/.. coast it 10 minutes and enter the Val Veni at 10 50/.. immediately on passing the bridge over an artificial stone-work mound to confine the lake – Before arriving at the chalet, a glacier (left) supported high on its mass of moraine – another glacier like it, but larger, below the lake, looking like a lower range of mountain – these glaciers bring down enormous pieces of rock, and form a sort of chaos – would not pass here in bad weather – one might easily be écrasé by the falling stones and rocks – the sides whitish – thinly strewed here and there with larch on the sides of the glacier – the mountains très sauvages and escarpées – rested 10 minutes at 11 5/.. – Adney had not sleep enough last night – nervous and wanting dinner and to go to bed – opposite where we sat down to rest, the high rock, on the other side the stream (the Doire or Doria) very white – David said his uncle ‘Jacques Balmat dit du Mont Blanc’ had told it was from this white rock the valley was called Allée blanche – Nota Bene this white rock is not in L’allée blanche but in the val Veni – Adney walked an hour longer (too nervous and frightened to ride along the narrow track amid these rocks and precipices) till we nearly reached the bottom of the valley – very hot riding along the bottom and the flies very troublesome to our mules – the Doria passes under the Glacier de Brenoa, turns right, and falls into the Doria of the val de Ferret just below the little town of Entrèves, in the vallée d’ Entrèves, and passes Courmayeur, Aoste etc. etc. We had a considerable montée towards the glacier – It was by this that Mrs. and Miss Campbell descended from the Col du Géant – we were opposite their zigzag track at one – Alighted to look at the glacier – our being so near, and looking from some height made the sight instructive as to the nature of glaciers in general – then walked down to the bridge – remounted our mules – passed the baths, 2 nice, white, new-looking houses at a little distance (left), and alighted à L’Ange the great hotel at Courmayeur at 2 8/.. – very fine all our way – 10 minutes shower 1/4 hour after our arrival – dinner at 5 1/4 in an hour – Miss Walker had previously lain down and had a fresh bottle of vin d’Asti then walked to the village of Dolen /Dolonne/ as pronounced, Dolina on the map – beautifully situated singular village consisting principally of one very odd narrow overhanging shabby street – the wood houses with projecting stories and roofs meeting within about 2 feet at the top – the street (channel in the middle) about nine feet wide – very antique looking – tolerably good church – Courmayeur very beautifully situated in deep basin with 2 valleys opening into it at each end – viz. Val Veni and de Ferret, and valley de la Thuile leading to the Little St. Bernard and the bend of the valley towards Aoste – and 2 recesses one on each side that of Dolina, green rich and beautiful and that the village of Saxe, through which you go to Les trous des Romains, ancient mines, ‘pour en extraire une galène à petits grains, tenant argent, dans une gangue de spath calcaire.’ vide Itinéraire des vallées autour du Mont Blanc 229/324.
while out this evening went to the other Inn L’union – large good looking building – seems a good Inn, but much smaller, and inferior to where we are – would take us in at the pension price of those who to stay and bathe and drink the waters i.e. 6/. a day for ourselves and 4 francs a day for George – our landlord at the Angel could not do this if we only staid one or 2 nights – tho’ his prices are the same for the bathers – he can make up 160 beds – has 3 or 4 houses taken in the little town – the hotel itself is a large good building round a largeish quadrangular court, and built entirely for the accommodation of those who come on account of the waters – very fine day – Fahrenheit 64° now at 9 20/.. p.m. Adney in bed at 8 3/4 –
Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale, SH:7/ML/E/17/0053
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