Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc

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Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco (Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

), meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

, Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. It rises 4810.45 m (15,782 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence
Topographic prominence
In topography, prominence, also known as autonomous height, relative height, shoulder drop , or prime factor , categorizes the height of the mountain's or hill's summit by the elevation between it and the lowest contour line encircling it and no higher summit...

. It is also sometimes known as La Dame blanche (French for "the White Lady") or Il Bianco (Italian for "the White One").

The mountain lies between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and Haute-Savoie
Haute-Savoie
Haute-Savoie is a French department in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. It borders both Switzerland and Italy. The capital is Annecy. To the north is Lake Geneva and Switzerland; to the south and southeast are the Mont Blanc and Aravis mountain ranges and the French entrance to the Mont...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny
Val Veny
Val Veny is a lateral valley of the Mont Blanc massif, lying to the south-west of Courmayeur. The valley head is at the col de la Seigne, over which lies the Tarentaise Valley.- Geography:...

 in Italy and the Arve Valley in France.

The two most famous towns near Mont Blanc are Courmayeur
Courmayeur
Courmayeur is an Italian town and comune in the autonomous region of Aosta Valley, in northern Italy. It is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe, in the Graian Alps range, and is crossed by the Dora Baltea...

 in Aosta Valley, Italy, and Chamonix
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...

 in Haute-Savoie, France—the site of the first Winter Olympics
1924 Winter Olympics
The 1924 Winter Olympics, officially known as the I Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France...

. A cable car
Cable car
A cable car is any of a variety of transportation systems relying on cables to pull vehicles along or lower them at a steady rate, or a vehicle on these systems.-Aerial lift:Aerial lifts where the vehicle is suspended in the air from a cable:...

 ascends and crosses the mountain from Courmayeur to Chamonix.

Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 km (7¼ mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel
Mont Blanc Tunnel
The Mont Blanc Tunnel is a road tunnel in the Alps under the Mont Blanc mountain, linking Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France , and Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy . It is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes, particularly for Italy, which relies on the tunnel for transporting as much as...

 runs beneath the mountain between these two countries and is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes.

The Mont Blanc massif
Mont Blanc Massif
The Mont Blanc massif is a mountain range in the western Alps. It is named after Mont Blanc, at 4,810.45 m the highest summit of the Alps. It is located in France , Italy , and Switzerland...

 is popular for mountaineering
Mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

, hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

, skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

 and snowboarding
Snowboarding
Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set onto mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the U.S.A...

.

History



The first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc was on 8 August 1786 by 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....

 and the doctor Michel Paccard
Michel-Gabriel Paccard
thumb|Portrait of Michel Gabriel Paccard. Reproduced from an old portrait in the possession of M. J. P, Cachat, of Chamonix . From a photograph by Tairraz, of Chamonix...

. This climb, initiated by 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 gave a reward for the successful ascent, traditionally marks the start of modern mountaineering. The first woman to reach the summit was Marie Paradis
Marie Paradis
Marie Paradis was the first woman to reach the summit of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain of western Europe, on July 14, 1808....

 in 1808.

Now the summit is ascended by an average 20,000 mountaineer-tourists each year and could be considered an easy, yet long, ascent for someone who is well trained and used to the altitude. This impression is reinforced by the fact that from l'Aiguille du Midi
Aiguille du Midi
The Aiguille du Midi is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps.The cable car to the summit, the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi, was built in 1955 and held the title of the world's highest cable car for about two decades. It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent...

 (where the cable car stops), Mont Blanc seems quite close, being merely 1000 m (3,280.8 ft) higher. Whilst seeming deceptively close, La Voie des 3 Monts route (known to be more technical and challenging than other more commonly used routes) requires much ascent and descent before the final section of the climb is reached and the last 1000m push to the summit is undertaken.

