More than 200 years ago was born the mountaineering. At that time, scientific curiosity, and not the sporting ambitions, they pushed the man to climb mountains. Horase Benedict de Saussure, famous naturalist Genevan, offered a reward who will find a route that would allow access to the Summit of Mont Blanc in 1760. A young doctor from Chamonix, Michel-Gabriel Paccard, was one of the fans of this Summit of 4808 meters. For years he noted Mont Blanc and, on August 7, 1786, he starts with his friend Jacques Balmat, guide and glazier. They installed a first bivouac 2400 metres in height.
They carried with them some of bread, a few pieces of meat and cutlery; his scientific team was composed of a thermometer, a compass, a barometer, and a sort of primitive ice axe (basically a long stick with a metal tip at the end). Soon, the next morning, continued its ascent. They had no ladders, ropes or harnesses. In the area of the Jonction fell four times in the cracks in the glacier, but managed to recover. They crossed the Grand Plateau with deep snow zone, which took them almost to exhaustion. But the doctor Paccard was determined and convinced Balmat to continue. Paccard has to carve stairs on the ice with his ice axe, in an exposed step of 40 degrees of slope. Only they remained 350 metres to the top.
From Chamonix is followed with attention the progression of the two men, who manage to Crown the top a las 18 h 23. Cold (was – 8 c) and the wind freeze the fingers of the right hand of Paccard, in the same way that frozen meat that wore, making it inedible. They begin the descent shortly before sunset and thanks to the full moon reached the bivouac to 2400 metres. The two suffered from freezing in your hands and the doctor was almost blind due to the reverberation of the snow. On August 9 they were both back in their houses, unharmed. When Saussure learned that the peak had been conquered, he made an attempt to follow the path of Balmat and Paccard, but without success. The following year was It makes the task more seriously, making build two huts. In the end conquer the top with 18 porters and a servant. Alpinism was born. Original author and source of the article.