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Knowledge | The Story of the Kasumigana Row of Pikes and the Origins of Alpine Climbing

Every time you come to Kasumoni, a spectacular row of snow-capped mountains in front of your eyes, as if the steepled church formed by nature's land is sacrosanct, today we will share the story of that row of steeples. And also the history of human Alpine climbing. Maybe you haven't been here yet, or have been here many times, please stop when you arrive and stop to gaze at the slice of peaks, for greatness is condensed in them.

Des aguilles de Chamonix

Mountain of God or playground?

The row of pinnacles behind the small town of Chamonix each condenses the story of an Alpine climb.

The British art critic John Ruskin vividly put it, " It's like a row of churches growing out of the earth, and these Aristo climbers are like acrobats climbing these towering churches, full of sacrilege."

British art critic and writer John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Legend has it that long ago the mountain people were very religious and believed that the mountains had mysterious powers that should not be climbed and desecrated.

The subsequent first human climb of Mont Blanc in 1886 represents the origin of modern human mountaineering history.

The main street of the town of Chamonix is called Rue Joseph vallot, and every time the snowballs bring guests to this street, they will shop for cost-effective outdoor equipment and tell stories about the mountains.

From the main street you can see the peaks of Dru (the one in Bonatti Solo) and Praz, which rise up into the sky one after the other. When it's cloudy, the view is spectacular with clouds hanging over the peaks, if you're lucky enough to get a good look at all of them.

As an example, in the distance is Grand Marmoz, the mountain behind which is the approach to Grépon, which, as far as the eye can see, is only as small as Marmoz's shoulder. The great thing about being in Chamonix is that you can enjoy the rows of peaks of the Mont Blanc system that seem to be so close at hand without even leaving your home.

Art critic Ruskin hand-painted the artwork of the pinnacles behind the huge boulders of Brévent in 1844.

His paintings also reflect the philosophical theme that these snowy peaks growing out of the earth are as sacred and beautiful as a medieval Gothic church.

Local people saw these snow-capped mountains and were reminded of medieval churches and God. Whether or not humans should climb these peaks to see the world from God's perspective became a debate at the time about the history of human climbing.

For the Ruskin, the mountains symbolized a happy land blessed with sacred mountains that were as inviolable as churches, but for the climbers, who were all ranchers at the time, it was like finding an amusement park for mountaineering.

In 1888, two years after the ascent of Mont Blanc and the opening of the door to modern mountaineering, Ruskin was saddened to say that he would never go back to Chamonix, especially now that more and more people were traveling to the mountain. One day the boulders on Brévent will roll down from the mountain and destroy Chamonix and the hotels that host tourists.

Des aguilles de Chamonix

The historical story of those spikes

Every mountaineering story is a little different, summarized by the fact that either the climber ran into trouble or something went wrong at high altitude.

There are two sides to Chamonix, one with the Ice Sea Glacier and the other with the towering South Needle.

Here is a brief overview of the story of the ancestors of mountaineering, next time the snowball will be separated to tell a detailed one by one.

The South Needle is 3842 meters above sea level, and the first person to reach the summit in 1856 was a marquis, whose family was considered to be a big local tycoon, and nowadays we can reach the top of the South Needle by taking the cable car.

Fou Pinnacle, first climbed by Joseph Ravanel, who also holds the record for the first ascent of many peaks in the Alps.

Plan Pinnacle, climbed by jacque lagarde and his partner on the North Face, who invented the first method of rock climbing (freezing).

welzenbach, a German climber who advanced climbing technique from grade 5 to grade 6 and who also invented the safe and fast speed climbing method.

Caimen Pinnacle, in 1950, the Lesueur brothers invented the fireworks method of climbing on this mountain by jamming a rope into a gap in a rock crevice to make the climb.

Blatère Pinnacle, Brown Whilhans The British summited this mountain using the free-climbing method of grade 6 difficulty.

In 1963, American John Harlin invented a way to carry supplies while climbing on the South Face of Le Fou, and since then it has been possible to eat and sleep on the face while climbing, increasing the time period of climbing. It was also a time when free climbing and knot climbing were booming.

In 1970, rock climbing had progressed to a point where most people were free climbing. At the same time skiing had improved to the point where it was possible to ski down from the top of South Needle.

1970: Chamonix Pinnacle, people started ice climbing.

People gave up their desire to reach the summit and began to seek out the difficulty of the rock walls and routes. By this time climbers were able to spend weeks challenging a big rock wall and the beginning of modern rock climbing.

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