The Info List - Jacques Balmat

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Jacques Balmat, called le Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
(1762–1834) was a mountaineer, a Savoyard mountain guide, born in the Chamonix
valley in Savoy, at this time part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. A chamois hunter and collector of crystals, Balmat completed the first ascent of Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
with physician Michel-Gabriel Paccard
Michel-Gabriel Paccard
on 8 August 1786. For this feat, King Victor Amadeus III gave him the honorary title le Mont Blanc. Balmat and Paccard's ascent of Mont Blanc
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."[1] Eric Shipton 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."[2] Gaston Rébuffat
Gaston Rébuffat
praised Balmat's climbing abilities, describing him as "This man, robust, resolute, this crystal hunter who, as it turns out, possesses an extraordinary mountaineering sense, an unerring instinct for the crevasses and seracs of the glaciers ..."[3] After the successful ascent, Balmat collected the reward offered 25 years before by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure
Horace-Bénédict de Saussure
to the first man who could climb Mont Blanc. On 3 August 1787 he assisted de Saussure himself to reach the summit with a party of about 17 people. During the Napoleonic Wars, Savoy
fell under French control, and Citizen Jacques Balmat
Jacques Balmat
became a member of the council of the commune. He led an unsuccessful attempt to introduce Merino
sheep into the Chamonix
valley.[4] Balmat was criticized for his autobiographical account of the climb, later published in English as Jacques Balmat
Jacques Balmat
or The First Ascent of Mont Blanc: A True Story,[5] since his account downplayed the role of Dr. Paccard. Milner describes Balmat's story as "cloudily romantic and largely fictional" and quotes four analysts of mountaineering history who discovered errors in Balmat's version of events.[1] Shipton describes Balmat as "boastful and conceited" and that "in character, he was both vain and mean. Success went to his head, and he soon began to amplify his part in the exploit."[6] Balmat died by falling off of a cliff while prospecting for gold in the Sixt valley in 1834.[5] References[edit]

^ a b Milner, C. Douglas (1955). Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
and the Aiguilles. London: Robert Hale Limited. p. 16.  ^ Shipton, Eric (1966). Mountain
Conquest. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co. p. 28.  ^ Rébuffat, Gaston (1975). The Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
Massif: The 100 Finest Routes. Translated by Jane Taylor; Colin Taylor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-19-519789-5.  ^ Milner, C. Douglas (1955). Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
and the Aiguilles. London: Robert Hale Limited. p. 28.  ^ a b Oxley, T. Louis (1881). Jacques Balmat
Jacques Balmat
or The First Ascent of Mont Blanc: A True Story. London: Kerry & Endean. Retrieved 30 November 2009.  ^ Shipton, Eric (1966). Mountain
Conquest. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co. pp. 21–28. 

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Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc


Argentière Chamonix Champex Courmayeur La Fouly Les Houches Montroc Les Praz Saint-Gervais-les-Bains Trient


Aiguille d'Argentière Aiguille de Bionnassay Aiguille de Blaitière Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey Aiguille du Chardonnet Aiguilles du Diable Aiguilles Dorées Aiguille du Dru Aiguille des Glaciers Aiguille du Goûter Aiguille des Grands Charmoz Aiguille des Grands Montets Aiguille du Grépon Aiguille du Jardin Aiguille du Midi Aiguille de l'A Neuve Aiguille Noire de Peuterey Aiguille du Pissoir Aiguille du Plan Aiguille de Rochefort Aiguille du Tour Aiguille de Tré la Tête Aiguille de Triolet Aiguille Verte La Breya Le Catogne Le Châtelet (Mont Blanc) Dent du Géant Dôme du Goûter Dôme de Rochefort Les Droites Le Génépi Grand Capucin Grand Darray Grand Pilier d'Angle Grande Lui Grande Pointe des Planereuses Grande Rocheuse Grandes Jorasses Mont Blanc Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
de Courmayeur Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
du Tacul Mont Brouillard Mont Dolent Mont Mallet Mont Maudit Pic Eccles Picco Luigi Amedeo Pointe Allobrogia Pointe Helbronner Pointe d'Orny Pointe des Plines Pointe Ronde Pointe Walker Le Portalet Punta Baretti Tita Neire Tour Noir Tour Ronde


Col Ferret Col des Montets


Argentière Bossons Mer de Glace Miage Saleina Tête Rousse Trient


Albert Premier A Neuve Argentière Cosmiques Couvercle Durier Elisabetta Francesco Gonella Grands Mulets Leschaux Mont-Blanc Plan de l'Aiguille Quintino Sella Tête Rousse Torino Tré la Tête Trient Saleina Vallot

Mountaineers (first or major ascents)

Allain Almer Anderegg (J.) Anderegg (M.) Balmat Blanchard Blodig Boivin Bonatti Bonington Boulaz Bristow Brown Burgener Cassin Charlet Clough Cordier (H.) Cordier (P.) Couzy Croz Dent Desmaison Destivelle Długosz Eccles Eckenstein Gabarrou Ghirardini Graham Brown Güssfeldt Harlin Heckmair Hemming Hudson Kennedy King Klucker Kuffner Kukuczka Kurtyka Lachenal Lafaille Lambert MacIntyre Maund Mazeaud Messner Middlemore Moore Mummery Paccard Paradis Patey Ratti Rébuffat Rey Robbins Roch Rouse de Saussure Smythe Stephen Terray Twight Vallençant Walker Whillans Whymper Winthrop Young


(river) Chemin de fer du Montenvers Giardino Botanico Alpino Saussurea Haute Route Marathon du Mont Blanc Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
glacier flood Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
Tramway Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
Tunnel Saint-Gervais–Vallorcine railway Skyway Monte Bianco Top of the Mont Blanc Tour du Mont Blanc Val d'Aosta Val Ferret Val Veny Vallée Blanche Aerial Tramway

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 40514132 LCCN: n88003903 ISNI: 0000 0000 3111 890X GND: 131654438 SUDOC: 02812314X BNF: cb12002048x (da