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Mountaineering Collection

History Archive - Mountaineering Collection

The awakening of man's interest in mountains is chiefly due to Rousseau, though earlier writers, while approaching them as scientists, were also susceptible to their charm. This two-fold interest led Saussure to incite J. Balmat to find a way to the summit of Mont Blanc in 1786 and to accompany him thither in 1787. From that ascent alpinism is generally dated. In London in 1857 was formed the first Alpine Club to foster "the community of feeling amongst those who in the life of the High Alps have shared the same enjoyments, the same labours, and the same dangers." This idea, in a modified form, was taken up throughout Continental Europe and advocated with such enthusiasm that more than 100,000 persons of both sexes are now enrolled in the various alpine societies.

The largest of these are the German and Austrian (founded in 1862), about 55,000 members; Swiss (1863), 7000; Italian (1863), 54,000; and French (1874), 6000. In America three strong societies came into being: the Appalachian Mountain Club (q.v.) in Boston (1876), 1300 members; the Sierra Club (1892) in San Francisco, 800; and the 'Mazamas' (1894) in Portland, Ore. In these derivative societies eligibility is based upon a love of nature and of the mountain in particular rather than on alpinism proper, though most of them contain a contingent of expert climbers. The American Alpine Club (1902), with its home in Philadelphia, aims to revert to the original type, but adds to its field polar exploration and the study of glaciers.

Thus cultivated, Alpine climbing has attained almost to a science. Its principles are set forth in extended manuals, such as Dent's Mountaineering, Badminton Library (London, 1892). It has called into existence the class of professional guides—Swiss, Tyrolese, and Italian—whose skill far exceeds that of the best amateurs. Their aid, always expedient in tours above snow line, is indispensable in attacks upon giant peaks in distant lands, such as have frequently been made within recent times.

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List of Mountains


Consult: J. Forbes, Travels Through the Alps (Edinburgh, 1843); A. W. Moore, The Alps in 1864, from MS. copy (Edinburgh, 1902); J. Ball and E. S. Kennedy, Peaks, Passes, and Glaciers (London, 1859-62); G. Studer, Ueber Eis und Schnee (Bern, 1869-71); J. Tyndall, Mountaineering in 1861 (London, 1862); id., Hours of Exercise in the Alps (ib., 1871); L. Stephen, The Playground of Europe (ib., 1871); E. Whymper, Scrambles Among the Alps (ib., 1871): id., Travels in the Great Andes of the Equator (ib., 1892); C. T. Dent, Above the Snow-line (ib., 1885); Clarence King, Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada (Boston, 1886); W. M. Conway, Climbing in the Karaoram-Himalayas (London, 1894); id., The Alps from End to End (ib., 1895); id., The Bolivian Andes (New York, 1901); A. F. Mummery, My Climbs in the Alps and Caucasus (ib., 1895); E. A. Fitzgerald, Climbs in the New Zealand Alps (ib., 1896); id., The Highest Andes (ib., 1899); F. M. B. Workman, In the Ice World of the Himalaya (New York, 1898); C. E. Mathews, The Annals of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn (London, 1898); F. De Filippi, The Ascent of Mount Saint Elias (London, 1900); W. D. Wilcox, Camping in the Canadian Rockies (New York, 1900); J. N. Collie, Climbing in the Himalayas and Other Mountains (Edinburgh, 1902). For recent American mountaineering, consult Appalachia, vols, i.-ix. (Boston, 1876-1902), and Sierra Club Bulletin, vols. i.-iii. (San Francisco, 1893-1903).

