Whymper, Scrambles amongst the Alps (1871); Sir A.
Sti bel (1871-1873), and Edward Whymper (1880), whose measurements of the principal summits were: - Eastern Cordillera.
Humboldt, who unsuccessfully attempted its ascent in 1802, gives its elevation as 21,425 ft., Reiss and Stiibel as 20,703, and Whymper as 20,498.
This, however, is erroneous, for Whymper located a detached range running parallel with the Cordillera on the west, for a distance of 65 m.
Its summits were reached for the first time in 1880 by Edward Whymper, all previous attempts having failed.
Mr Whymper's measurement is for the middle peak.
Bouger and La Condamine were the first to reach its brink in 1742, after which Humboldt made the ascent in 1802, Boussingault and Hall in 1831, Garcia Moreno and Sebastian Wisse in 1844 and 1845 (descending into the crater for the first time), Garcia Moreno and Jameson in 1857, Farrand and Hassaurek in 1862, Orton in 1867, and Whymper in 1880.
It was ascended by Whymper in 1880.
Whymper located and named no less than eleven on Chimborazo, and counted twelve on Cayambe.
For instance, in 1880 Whymper found permanent snow on Cotocachi at 14,500 ft., while near by Imbabura was bare to its summit (15,033 ft.); Antisana was permanently covered at 16,000 ft., and near by Sara-Urcu, which is drenched with rains and mists from the Amazon valley all the year round, at 14,000 ft.; Sincholagua had large beds of permanent snow at 15,300 ft., Cotopaxi was permanently covered at 15,500 ft.
According to Whymper, the tambo of Chuquipoquio, at the foot of Chimborazo, is 11,704 ft., and the hacienda of Pedregal, near Iliniza, 11,629 ft., both being permanently occupied.
The highest elevations are generally covered with ice and snow, and glaciers, according to Whymper, are to be found upon no less than nine of the culminating peaks, and possibly upon two or three more.
Of the flora of the highest Andes, Whymper found 42 species, of various orders, above 16,000 ft., almost all of which were from Antisana and Chimborazo; 12 genera of mosses were found above 15,000 ft., and 59 species of flowering plants above 14,000 ft., of which 35 species came from above 15,000 and 20 species from above 16,000 ft.
The Reptilia include countless numbers of alligators in the Guayas and its tributaries and in the tide-water channels of many of the smaller rivers; many species of lizards, of which Mr Whymper found three in the Quito basin; snakes of every description from the huge anaconda of the Amazon region down to the beautifully marked coral snake; and a great variety of frogs and toads.
Mr Whymper's explanation of the phenomenon is that the fish are scattered over the land by the sudden overflow during volcanic eruptions of the rivers and lakes which they inhabit.
In one ascent of Pichincha in 1880, Mr Whymper collected 21 species of beetles, all new to science, between 12,000 and 15,600 ft.
Of the Machachi basin, near Quito, which he calls a " zoologist's paradise," Mr Whymper writes (Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator): " Butterflies above, below and around; now here, now there, by many turns and twists displaying the brilliant tessellation of their under-sides...
The Coleoptera are especially numerous; Mr Whymper took home with him 206 species which had been identified and described up to 1892, most of them from the uplands and most of them new to science.
Of moths alone Mr Whymper took away with him specimens representing no less than 23 genera, with a probable addition of 13 genera more among his undescribed specimens, the largest of which (an Erebus odora) was 74 in.
Among the Diptera, which includes a very wide range of genera and species, are some of a highly troublesome character, though on the whole, Mr Whymper did not find the flies and mosquitoes so.
A good illustration of the prevalence of houseinfesting animals and insects is given by Mr Whymper (op. cit.
An official estimate given to Mr Whymper in 1880, however, places the population of Oriente (the eastern territory) at 80,000, which is probably more nearly correct.
Stiibel, Das Hochgebirge der Republik Ecuador (Berlin, 1892-1898); Edward Whymper, Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator (London, 1892); T.
Whymper and two guides then alone surviving the terrible accident in which their four comrades perished.
Whymper's party, three members of which (Lord Francis Douglas, the Rev. C. Hudson and Mr Hadow) with the guide, Michel Croz, perished by a slip on the descent.
The western, which reaches an altitude of about io,000 ft., then ceases to exist as a continuous chain, there remaining only a short, high ridge, called by Edward Whymper the " Pacific range of the equator," and between this ridge and the crystalline Andean axis, the " avenue of volcanoes," to use his words, arises amidst majestic scenery.
(1892); Edward Whymper, Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator (London, 1892); Teodoro Wolff, Geografia y Geologia del Ecuador (Leipzig, 1892); E.
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