What leads an aristocratic banker into the mountains?

Even though Cassel appreciated life at his English country estate and also enjoyed staying in the French seaside resort of Biarritz in winter, he himself would probably never have come up with the idea of spending a summer on a remote alp in the middle of the Valais region.

 

Unhealthy lifestyle
Cassel’s exhausting and stressful life rushing between his job and the many social events left its mark on him. He suffered from severe stomach pains - nowadays it would probably be diagnosed as «executivitis». And so Cassel confided in Sir William Broadbent, Queen Victoria’s personal physician.

The physician prescribed Sir Ernest Cassel strict rest in the clean and healthy mountain air. As Broadbent was very enthusiastic about the Aletsch area and had himself spent many a summer up there, he strongly recommended that area to his patient.

Couldn’t it have been a more famous place? Maybe a place that was a little more easily accessible, a small town that could have offered at least some of the usual comforts together with a suitable hotel? Sir Ernest Cassel was certainly not keen on the idea, but he bowed to the medical verdict of his friend and left for that Valaisian alp.

How did he digest what he found upon his arrival? Did his initial dislike turn to enthusiasm...?