However, every year the Mont Blanc massif takes many victims, and in peak weekends (normally around August) the local rescue service flies an average of 12 missions, mostly directed towards people in trouble on one of the normal routes of the mountain. There are courses that require knowledge of high-altitude mountaineering, a guide (or at least a veteran mountaineer), and proper equipment. It is a long course that includes delicate passages and the hazard of rock slides. Also, at least one night at the refuge is required to acclimatize to the altitude (the summit is almost 5 km (3.1 mi) above sea level); less could lead to altitude sickness
Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness , altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude...

 and possible death.

Ownership of the summit


Since the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 the issue of the ownership of the summit has spurred many debates. Previously, the entire mountain had formed part 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...

, one of the pre-unitarian Italian states . After Napoleon's victories in Italy, Piedmont was forced to cede Savoy
Savoy
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....

 and Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

 to France. In article 4 of this treaty it says: "The border between the Sardinian kingdom and the departments of the French Republic will be established on a line determined by the most advanced points on the Piedmont
Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

 side, of the summits, peaks of mountains and other locations subsequently mentioned, as well as the intermediary peaks, knowing: starting from the point where the borders of Faucigny
Faucigny
Faucigny is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.Historically, Faucigny was a region in Savoy which included the area of the modern département of Haute Savoie and the municipalities of Chamonix, Argentière, and Les Houches.-Geography:In the...

, the Duchy of Aoust
Duke of Aosta
In the mid-13th century the Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II made the County of Aosta a duchy; its arms were carried in the Savoyard coat-of-arms until the unification of Italy in 1870. The region remained part of Savoy lands, with the exception of a French occupation, 1539—1563...

 and the Valais
Valais
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

, to the extremity of the glaciers or the Monts-Maudits: first the peaks or plateaus of the Alps, to the rising edge of the Col-Mayor". This act is even more confusing, because it states that the border should be visible from the town of Chamonix
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...

 and Courmayeur
Courmayeur
Courmayeur is an Italian town and comune in the autonomous region of Aosta Valley, in northern Italy. It is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe, in the Graian Alps range, and is crossed by the Dora Baltea...

. The summit is not visible from Courmayeur, because part of the mountain lower down obscures it. After Napoleonic Wars and French occupation, with the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 the King of Sardinia was restored in Savoy, Nice and Piedmont, his traditional territories. Already inaccurate at the time the Treaty of Paris was no longer valid. Forty-five years later, after the Second Italian War of Independence
Second Italian War of Independence
The Second War of Italian Independence, Franco-Austrian War, Austro-Sardinian War, or Austro-Piedmontese War , was fought by Napoleon III of France and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia against the Austrian Empire in 1859...

, it was replaced by a new legal act. This act
Treaty of Turin
The Treaty of Turin concluded on March 24, 1860 is the instrument by which the Duchy of Savoy and the County of Nice were annexed to France.-Background:...

 was signed in Turin
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...

 on 24 March 1860 by Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, and deals with the annexation of Savoy
Savoy
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....

 (following the French neutrality for the plebiscits held in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna to join the Kingdom of Sardinia, against the Pope's will). For the first time, with the consent of the king of Sardinia, the Mont Blanc is located on the border with France. A demarcation agreement, signed on 7 March 1861, defines the "new border". Currently this act and the maps attached is still legally valid both for the French Government that the Italian one . One of the prints from the Sarde Atlas, made in 1823 and positions the border exactly on the summit edge of the mountain (and measures it to be 4804 m (15,761.2 ft) high). The convention of 7 March 1861 recognises this through an attached map, taking into consideration the limits of the massif, and drawing the border on the icecap of the Mont Blanc, and therefore makes it both French and Italian. Watershed analysis of modern topographic mapping not only places the main summit on the border, but also suggests that the border should follow a line northwards from the main summit towards Mont Maudit
Mont Maudit
Mont Maudit is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in France and Italy. Until the end of the 18th century, Mont Blanc and its satellite peaks were collectively known in French as the Montagne Maudite....

