Vincent Lowe Photography - Index to the Mont Blanc images
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Mont Blanc (4,807 m/15,771 ft) lies on the border of France and Italy and is the highest peak of the Alps and the highest in Europe west of the Caucasus.  The peak is situated in the Haute-Savoie Department of France and the entire massif forms part of the Savoy Alps.  The first recorded ascent was made in August 1786 by J. Balmat and M. Paccard.  The first English ascent was by Col. M. Beaufoy in 1787 and the first woman to reach the top was Marie Paradis in 1808.  The first American ascent was by W. Howard and J. Van Rensselaer in 1820.

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The easiest routes to the summit are on the Chamonix side, that via the Goûter being the most popular, though the Grand Mulets route is also easy.  The only easy route from the Italian side is via the Dôme glacier.  All three of these route reach the Col du Dôme, then traverse the Bosses ridge to the summit.  It must be stressed, however, that there is no such thing as an 'easy' route up Mont Blanc - these routes might be technically easy but they are long snow/ice climbs at high altitude and any route on Mont Blanc is a serious undertaking.

The photographs here were taken in the course of several walks and climbing expeditions in 1976 and 1977. This included two successful attempts at the summit, both by the 'ordinary' route from Chamonix, and two aborted efforts from the Italian side.  I hasten to add that we were defeated by the weather, not by our own abilities (honest).  The photos were taken with an Olympus OM1 camera, using either Kodachrome for the colour shots or Ilford Pan F for the monochrome.  The sepia toning on the sixth photo was done on the computer and the two wide angle panorama photos were also produced in the computer, both from three separate negatives.  They were first individually scanned, then stitched together using a clever piece of software called Photovista, from Live Picture, but this doesn't seem to be available any more.

For more pictures and impressions of an ascent by the normal route, see...
The Ascent of Mont Blanc  published in 'Climber & Rambler' magazine, Sept 1977

Also see the Franch Alps gallery

Some of these images, plus a few others, are available for download from Alamy

blanc-01-t.jpg  blanc-09-t.jpg  blanc-10-t.jpg  blanc-19-t.jpg  blanc-20-t.jpg 

blanc-11-t.jpg  blanc-15-t.jpg  blanc-05-t.jpg  blanc-12-t.jpg  blanc-18-t.jpg 

blanc-22-t.jpg  blanc-02-t.jpg  blanc-13-t.jpg  blanc-08-t.jpg  blanc-03-t.jpg 

blanc-16-t.jpg  blanc-14-t.jpg  blanc-06-t.jpg  blanc-04-t.jpg 

blanc-07-t.jpg  blanc-21-t.jpg  blanc-24-t.jpg  blanc-17-t.jpg  blanc-23-t.jpg 

Some of these images, plus a few others, are available for download from Alamy

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