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Scrambles Amongst the Alps describes nine years Whymper spent climbing in the Alps, from 1860 to 1869, a time when mountain climbing was just starting to become an international sport getting international headlines. Whymper was a prodigious climber; he once gained 100,000 feet of altitude in the mountains in something like 30 days, attacking peaks with an energy and determination that remain remarkable to this day. But the big kahuna was the Matterhorn, and the book spends much of its time on Whymper's seven failed attempts at it, and on the eighth, in which he summited, and four men died. The book makes an excellent guide on this account to the history of early climbing and climbing techniques.