Mont Blanc's First Ascent

Introduction

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The Ascent of Mont Blanc

The Ascent of Mont Blanc
The Ascent of Mont Blanc | Source

The Mont Blanc Story

Today is August 8, 2015. On August 8, 1786, Mont Blanc was conquered. Mont here refers to ‘Mount’ in English, but since The Alps is a European Mountain range, it deserves a European name. It has a pinch of English too, but we are not going to brag too much about it.

But why is Mont Blanc important? Why did it have to be conquered? Most people talk about conquering Mount Everest, and that is what children are taught about in history books as well. You can find a lot about Mount Everest on Google, and it is definitely one of the most dangerous peaks in the world.

But Mont Blanc is something most of us have not even heard about, unless you are near the place, or you belong to Europe. We have learnt about The Alps, but not about Mont Blanc.

On this day in 1786, Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard conquered Mont Blanc. But they did not do it for fun. They wanted fame and fortune. That’s the reason why you are reading about them today. For every story in history’s books, there is always a ‘man behind the scene’.

Likewise, we have one for Mont Blanc. His name was Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (do not ask me how to pronounce it). This man was a scientist who was fascinated by nature. He wanted to climb Mont Blanc, but he was not successful. In today’s terms, we could say that it was an ‘epic fail’ for him.

Hence, he announced a reward for the person who climbed Mont Blanc. Many climbers rushed to claim the peak, but it was not easy at all. This story is written in detail in a book called the The Summits of Modern Man.

After climbing Mont Blanc, Balmat did not stop. He tried to reach greater heights. Balmat’s last climb when he was reportedly hunting for gold in the Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, known in English as the Sixt Valley.

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