Mount Everest


MOUNT EVEREST is the giant mountain of the world. It rears its lofty head above all other things on earth. It seems to touch the sky. No human foot has yet been placed upon its summit. (1881)  No beast has ever reached its glittering crest. The giant stands alone in awful majesty. At its base, eternal summer clothes the earth with verdure. From the sunny plains below, men look with wondering eyes upon this mighty monarch, always clad in winter robes.

Travelers from many lands have tried in vain to conquer this giant mountain. Some have climbed from height to height; but as they reached one elevated peak after another, they found that other mountain-crests still rose before them. Higher and yet higher some have mounted, each success increasing their desire to reach the top.  But all in vain; for, when at last they were compelled to stop, still far above them soared the lofty summit they had toiled so hard to reach.

But where is this giant mountain? I will tell you. Far, far away in Central Asia, India is bounded by a mighty granite wall. This wall consists of rugged snowy peaks, which rise, like giant watchtowers, miles above the level of the sea; and it stretches from east to west more than a thousand miles. This range of mountains is called the Himalaya, and its highest peak is Mount Everest, the giant mountain of the world. At the foot of the Himalaya Mountains there are immense forests and jungles, where the tiger, the elephant, the rhinoceros, and the monkey make their homes. 

Here grow the stately palm, the useful bamboo, the plantain, and the fig, In the valleys, rice, the Indian's favorite food, is cultivated.

As we ascend the mountainside, we find the oak, the elm, the maple, and the chestnut. Here European fruits grow wild. The larger and the fiercer beasts are left below, but wolves, hyenas, buffalo, and deer abound. Still higher, the hardy pine becomes more numerous; at last it is the only forest tree. And on the rugged heights are found the goat, the mountain fox, the wild sheep, and the bear. Ascending still, all vegetation ceases. No animals are found. Our feet have crossed the snowline. Far above our heads there rises eight thousand feet of snow.

To cross this mighty range from India to Thibet, would be a journey of 400 miles. Between some of the peaks there are narrow roads called passes. 

These passes are higher than Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe.  One traveler who crossed this range of mountains, says that he had sometimes to walk barefooted on the slippery path. Sometimes he had to creep along the edge of a frightful chasm, holding on to a twig or a tuft of grass. Sometimes he was drawn along a rope from ridge to ridge over a mountain-torrent. Some years ago, two gentlemen (brothers) and their servants crossed these mountains. 

For ten nights they pitched their tents upon the mountainsides, four miles above the level of the sea. They reached the highest point yet gained by man; but still more than a mile above them rose the summit of the giant peak.

Though Asia contains the highest mountain in the world, the longest unbroken range is in South America. 

There the Andes stretch from one end of the continent to the other, from the Strait of Magellan to the Isthmus of Panama, a distance of more than four thousand miles. One of the principal peaks, though not the highest of that range, is called Chimborazo. It is a perfect dome in shape, and was once regarded as the loftiest summit in the world. The Andes contain numerous volcanoes, or burning mountains, one of which, Cotopaxi, is the highest and most dreaded volcano on the face of the globe.


Turning to Europe, we find another mighty mountain-system, extending for hundreds of miles in various directions. This is the Alps, with its needle-shaped summits, and its long, narrow valleys between them. Here we find Mont Blanc, the loftiest peak in Europe, of which Byron wrote, 

"Mont Blanc is the monarch of mountains;

They crowned him long ago, On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds, With a diadem of snow.  "Here, too, is the famous St. Bernard Pass, over which Napoleon Bonaparte led his troops to Italy in 1800; and where, in their lonely monastery, live the kind-hearted monks, who, with their noble dogs, succor the weary Alpine travelers.

Eight years ago the Mont-Cenis tunnel was opened. It is seven and a half miles in length, and passes under a mountain ten thousand feet high.

These are some of the world's wonders; and, as we think of them, we are led to say, "How great must that God be who in the beginning created all these things!" of whom the Psalmist wrote, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

 Ps. 90:1, 2.

 [London] Children's Paper.

Mont Cenis

Digging the tunnel


Digging the tunnel and hauling