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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
Map of the Glaciers of the Oberland
Melchior Anderegg
View of the Trift Pass from the Gornergrat
Near Courmayeur Cloud Streamers
Cloud-burst over Lucerne
Castello Pietra, Primiero
Mountains and Glaciers of Baines
The Aletschhorn
We encamp in a snow storm
Title Page
View to the North
Moonlight in the Val Formazzafrom the Tosa Falls
Geological Map of the District of Predazzo, St. Cassian and the Seisser Alp
The Chateau of Henri Quatre at Pau
Amsteg in the Reussthal
Cascade of Lutour, as seen from the Bath of La Ralliere
Weisshorn and Matterhorn from Fiescheralp
The Weisshorn from near St. Niklaus
Pallanza - Sunset
Aiguille Verte and Aiguille du Dru from the Chamonix Valley
Storm Clouds over the Lake of Thun
Monte Viso from the Col de la Croix
The Gorge of the Inn, known as the Charnadura Gorge
Piz della Margna from Crestalta
The Rosegg Glacier
Map of the Glaciers of the Ymesfield in Lat. 60', 40'
The Castle of Zahringen-Kyburg, Thun
Sketch Map Showing the Course of the Glaciers of Snowden and It's Neighbourhood
Grindelwald looking towards the Wengen Alp
The Matterhorn, Twilight
Lower Glacier and Grindelwald Church
A Torrent Val Tournanche
Crevasses on the Mer de Grace
Title Page
The Doldenhorn from the Oeschinenalp
Qvenanger Tinderne
The Gorner Glacier
Sunrise on Cresta, Celerina, and Samaden
Map of the South Eastern Alps Showing the Routes Followed by the Authors
Doldenhorn - Group from Kandersteg
Val Fex
At Bignasco
Distant Mountains of the Pyrenees as seen from Villeneuve de Marsan
Klosters with Kanarthorn and Weisshorn
The Jungfrau from the Glacier of Aletsch
Cascades & Village of Grip
The Palu Glacier
A Mountain Path, Grindelwald
Back Cover
Cascades and Circle of Gavarnie
Rafte Sund Lofodden
At Meiringen
Piz Albana and Piz Julier in Winter
Piz Bernina and the Morteratsch Glacier
The Matterhorn from the Riffelberg
The Corpus Christi Procession to the Hofkirche of St. Leodegar
The Castle and part of the Valley of Luz
Illustrated Title Page
Erster Upsrung des Hinter Rheins
Lago di Cavloccio
Our camp ascending the snow fields
The Opening of the Val de Tignes
In a Garden at Locarno
A Corner of the Town of Altdorf
Mont Blanc from above Finhaut
Church and Village of Gavarnie
Nursyng and Pundeem from Soubahgoom - Evening
Title Page
Asconia - on Lago Maggiore
Title Page
Chatillon, Val d'Aosta
Map Range of Mont Blanc
The Lyskamm
Pilatus and Lake of Lucerne from the Slopes of the Rigi
The Gletscherhorn from the Pavilion, Hotel Cathrein, close to Concordia Hut
Lago di Bitabergo
The Castle of Chillon
Title Page
Lucerne and Lake from the Drei Linden
General View of Rosengarten Gebirge from the Sasso di Damm, Fassa Thal
Marjelen Alp
Deodunga, Mt. Everest - Sunrise
The "Schnapsfluh"
The Wetterhorn
Back Cover
Maloja from the Road to Isola
Karte des Hochgebirge von Grindelwald
The "Leiterfluhli"
The Castle of Lourdes
Map of Sikkim showing the Great Kinchinjunga Group
Ponte Brolla
Vitznau and Lake of Lucerne
Bern from the North-West
The Blumlisalp from the Oeschinengrat


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


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