Michel-Gabriel Paccard
Michel Gabriel Paccard was a Savoyard
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

 doctor and alpinist, citizen of the Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

Born in Chamonix
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or, more commonly, Chamonix is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics...

, he studied medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 in Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

. Due to his passion for botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 and minerals, he met Horace-Bénédict de Saussure
Horace-Bénédict de Saussure
200px|thumb|Portrait of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure Horace-Bénédict de Saussure was a Genevan aristocrat, physicist and Alpine traveller, often considered the founder of alpinism, and considered to be the first person to build a successful solar oven.-Life and work:Saussure was born in Conches,...

, who initiated the race to be the first to ascend Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco , meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and the European Union. It rises above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence...


Gaston Rébuffat
Gaston Rébuffat
Gaston Rébuffat was a well-known French alpinist and mountain guide. The climbing technique, to gaston, was named after him. He was a recipient of France's prestigious Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1984....

 wrote "Like Saussure a devotee of the natural sciences, he has a dream: to carry a barometer to the summit and take a reading there. An excellent mountaineer, he has already made several attempts."

Paccard had a first, unsuccessful, attempt in 1783 with Marc Theodore Bourrit
Marc Theodore Bourrit
-Biography:Marc Theodore Bourrit came of a family which was of French origin but had taken refuge at Geneva for reasons connected with religion. His father was a watchmaker there, and he himself was educated in his native city...

. In 1784, he made several attempts with Pierre Balmat. Finally, he made the first ascent of Mont Blanc with Jacques Balmat
Jacques Balmat
Jacques Balmat, called le Mont Blanc was a mountaineer, a Savoyard mountain guide, and born a citizen of the Kingdom of Sardinia....

 on 8 August 1786.

Balmat and Paccard's ascent of Mont Blanc was a major accomplishment in the early history of mountaineering. C. Douglas Milner wrote "The ascent itself was magnificent; an amazing feat of endurance and sustained courage, carried through by these two men only, unroped and without ice axes, heavily burdened with scientific equipment and with long iron-pointed batons. The fortunate weather and a moon alone ensured their return alive."

Eric Shipton
Eric Shipton
Eric Earle Shipton CBE was a distinguished British Himalayan mountaineer.-Early years:Born in Ceylon in 1907 where his father, a tea planter, died before he was three years old. His mother buried her grief by taking Eric and his sister Marge and travelling constantly for the next five years...

wrote "Theirs was an astounding achievement of courage and determination, one of the greatest in the annals of mountaineering. It was accomplished by men who were not only on unexplored ground but on a route that all the guides believed to be impossible."

Paccard later married Jacques Balmat's sister, and became a Justice of the Peace.

There is a statue of him in Chamonix.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.