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The effect of the storm was peculiar and extraordinary. For the present fall of snow coming
A break in the road.
upon the top of that which was there before, and had remained from the last winter, it was found that the former, being fresh, was soft and offered no resistance to the foot; but when the feet reached the lower frozen snow, they could no longer make any impression upon it, but the men found both their feet slipping from under them, as though they were on hard ground with a layer of mud on the top. And a still more serious difficulty followed: for not being able to get a foothold on the lower snow, when they fell and tried to get themselves up by their hands and knees, the men found themselves plunging downwards quicker and quicker, along with everything they laid hold of, the ground being a very steep decline. The beasts, however, when they fell did break through this lower snow as they struggled to rise, and having done so were obliged to remain there with their loads, as though they were frozen to it, both from the weight of these loads and the hardness of the old snow. Giving up, therefore, all hope of making this detour, he encamped upon the ridge after clearing away the snow upon it. He then set large parties of his men to work, and, with infinite toil, began constructing a road on the face of the precipice. One day's work sufficed to make a path practicable for beasts of burden and horses; and he accordingly took them across at once, and having pitched his camp at a spot below the snow line, he let them go in search of pasture; while he told off the Numidians in detachments to proceed with the making of the road; and after three days' difficult and painful labour he got his elephants across, though in a miserable condition from hunger. For the tops of the Alps, and the parts immediately below them, are completely treeless and bare of vegetation, because the snow lies there summer and winter; but about half-way down the slopes on both sides they produce trees and shrubs, and are, in fact, fit for human habitation.

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load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
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Alps (New Mexico, United States) (1)

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