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Item #: OP1723-597
MONT BLANC MASSIF: THE 100 FINEST ROUTES Gaston Rebuffat 1975 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By Rebuffat, Gaston
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London or New York, 1975, 1st edition. 239 pp, 100+ photos (89 in color), topos, maps, mapped end papers. Large format hardcover with slightly chipped dust jacket. Near Fine overall.

Considered to be the most beautiful Alpine guidebook. A true celebration of the Mont Blanc Range. The definitive hard backed ' inspirational' guide to the Mont Blanc area, illustrated throughout, The internationally renowned Gaston Rébuffat here provides an outstandingly comprehensive step-by-step description of his 100 finest climbing routes in the Mont Blanc massif. The author begins by taking the reader up the fairly simple routes, such as the traverse from the Clocher to the Clochetons de Planpraz and the South-East aréte of the Aiguille de I Index, gradually progresses to the more difficult routes of the Gervasutti Couloir on Mont Blanc du Tacul and the Hirondelles aréte on the Grandes Jorasses, and finally climaxes in the superb climbs on the Droites North Face and the Central Pillar of Fréney on Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc is the culminating point (15,782 ft.) of the mountain range of the same name, which forms part of the Pennine Alps, and is divided unequally between France, Italy and Switzerland. The actual highest summit is wholly French and is the loftiest peak in the Alps, and in Europe also, if certain peaks in the Caucasus be excluded. At Geneva the mountain was in former days named the Montagne Maudite, but the present name seems to have been always used locally. On the north is the valley of Chamonix, and on the east the head of the valley of Aosta. Among the great glaciers which stream from the peak the most noteworthy are The Mer de Glace, Bossons and Taconnaz (northern slope) and of Brenva and Miage (southern slope).

The first ascent was made in 1786 by two Chamonix men, Jacques Balmat and Dr Michel Paccard, and the second in 1787 by Balmat with two local men. Later in 1787 H. B. de Saussure made the third ascent, memorable in many respects, and was followed a week later by Colonel Beaufoy, the first Englishman to gain the top. These ascents were all made from Chamonix, which is still the usual starting point, though routes have been forced up the peak from nearly every side, those on the Italian side being much steeper than that from Chamonix.

The ascent from Chamonix is now frequently made in summer (rarely in winter also), but, owing to the great height of the mountain, the view is unsatisfactory, though very extensive (Lyons is visible). In 1890 M. Vallot built an observatory and shelter hut (14,312 ft.) on the Bosses du Dromadaire (north-west ridge of the mountain), and in 1893 T. J. C. Janssen constructed an observatory just below the very summit.


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