August 8, 2015
229th Anniversary of the first ascent of Mont Blanc
Capped by snow and shrouded in mist sits Mont Blanc, the highest point in the Alps. Its summit, forever white, towers 15,000+ feet above Europe’s sea level. Lord Byron called it “the monarch of mountains.” And for centuries, no human had ever reached its peak.
Until 1786. That year, armed only with alpenstocks and measuring equipment (the trek was for scientific purposes), Frenchmen Michel Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat set foot at the top. Now, 229 years later, thousands of hopeful hikers annually descend upon the Alpine towns of Chamonix, Saint-Gervais, and Courmayeur to recreate this exceptional feat, and take in this incredible view.
Today we celebrate Europe’s pioneering spirit, stunning landscapes, and one-of-a-kind landmarks including the incredible Mont Blanc.