, leaving the south east ridge to Mont Blanc de Courmayeur
Mont Blanc de Courmayeur
Mont Blanc de Courmayeur , in the Italian part of the Mont Blanc massif, is the second-highest peak in the Alps....

 wholly within Italy. Despite the fact that the Franco-Italian border was redefined in both 1947 and 1963, the commission made up of both Italians and French ignored the Mont Blanc issue.

Vallot cabin


The first real scientific investigations on the summit were conducted by the botanist-meteorologist Joseph Vallot at the end of the 19th century. He wanted to stay near the top of the summit, so he had to build his own permanent cabin.

Janssen observatory


In 1891, Pierre Janssen, a scientific academic, envisaged the construction of an observatory at the summit of Mont Blanc. Gustave Eiffel
Gustave Eiffel
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a French structural engineer from the École Centrale Paris, an architect, an entrepreneur and a specialist of metallic structures...

 agreed to take on the project, provided he could find strong foundations. The Swiss surveyor Imfeld dug down 15 m (49.2 ft) but found nothing solid, so Eiffel gave up.

Despite this, the observatory was built in 1893.
During the cold wave of January 1893 a temperature of -43 °C was recorded on Mont Blanc, being the lowest ever recorded there.

Levers attached to the ice supported the observatory. This worked to some extent until 1906, when the building started leaning heavily. The movement of the levers corrected the lean slightly, but three years later (two years after Janssen’s death) a crevasse started opening under the observatory and it was abandoned. Eventually the building fell, and only the tower could be saved in extremis.

Air crashes


The mountain was the scene of two fatal air crashes of Air India Flight 245
Air India Flight 245
Air India Flight 245 was a scheduled Air India passenger flight that crashed into Mont Blanc, France, on 3 November 1950. On the morning of 3 November 1950, Air India Flight 245, flown by the Lockheed L-749A Constellation Malabar Princess , carried 40 passengers and 8 crew on the route...

 in 1950 and Air India Flight 101
Air India Flight 101
Air India Flight 101 was a scheduled Air India passenger flight that crashed into Mont Blanc in France on the morning of 24 January 1966.-Accident:...

 in 1966. Both planes were approaching Geneva airport
Geneva Cointrin International Airport
Geneva International Airport , commonly known as Cointrin Airport, is an airport serving Geneva, Switzerland. It is located northwest of the city centre and has direct connections to motorways, bus lines and railways . Its northern limit runs along the Swiss-French border and the airport can be...

 and the pilots miscalculated their descent; 48 and 117 people, respectively, died.

Elevation


The summit of Mont Blanc is a thick, perennial ice and snow dome whose thickness varies, so no exact and permanent summit elevation can be determined. But accurate measurements have been made.
For a long time its official elevation was 4807 m (15,771 ft). Then in 2002, the IGN
Institut géographique national (France)
This article is about the French Institut Géographique National; for the similar Belgian institution also called Institut Géographique National see Nationaal Geografisch Instituut - Institut Géographique National...

 and expert surveyors, with the aid of GPS technology, measured it to be 4810.4 metre.

After the 2003 heatwave in Europe, a team of scientists re-measured the height on 6 and 7 September. The team was made up of the glaciologist Luc Moreau, two surveyors from the GPS Company, three people from the IGN
Institut géographique national (France)
This article is about the French Institut Géographique National; for the similar Belgian institution also called Institut Géographique National see Nationaal Geografisch Instituut - Institut Géographique National...

, seven expert surveyors, four mountain guides from Chamonix
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...

 and Saint-Gervais
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.The village is best known for tourism, and has been a popular holiday destination because of its beauty and location since the Early 1900's....

 and four students from various institutes in France. This team noted that the elevation was 4808.45 metre, and the peak was 75 centimetres (29.5 in) away from where it had been in 2002.

