Javelle Émile – Memories of a mountaineer
Javelle Émile – Memories of a mountaineer: This Etienne who became a professor of literature in Vevey was a mountain enthusiast who was the 16th to climb the Matterhorn. The Valais Alps, Chablais, Mont Blanc, and the Black Tower – which was one of the most famous of these – make up most of these tales of ascents and its alpine observations. They were sometimes written for magazines, for public lectures or simply for the pleasure of the author – just like his many drawings and photographs of mountaineering scenes.
After his death, at age 35, these texts were brought together in this volume by his friend Édouard Béraneck. The book was a huge success in France as well as French-speaking Switzerland. Émile Javelle’s luminous writing, with the poetry of a man who loves and respects the mountain, was no stranger to it. At a time when modern mountaineering equipment and techniques did not yet exist, these climbs are often true exploits. His descriptions are sometimes visionary, like that of Salvan where from this small village hung on the side of the mountain while its inhabitants had nothing but their backs to transport the hay, the wood and other loads, it projects the arrival of the tourists climbers, the changes they will cause and all the communications that will have to be created.