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Exploring the Chamonix Valley

Exploring the Chamonix Valley

Century after century, time passed slowly for the villagers of Chamonix and for the giant in whose shadow they lived. The Mont-Blanc summit seemed totally inaccessible to the peasants and inspired only fear as their imagination transformed the threatening mountain environment into a mysterious landscape inhabited by malefic spirits.

The Mont-Blanc novel

In 1741, for eight adventurous Brits who wanted to mount an expedition to unexplored summits "Les glacières de Chamouni" seemed the logical choice and so they set off on their hazardous quest. In the village, the locals were surprised to encounter this group of foreigners decked out like princes. The prior of the Abbaye met and welcomed the visitors who were able to discover the valley with all its beauty as they rambled throughout the area. Pocoke and his acolytes expressed their amazement at the splendor of the mountains and at the chaotically stacked immensity of the glacier, evocative of the tumultuous fury of the sea. This felicitous allusion resulted in the glacier becoming known as “the Sea of Ice”.