After these results were published, more than 500 points were measured, to assess the effects of climate change, and the fluctuations in the height of the mountain at different points. From then on the elevation of the mountain has been measured every two years.

The interpretation that the heatwave had caused this fluctuation is disputed, because the heatwave is known not to have significantly affected the glaciers above 4000 m (13,123.4 ft). The height and position of the summit could have been moved by general glacial forces. At this elevation, the temperatures rarely rise above 0 °C (32 °F). During the summer of 2003, the temperature rose to 2 °C (35.6 °F), and even 3 °C (37.4 °F), but this would not have been enough for the ice, which stayed at -15 °C, to melt.

The summit was measured again in 2005, and the results were published on 16 December 2005. The height was found to be 4808.75 metre, 30 cm (11.8 in) more than the previous recorded height. The actual rock summit was found to be at 4792 m (15,721.8 ft), some 40 m (131.2 ft) away from the ice-covered summit.

In 2007 the summit was measured at 4810.9 m (15,784 ft), and in 2009 at 4810.45 m (15,782 ft).

Climbing routes



Blanc Massif averages nearly 100 fatalities a year with published estimate of 6000-8000 alpinist fatalities in total. (The High Mountains of the Alps, Dumler, 1994). There are several classic climbing routes to the summit of Mont Blanc:
  • The most popular route is the Voie Des Cristalliers, also known as the Voie Royale. Starting from Saint-Gervais-les-Bains
    Saint-Gervais-les-Bains
    Saint-Gervais-les-Bains is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.The village is best known for tourism, and has been a popular holiday destination because of its beauty and location since the Early 1900's....

     the Tramway du Mont-Blanc (TMB)
    Mont Blanc Tramway
    The Mont Blanc Tramway or Tramway du Mont-Blanc is a mountain railway line in the Haute-Savoie department of France.The spectacular views of Mont Blanc provided by the tramway make it very popular with tourists...

     is taken to get to the Nid d'Aigle. The ascent then begins in the direction of the Refuge de Tête Rousse
    Refuge de Tête Rousse
    The Refuge de Tête Rousse is a refuge in the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps....

     and then through the Goûter Corridor, considered dangerous because of frequent rock-falls, leading to Goûter cabin for night shelter. The next day the route leads to the Dôme du Goûter
    Dôme du Goûter
    The Dôme du Goûter is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif. It is a shoulder of Mont Blanc, whose summit lies two kilometres to the south-east...

    , the Vallot cabin and L'arrête des Bosses.

  • La Voie des 3 Monts is also known as La Traversée. Starting from Chamonix
    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...

    , the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi is taken towards the Col du Midi. The Cosmiques cabin is used to spend the night. The next day the ascent continues through Mont Blanc du Tacul
    Mont Blanc du Tacul
    Mont Blanc du Tacul is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif of the French Alps situated midway between the Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc....

     and Mont Maudit
    Mont Maudit
    Mont Maudit is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in France and Italy. Until the end of the 18th century, Mont Blanc and its satellite peaks were collectively known in French as the Montagne Maudite....

    .

  • The historic itinerary through the Grand Mulets, which is most frequently traversed in winter by ski or in summer to descend to Chamonix.

  • The normal Italian itinerary is also known as La route des Aiguilles Grises. After crossing the Miage Glacier
    Miage Glacier
    The Miage Glacier is a debris-covered glacier in northwestern Italy. It is situated on the southwest flank of the Mont Blanc massif, flowing from Col de Bionnassay into Val Veny. At around in length, it is Italy's longest glacier and also the largest debris-covered glacier in Europe...

    , the night is spent at the Gonella cabin. The next day proceeds through the Col des Aiguilles Grises and then the Dôme du Goûter, concluding at L'arête des Bosses.

  • The Miage — Bionnassay — Mont Blanc crossing is usually done in three days. The route begins from Contamines-Montjoie, with the night spent in the Conscrits cabin. The following day, the Dômes de Miages is crossed and the night spent at the Durier cabin. The third day proceeds through l'Aiguille de Bionnassay and then the Dôme du Goûter.


