Here Be Dragons: The "Sacred Terror" of the Alps of Switzerland
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"Placed on this planet since yesterday, and only for a day, we can only hope to glimpse the knowledge that we will probably never attain."
-Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, 1796
Dateline: Mount Pilates, Switzerland
I've penned a few books that have been placed in the category of "wilderness travel." But perhaps the first to stock this shelf was the eighteenth-century mountaineer Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, who wrote in his opus, Voyages dans les Alpes, that the chamois hunters of the Alps experienced a certain delight in their dangerous profession: "It is these very dangers, this alternation of hope and fear, the continual agitation kept alive by these sensations in his heart, which excite the huntsman, just as they animate the gambler, the warrior, the sailor and, even to a certain point, the naturalist among the Alps whose life resembles closely, in some respects, that of the chamois hunter." As someone who has spent some time exploring wild rivers in remote corners and
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