Welcome to 1865 and the Golden Age of Mountaineering

Throughout the summer of 2015, Chamonix Mont-Blanc will be celebrating the 150th anniversary 1865; an eventful year when the Golden Age of mountaineering (1854–1865) reached its climax.  Affiche 1865 GB

The Alps had become the “playground of Europe” for a mountaineering elite.  This intense period of exploration and adventure was pioneered by the Victorians, along with their invaluable Swiss and Savoyard guides.

1865 was immortalized by 65 first ascents across the Alps and 7 in the Mont-Blanc Massif including the Aiguille Verte, the Grandes Jorasses and the remarkable Brenva Spur on Mont-Blanc!

The terrible accident on the Matterhorn on 14th July, where 3 English climbers and the Chamonix guide, Michel Croz, perished, brought a tragic end to a glorious and somewhat carefree campaign.

In 2015, the Chamonix Valley will pay tribute to the mountaineers, guides and artists of the Golden Age, through an ambitious programme of exhibitions, memorial climbs, events, films, conferences and book publications. We will have the privilege of exhibiting the “treasures” of the Alpine Club collection and also private collections which will go on show for the very first time.

Through this celebraton of the Golden Age of Alpinism, the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley wishes to:

  • Publicize exceptional collections of mountain art, photography and literature through exclusive exhibitions.
  • Highlight  alpine style climbing in 1865 and its heritage in 2015
  • Pay tribute  to both guides and alpinists of the Golden Age : their remarkable feats of bravery, endurance and audacity; their exaltation of the mountains and lifelong friendships.
  • Federate the French, Swiss and Italian communes through joint publications and communication : Chamonix, Courmayeur, Grindelwald, Valtournenche, Zermatt