From July to October 2015, the Chamonix Valley will offer visitors a variety of events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of 1865


Michel Croz

Michel Croz

July 11 – 12 : Place du Mont-Blanc – Chamonix Climbing World Cup Speed and dificulty championships, Paraclimbing.  Open air screening of mountain films

July 13 :  Place du Mont Blanc – French National Day festivities Musical entertainment and firework display

July 17 : Argentière - In Memory of Michel Croz  20h: Traditional music with the Kinkerne and the Guides’ choir

21h30: Theatrical sound and light show in memory of Chamonix guide Michel Croz, victor and victim of the Matterhorn on July 14 1865. Performed by Françoise Sliwka, Elisabeth Croz, la Kinkerne

August 12 to 15 : Mountain guides’ festival. A timeless tribute to guides and alpinists: activities for all the family, demonstrations, music, traditional ceremonies in Argentière and Chamonix.

August 26: Place du Triangle de l’Amitié, 18h à 19h30Free concert - La Tournée des Refuges. World Music,


The English in Savoy
Saturday 27th June
By Yves Connac, active member of the Acadamy Florimontane.
Salle du Bicentenaire at 18h30. Organised by Les Amis du Vieux Chamonix. Admission free.

The Clubhouse - Zermatt par Whymper © Alpine Club

The Clubhouse  par Whymper Coll.  Alpine Club

The Alpine Club –  world’s first mountaineering club
Thursday 9th July (English spoken)
by Hywel Lloyd, Chairman of the Alpine Club Library Council. Salle du Bicentenaire at 20h. Admission free.

James David Forbes, pionnier of alpinism Thursday 16th July
by Reine-Marie Faure, Géographe
Salle du Bicentenaire at 18h30. Organised by Les Amis du Vieux Chamonix. Admission free.

Albert Smith, The Cockney Who Sold Mont Blanc      1865_Conférence24juillet
Friday 24th July (English spoken)
by Alan McNee, author of Albert Smith’s biography          Salle du Bicentenaire at 18h30. Admission free.
Alan McNee’s book The Cockney Who Sold Mont Blanc is a biography of Albert Smith, an important but neglected figure who helped to popularize Alpine mountaineering and tourism through his stage show ‘The Ascent of Mont Blanc’, which ran in London during the 1850s.
As well as climbing Mont Blanc and putting on one of the most popular and successful shows of the century, Smith also survived balloon accidents and highway robberies, was an early contributor to Punch, wrote about his travels in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and was a friend of Charles Dickens and other Victorian luminaries. As part of his research for the book, McNee travelled to Chamonix and climbed Mont Blanc, to compare the experience now with Smith’s 1851 feat. He will be speaking about Albert Smith’s influence on the history of mountaineering and Alpine tourism, and his role promoting Chamonix to British visitors in the nineteenth century.

1865 : Matterhorn, the perfect summit
Thursday 30th July
Conquests on the Matterhorn by leading contemporary alpinists
Majestic Hall at 20h30. Admission free.

Henri Vallot 1853-1922 surveyor of Mont Blanc

Wednesday 5th August
by Madame Lagarde-Fouquet.
Salle du Bicentenaire at 18h30. Admission free.

Whymper and theodolite (1)

Edward Whymper

The life of Edward Whymper
Friday 7th August (English spoken)
by Ian Smith, author of Shadow of the Matterhorn.
Salle du Bicentenaire at 18h30. Admission free.
Edward Whymper – who was he? I will look at Whymper’s 1865 climbs – Grandes Jorasses, Col Dolent, Aiguille Verte, Matterhorn – and their significance, then talk about who Whymper was, where he came from and his family. Something about his work as an engraver and book illustrator, his travels in Greenland and Ecuador, then finish with a look at how the Matterhorn disaster affected him and how it shaped his life.

And alpinism today ? Conference postponed until September – date TBC
Tuesday 11th August
by Gilles Modica, Claude Gardien, les éditions Guérin et la Cie des Guides.
Le Majestic at 20h30. Admission free.

The triumph of contemplation, Ruskin’s viewpoint
Tuesday 18th August
by Emma Sdegno, professeur at Ca’Foscari university of Venice ; André Hélard, author of several essays about John Ruskin ;  Claude Reichler, honorary professor at Lausanne university.
Salle du Bicentenaire at 18h30. Organised by Les Amis du Vieux Chamonix. Admission free.

Women Climbers 1850 – 1900                                                Lucy Walker
Friday 4th September (English spoken).
by Clare Roche, of Birkbeck, University of London.                       Salle du Bicentenaire at 18h30. Admission free.
Most people are familiar with the idea of the ‘Golden Age’  of mountaineering. However, it was implicitly male  and  many are unaware of women’s achievements  both at that time and in the years immediately following. This talk considers both the extent and the qualitative nature of women’s alpine climbing and their place within the mountaineering community as well as wider society in the nineteenth century. As will be seen women alpinists had their own defining decades.

For Seasons with the Zitte Family

Friday 3nd July Argentière – Salle Communale
Saturday 25th July Servoz – Salle Jean-Morel
Friday 21st July Chamonix – Salle du Bicentenaire
Saturday 19th September LesHouches – Salle Olca