The New International Encyclopaedia (1905)

Available Books


Image Name
Locarno from the Banks of the Lake
The Gorge of the Inn, known as the Charnadura Gorge
The Jungfrau from Interlaken
Map of Sikkim showing the Great Kinchinjunga Group
The Road from Vitznau to Gersau
Back Cover
Montreux, Lake of Geneva
The Lyskamm
Grindelwald looking towards the Wengen Alp
Thunderstorm breaking over Pallanza
In the Woods of Chamonix
Bains de Loueche and Leuck Bad
Monte-Rosa von der Pedriolo Alpe [I]
Panorama from the Little Doldenhorn towards the East
The Breitliorn from Schwarz See
Piz Bernina and the Morteratsch Glacier
Vitznau and Lake of Lucerne
Piz della Margna from Crestalta
The Doldenhorn from the Oeschinenalp
Monte Viso from the South
The Dent du Midi from near Champery
The Jungfrau from the Kleiner Scheidegg
Monte Civita and Lake and Village of Alleghe
The Dent du Midi from the Valley of the Rhone
The Cascade de Roget and the Pond de Salles
View from the Promenade at St Sauveur
Front Cover
The Ortler from the Stelvio Road
Storm coming up over Lake of Lucerne
A Mountain Path, Grindelwald
Our camp ascending the snow fields
Front Cover
Defile near the Bridge of Sia
The Pointe de Tenneverges from near Sixt
Melchior Anderegg
The Finsteraar Horn from the South-East
Looking down the Val Formazza from Tosa
The Aiguilles Verte and Du Dru from near Chamouni
Pallanza - Sunset
Sils Baselgia
The Chalet on the Bundalp
Geological Map of the District of Predazzo, St. Cassian and the Seisser Alp
The Trugberg
Asconia - on Lago Maggiore
Weisshorn and Matterhorn from Fiescheralp
Val Fex
Rafte Sund Lofodden
The Velan from near Aosta
The Summit of the Weisse Frau
The Gorner Glacier
Kranzberg - Rotthalhorn - and Jungfrau : Sunset
Mont Blanc from the Col Danterne
Sunrise on Cresta, Celerina, and Samaden
Cloud-burst over Lucerne
Front Cover
Priory of St Paul, the Pic du Midi in the Distance
Boden and Gorner
In the Val d'Aosta
Mont Blanc from above Finhaut
Das Hochgebirge von Grindelwald
Title Page
Map Range of Mont Blanc
The Dent Blanche from the Riffelberg
Ponte Brolla
Pallanza - Evening
The Langkofel and Plattkogel from the Seisser Alp
Ascent of the Schwarze Glacier
The Matterhorn
Chalets and Church. Riederalp
Village of Pierre-Fitte
The Castle of Zahringen-Kyburg, Thun
The Chateau of Henri Quatre at Pau
Haymakers in the Val Maggia
Distant Mountains of the Pyrenees as seen from Villeneuve de Marsan
Cirque of the Croda Malcora, near Cortina
Mountains near Folden Fiord
Karte des Hochgebirge von Grindelwald
Illustrated Title Page
Crevasses on the Mer de Grace
Junnoo from below Soubaboom
Locarno at Sunset, and North End of Lago Maggiore
The Grosser Aletsch-Firn from Concordia Hut
Sketch Map Showing the Course of the Glaciers of Snowden and It's Neighbourhood
Amsteg in the Reussthal
Sketch Map of the Engadine
Deodunga, Mt. Everest - Sunrise
Alps of Glarus and Part of Neighbouring Cantons
Monte Viso from the Col de la Croix
The Pier at Seherzligen, Lake of Thun - Evening
Mont Blanc and Glacier du Géant from the Jardin
The Castle and part of the Valley of Luz
Doldenhorn - Group from Kandersteg
The Rosegg Glacier
The Palu Glacier
Cascades and Circle of Gavarnie


Map Name
Norway and its Glaciers - Map of Norway (1853)
The Doldenhorn and Weisse Frau - Map of the Blumlisalp and Doldenhorn Group (1863)
Das Hochgebirge von Grindelwald - Karte des Hochgebirge von Grindelwald (1865)
The Dolomite Mountains - Map of the South Eastern Alps Showing the Routes Followed by the Authors (1864)
The Dolomite Mountains - Geological Map of the District of Predazzo, St. Cassian and the Seisser Alp (1864)


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