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22 December 2010

Very Early Mountaineering Photographs (c.1880)

These wonderful photographs just arrived in the post. Believe it or not, they got here quicker from abroad than the Christmas presents I ordered a week ago in this country! Anyway, they are all stuck in what appears to be a page from a scrapbook. On one side are photos from the UK and on the other are the pictures shown here. The pictures are unnamed so I need to do some serious detective work, but I think they were all taken in Switzerland. If anyone knows the mountains, please let me know.

It was quite common to go by donkey to a certain point on the Mount Blanc trail. Some people say it was a bit of a swindle by the locals so they could get as much money as possible out of the rich Victorian visitors.

This picture shows the standard 4 men roped configuration used to traverse glaciers. I am guessing these people were experienced as it was normal to have a lot more guides. 

This picture is a real find - women mountaineers! From their dresses, I would guess it to be 1880s. I see a handrail so I might be able to date it better once I can identify the mountain. You will notice the bearded local guide at the top.

This is a picture of Hotel Angleterre. I would love to know where this is.

A church up a mountain - quite common in Switzerland.

These men are either celebrating the fact they have crossed this glacier or have just discovered they must cross it!

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