Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland.
strengthened by the exhortations of a Belgian, who called himself a grand amateurdes montagnes, on the strength of an ascent of the Mole and the Voiron, and in this character administered Alpine advice of that delightful description which one meets with in the coffee-rooms at Chamouni.  This Belgian was the only other guest of the Hotel des Balances; and his amiability was proof even against the inroads of some nameless species of vin mousseux, recommended to me by the waiter, which supplied mal-a-propos wine-sauce to the various dishes from which the Belgian was making his dinner, and did not leave his face and waistcoat free from stain.  He had but one remark to make, however wild might be the assertions advanced from the English side of the table, ’Vous avez raison, monsieur, vous avez parfait-e-ment raison!’ It is not quite satisfactory to hold the same sentiments, in every small particular, with a man who clips his hair down to a quarter of an inch, and eats haricots with his fingers; but it was impossible to find any subject on which he could be roused to dissentience.  This phenomenon was explained afterwards, when he informed me that he was a flannel-merchant travelling with samples, and pointed out what was only too true, namely, that the English monsieur’s coat was no longer fit to be called a coat.

Professor Pictet read a paper on these glacieres before the Societe Helvetique des Sciences Naturelles at Berne, in 1822, which is to be found in the Bibl.  Universelle de Geneve.[77] M. Pictet left Geneva in the middle of July to visit the caves, but found himself so much knocked up by the first day’s work, that he sent on his grandson to the Glaciere of the Brezon, and gave up the attempt himself.  The young man found it to be of small dimensions, 30 feet by 25, with a height of 10 or 12 feet.  The ice on the floor was believed by the guide to be formed in summer only, and was placed too irregularly to admit of measurement.  Calcareous blocks almost choked the entrance, and an orifice in the shape of a funnel admitted the snow freely from above, and was partly filled with snow in July.  Cold currents of air proceeded from the rocks in the neighbourhood of the glaciere, giving in one instance a temperature of 38 deg..75, the temperature in the shade being 51 deg..  Within the cave, the temperature was 41 deg..

M. Morin visited this glaciere in August 1828.  He describes it as a sheltered hole, in which the snow collects and is preserved.

M. Thury examined it in August 1859, and gives the same account.  He, too, found the current of air which the younger Pictet discovered, but in the cave itself the air was perfectly still.

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Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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