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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
The Severn Peaks of the Blumlisalp
The Village of Soldimo, at the Entrance of the Val Maggia
In the Val d'Aosta
The Grivola from near the Col Darbole
The Opening of the Val de Tignes
Our camp ascending the snow fields
Near Courmayeur Cloud Streamers
The Finsteraar Horn from the South-East
The Chateau of Henri Quatre at Pau
Illustrated Title Page
Sketch Map Showing the Course of the Glaciers of Snowden and It's Neighbourhood
Back Cover
The Matterhorn, Twilight
Val Fex
Title Page
The Matterhorn
Martinsloch and the Sgnes Pass from the South-East
Suphelle Glacier, Fjaerland
A Mountain Path, Grindelwald
Melchior Anderegg
The Dent Blanche from the Riffelberg
Bernese Alps from the Oldenhorn to the Wildstrubel
Zmutt-Gletscher am Fuss des Matterhorns
Front Cover
At Meiringen
Entrance to Saint Sauveur
View from the Chalets of Corbassiere looking South
Geological Map of the District of Predazzo, St. Cassian and the Seisser Alp
The Doldenhorn from the Oeschinenalp
Bern from the Schanzli
Map of Sikkim showing the Great Kinchinjunga Group
Cascade of Lutour, as seen from the Bath of La Ralliere
The Dent du Midi from the Valley of the Rhone
Moonlight in the Val Formazzafrom the Tosa Falls
Lucerne and Lake from the Drei Linden
Illustrated Title Page
Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau from Scherzligen, near Thun
The Glacier de Trient
Looking down the Aletsch Glacier from Concordia Hut
Pontresina from above Celerina
Valley of la Berarde Dauphine
Nursyng and Pundeem from Soubahgoom - Evening
Mont Blanc from above Finhaut
Alps of Glarus and Part of Neighbouring Cantons
Pilatus and Lake of Lucerne from the Slopes of the Rigi
Monte-Rosa von der Pedriolo Alpe [II]
Chatillon, Val d'Aosta
Cascade of L'Escoubous
Village of St Marie in the Valley of Campan
The Valley of Argeles
The "Leiterfluhli"
Marjelen Alp
Piz Bernina and the Morteratsch Glacier
Ponte Brolla
Nursyng from the Singaleelah Range
Bains de Loueche and Leuck Bad
Panorama from the Little Doldenhorn towards the East
The Blumlisalp from Kandersteg
Priory of St Paul, the Pic du Midi in the Distance
Illustrated Title Page
The Wetterhorn
Lago di Cavloccio
Cirque of the Croda Malcora, near Cortina
Title Page
Storm Clouds over the Lake of Thun
Church and Village of Gavarnie
Marjelen See and Great Aletsch Glacier
Fluelen at end of Lake of Uri, South Arm of Lake of Lucerne
The Defile leading to Gavarnie
Glaciers of the Nus Fiord
Bridge of Sia
Castello Pietra, Primiero
Map of Norway
Front Cover
Grindelwald looking towards the Wengen Alp
In the Val Bavona
Cascades and Circle of Gavarnie
Monte Civita and Lake and Village of Alleghe
Das Hochgebirge von Grindelwald
The Bridge over the Gave at Betharem
We encamp in a snow storm
The Jungfrau from the Glacier of Aletsch
The Pier at Seherzligen, Lake of Thun - Evening
Back Cover
Boden and Gorner
Front Cover
Qvenanger Tinderne
Junnoo from below Soubaboom
Cascades & Village of Grip
A Corner of the Town of Altdorf
The Corpus Christi Procession to the Hofkirche of St. Leodegar
View to the North
Kinchinjunga and Pundeem by Moonlight
The Castle of Lourdes


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


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