From the summit of Mont Blanc on a clear day, the Jura
Jura mountains
The Jura Mountains are a small mountain range located north of the Alps, separating the Rhine and Rhone rivers and forming part of the watershed of each...

, the Vosges
Vosges mountains
For the department of France of the same name, see Vosges.The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. They extend along the west side of the Rhine valley in a northnortheast direction, mainly from Belfort to Saverne...

, the Black Forest
Black Forest
The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres ....

 and the Massif Central
Massif Central
The Massif Central is an elevated region in south-central France, consisting of mountains and plateaux....

 mountain ranges can be seen, as well as the principal summits of the Alps.

Exploits


  • Mont Blanc was first climbed in 1786 by Michel-Gabriel Paccard
    Michel-Gabriel Paccard
    thumb|Portrait of Michel Gabriel Paccard. Reproduced from an old portrait in the possession of M. J. P, Cachat, of Chamonix . From a photograph by Tairraz, of Chamonix...

     and 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....

    ; see Exploration of the High Alps
    Exploration of the High Alps
    The higher region of the Alps were long left to the exclusiveattention of the men of the adjoining valleys, even when Alpine travellers began to visit these valleys. It is reckoned that about 20 glacier passes were certainly known before 1600, about 25 more before 1700, and yet another 20 before...

    .
  • The fourth ascent in 1787, by Englishman Mark Beaufoy
    Mark Beaufoy
    thumb|right|An engraving of Mark Beaufoy, by Valentine GreenColonel Mark Beaufoy FRS was an English astronomer and physicist, mountaineer, explorer and British Army officer...

    , with at least six guides and a servant.
  • The first woman to climb the mountain was Maria Paradis
    Maria Paradis
    Maria Paradis was the first woman to climb Mont Blanc.Paradis was a poor maidservant who lived in Chamonix. On 14 July 1808, in the company of renowned mountain guide Jacques Balmat , she became the first woman to climb Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain...

     in July 1808, with Balmat as her guide; Henriette d'Angeville
    Henriette d'Angeville
    Henriette d'Angeville was the second woman to climb Mont Blanc.-Biography:Henriette d'Angeville was a descendant of a French aristocratic family. After the French Revolution, her father was imprisoned and her grandfather executed, and the family moved to Bugey in the Rhône-Alpes region...

     was the second woman on the summit, in 1838.
  • In 1886, future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

     led an expedition to the peak.
  • In 1890, Giovenni Bonin, Luigi Grasselli and Fr. Achille Ratti (later Pope Pius XI
    Pope Pius XI
    Pope Pius XI , born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was Pope from 6 February 1922, and sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929 until his death on 10 February 1939...

    ) discovered the normal Italian route (West Face Direct) on descent.
  • In 1960, the airplane pilot Henri Giraud landed on the summit, which is only 30 m (98.4 ft) long.
  • In 1990, the Swiss
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

     Pierre-André Gobet, leaving from Chamonix
    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...

    , completed the ascent and descent in 5 hours, 10 minutes and 14 seconds.
  • On 30 May 2003, Stéphane Brosse
    Stéphane Brosse
    Stéphane Brosse is a French ski mountaineer.Brosse was born in Pont de Beauvoisin. He started ski mountaineering in 1990 and competed the first time at the Miage Contamines Somfy race in 1995. In 1996 he became member of the national team. Together with Pierre Gignoux also has hold the for the...

     and Pierre Gignoux
    Pierre Gignoux
    Pierre Gignoux is a French ski mountaineer.Gignoux was born in Grenoble and competed first in the Trans Mont Blanc race in 1994. Since 1995 he has been member of the French national team....

