Edward Whymper Books 2643 Webpv 11 05 24

Scrambles Amongst the Alps in the Years 1860-69 documents Edward Whymper's ascent and fateful descent of the Matterhorn which cost the lives of four team members. 

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A personal copy of a book written by Edward Whymper (1840-1911), the first mountaineer to scale the Matterhorn in the Alps, reached a price of £4000 (plus 19.5% buyer’s premium) at Claydon Auctioneers on April 28.

It sold well above the £100-200 estimate via the-saleroom.com.

Despite being the first to reach the summit in 1865, the expedition is notorious for the eventual fall of four of Whymper’s team members on the descent back down that cost them their lives due to a weak piece of climbing rope they had initially intended to be used as a back-up.

The accident caused a lot of criticism back home, with much of the press condemning the practice of mountaineering generally.

Complete with personal annotations, Scrambles Amongst the Alps in the Years 1860-69 documents the ascent and fateful descent. In the book, Whymper claimed that he would be forever haunted by the event – something that may have contributed to his alcoholism in his later years.

Edward Whymper Annotations 2643 Webpv 11 05 24

Complete with personal annotations, Whymper claimed in the book he would always be haunted by the tragedy. 

Whymper did go on to lead other expeditions some years after the tragedy, namely the Andes of which a similar book belonging to the author sold at Claydon for £1600.

The book was consigned by Edward Whymper, a descendant of the explorer, and was accompanied by a later family-owned copy from 1900 and another edited by HEG Tyndale from 1986. It was bought by a private collector.