F. F. Roget, Ski-runs in the High Alps


Un bouquin assez incroyable téléchargé tout ce qu'il y a de légalement sur le projet Gutenberg qui nous montre que les skieurs Brit' de 1913 étaient déjà bien fêlés.

“Crossing the Bernardino,” he says, “to-morrow, alone!”

“Why not? I am on ski; the post-sleigh does its service in all weathers.”

“Yes, but two men go together with the sledge and the horses.”

Indeed, I saw them the next day. I left at a reasonably late hour, and they left still later, catching me up along the flat. Then I passed them up the slope. They took all the windings, I cut across. It was a terribly bleak day. The wind blew the snow in wreaths, and these laid themselves across the old hard wreaths. Sleigh and horses cut through them, throwing out the two men. They rose again, and got back into their seat to cut through the next wreath. This time the sleigh was overturned. The horses—harnessed tandem fashion—plunged, reared upon their sinking hind-quarters, ploughing the snow with their breasts, while their hoofs pawed about for a footing. Then they came off with a rush, once more taking the sledge through. It was a long, narrow sleigh, just wide enough to hold two men, with the mail bags boxed in behind them—more like a torpedo than anything else.

It seemed impossible to distinguish the causeway under the wreaths of snow, in the snow dust blown up by the wind and with strips of fog flying and curling about. Yet the horses kept to the winter track, and all that plunging and kicking was the ordinary business of every day. The Cantonieri stationed from league to league in stone sheds all along the pass, kept guard in the worst places, and came out with spade and shovel to expedite the mail.


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