     tried to beat the record by ski-walking. They went up in 4 hours and 7 minutes, and came back down in 1 hour and 8 minutes. In total they did the ascent and descent in 5 hours and 15 minutes.
  • On 13 August 2003 seven French
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     paraglider pilots landed on the summit. They reached a peak altitude of 5200 m (17,060.4 ft), thanks to the hot weather conditions, which provided strong hot air currents. Five had left from Planpraz, one from Rochebrune
    Rochebrune, Hautes-Alpes
    Rochebrune is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France.-Population:-References:*...

     at Megève
    Megève
    Megève is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.Megève is a famous ski resort near the Mont-Blanc in the French Alps...

     and the last one from Samoëns
    Samoëns
    Samoëns is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.The village of Samoëns is located in the Vallée du Giffre in the French Alps and carries the designation of a "ville fleurie" distinguishing it as one of the most beautiful towns in France...

    .
  • On 8 June 2007, Danish artist Marco Evaristti
    Marco Evaristti
    Marco Evaristti , is an artist who has lived in Denmark since the 1980s.After studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Evaristti gained notoriety for a museum display entitled Helena in 2000 that featured ten functional blenders containing live goldfish...

     draped the peak of Mont Blanc with red fabric, along with a 20 feet (6.1 m) pole with a flag reading "Pink State". He was arrested and detained earlier on June 6 for attempting to paint a pass leading up to the summit red. His aim was to raise awareness of environmental degradation.
  • On 13 September 2007, a group of 20 people set up a hot tub at the summit.
  • On 29 May 2009, Olympic snowboarding
    Snowboarding
    Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set onto mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the U.S.A...

     gold medalist Karine Ruby
    Karine Ruby
    Karine Ruby was a French snowboarder and Olympic champion. She won a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano...

     and a companion were killed; she and some members of her group fell into a deep crack in the glacier on the way down the mountain. Ruby was training to become a mountain guide.

Cinema and television

  • La Terre, son visage, is a documentary by Jean-Luc Prévost and published by Édition Société national de télévision française, released in 1984. It is part of the Haroun Tazieff raconte sa terre, vol. 1 series. In it he talks about the west-east crossing of Mont Blanc.
  • The film Malabar Princess.
  • The television-film Premier de cordée.
  • Stürme über dem Mont Blanc (Storm Over Mont Blanc, 1930) with Leni Riefenstahl
    Leni Riefenstahl
    Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl was a German film director, actress and dancer widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens , a propaganda film made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party...

     and directed by Arnold Fanck
    Arnold Fanck
    Arnold Fanck was a pioneer of the German mountain film....

    .
  • La Roue
    La Roue
    La Roue is a French silent film, directed by Abel Gance, who also directed Napoléon and J'accuse!. It was released in 1923. Originally 32 reels in length , the current reconstruction runs 20 reels...

     (The Wheel
    The Wheel
    The Wheel is an album by singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash. Most of the songs on the album reflected Cash's feelings on embarking on a new relationship after the dissolution of her marriage to Rodney Crowell...

    , 1923) is a 273-minute film by Abel Gance
    Abel Gance
    Abel Gance was a French film director and producer, writer and actor. He is best known for three major silent films: J'accuse , La Roue , and the monumental Napoléon .-Early life:...

     depicting rail operations, workers, and families in southeastern France, including the Mont Blanc area.

Literature

  • Premier de cordée by Roger Frison-Roche
  • Hugo et le Mont Blanc by Colette Cosnie – Édition Guérin
  • Hymn Before Sunrise, in the Vale of Chamouni by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...

  • Frankenstein
    Frankenstein
    Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

     by Mary Shelley
    Mary Shelley
    Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus . She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley...

  • Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc (poem)
    "Mont Blanc: Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouni" is an ode by the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The poem was composed between 22 July 1816 and 29 August 1816 during Percy Shelley's journey to the Chamonix Valley, and intended to reflect the scenery through which he travelled...

     by Percy Shelley
  • Point Blanc
    Point Blanc
    Point Blanc is the second book in the Alex Rider series, written by British author Anthony Horowitz...

     by Anthony Horowitz
    Anthony Horowitz
    Anthony Craig Horowitz is an English novelist and screenwriter. He has written many children's novels, including The Power of Five, Alex Rider and The Diamond Brothers series and has written over fifty books. He has also written extensively for television, adapting many of Agatha Christie's...

  • The Prelude
    The Prelude
    The Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind is an autobiographical, "philosophical" poem in blank verse by the English poet William Wordsworth. Wordsworth wrote the first version of the poem when he was 28, and worked over the rest of it for his long life without publishing it...

     Book VI by William Wordsworth
  • Kordian by Juliusz Słowacki
  • Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer
    Jon Krakauer
    Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, primarily known for his writing about the outdoors and mountain-climbing...

  • Running Water by AEW Mason

Protection


The Mont Blanc massif is being put forward as a potential World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 because of its uniqueness and its cultural importance, considered the birthplace and symbol of modern mountaineering. It would require the three governments of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 to make a request to UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 for it to be listed.

Mont Blanc is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, and for this reason, some view it as threatened. Pro-Mont Blanc (an international collective of associations for the protection of Mont Blanc) published in 2002 the book Le versant noir du mont Blanc (The black hillside of Mont Blanc), which exposes current and future problems in conserving the site.

In 2007, Europe's highest outhouses (two) were helicoptered to the top of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

's Mont Blanc at a height of 4,260 metres (13,976 feet). The dunny-cans are emptied by helicopter. The facilities will service 30,000 skiers and hikers annually; thus helping to alleviate the deposit of urine and feces that spread down the mountain face with the spring thaw, and turned it into 'Mont Noir'.

See also

  • Exploration of the High Alps
    Exploration of the High Alps
    The higher region of the Alps were long left to the exclusiveattention of the men of the adjoining valleys, even when Alpine travellers began to visit these valleys. It is reckoned that about 20 glacier passes were certainly known before 1600, about 25 more before 1700, and yet another 20 before...

  • Haute Route
    Haute Route
    The Haute Route, is the name given to a route undertaken on foot or by ski touring between Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland....

  • List of mountains
  • Mons Blanc
    Mons Blanc
    Mons Blanc is the tallest mountain in the Montes Alpes range on the Moon at 3.6 kilometers in height. It is located at and is about 25 kilometers in diameter. The mountain was named after Mont Blanc, a mountain in the Alps on Earth....

  • Mont Blanc massif
    Mont Blanc Massif
    The Mont Blanc massif is a mountain range in the western Alps. It is named after Mont Blanc, at 4,810.45 m the highest summit of the Alps. It is located in France , Italy , and Switzerland...

  • Mont Blanc Tramway
    Mont Blanc Tramway
    The Mont Blanc Tramway or Tramway du Mont-Blanc is a mountain railway line in the Haute-Savoie department of France.The spectacular views of Mont Blanc provided by the tramway make it very popular with tourists...

  • Mont Blanc Tunnel
    Mont Blanc Tunnel
    The Mont Blanc Tunnel is a road tunnel in the Alps under the Mont Blanc mountain, linking Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France , and Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy . It is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes, particularly for Italy, which relies on the tunnel for transporting as much as...

  • Tour du Mont Blanc
    Tour du Mont Blanc
    The Tour du Mont Blanc or TMB is one of the most popular long distance walks in Europe. It circles the Mont Blanc Massif covering a distance of roughly 170 km with 10 km of ascent/descent and passes through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France.It is considered one of the classic long...

  • Mont Blanc glacier flood
    Mont Blanc glacier flood
    The Mont Blanc glacier flood was a damaging flood near Mont Blanc, France, that occurred in 1892. In the disaster, a subterranean glacial lake burst from beneath the Tête Rousse glacier on the mountain and flooded the Saint Gervais valley, killing 175 people....


External links