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Arnold Lunn - A Century of Mountaineering, 1857-1957
Much of the ski mountaineering information in this book comes from lunn-1927. The author has distilled it to the essentials, and added a few new facts and clarifications. I reviewed Chapter 8 only.

Chapter 8 - Ski and Winter Mountaineering

p. 142: The author reviews winter mountaineering on foot, from the ascent of Prato al Saglio (4921 ft.) by Dante in winter 1311 to ascents in the 1950s. He notes: "Many people crossed passes because they had to, but nobody climbs a peak unless he enjoys getting to the top."

p. 145: "Winter mountaineering is only a minor variation of mountaineering... Ski mountaineering, on the other hand, is no mere variation of mountaineering. It is the result of the marriage of two great sports, mountaineering and ski-ing. Whereas the winter mountaineer has the same objectives as the summer mountaineer, the ascent and descent of his peak on foot, the ski mountaineer is concerned not merely with the ascent of a peak or crossing of a pass, but also with the ski-ing possibilities of the descent."

p. 147: The first decade of ski mountaineering included the incomplete traverse of the main massif of the Bernese Oberland by a German party led by W. Paulcke in January 1897. The following year Paulcke made an almost successful attempt to climb Monte Rosa on ski with Robert Helbling, who in February 1903 was the first to complete an important section of the high-level route from Chamonix to Zermatt.

Dr. Henry Hoek traversed the Oberland on ski in November 1901, climbing several peaks, and in 1903 made the first ski ascent of the Wetterhorn. On February 1904, Hugo Mylius, a German, and three Meiringen guides made the first ski ascent of Mont Blanc. Professor F.F. Roget made the first ski ascents of the Aiguille du Tour, Grand Combin and Aiguille du Chardonnet in 1906 and 1907. In 1911, with Marcel Kurz, he traversed the high-level route from Bourg St. Pierre to Zermatt, making the first winter ascent of the Dent Blanche en route.

The author writes that, "No skier has a finer record as a pioneer of ski mountaineering than Marcel Kurz." Other great Swiss pioneers include Paul Montadon, Robert Helbling and Carl Egger. In 1924, R. von Tscharner and M. Wieland made the first ski traverse of Mont Blanc from Courmayeur to Chamonix. That same year, W. Amstutz and P. von Schumacher traversed the Jungfrau from south to north.

p. 148: The author reviews early ski mountaineering in Italy and France, as well as British contributions. In 1909, with F.F. Roget, the author and three guides completed an end-to-end traverse of the central Bernese Oberland on ski. He also mentions the ski crossing of the B.C. Coast Mountains in 1934 by Sir Norman Watson and party.

p. 151: In 1909, the author shattered his right leg in a rock climbing accident. Due to his injuries, he was rejected from the Army during World War I and resigned himself to looking after British prisoners of war in Murren. During the four winters he spent in the Alps he made daily notes of snow conditions which formed the basis of his book Alpine Ski-ing at all Heights and Seasons. A few years later Gerald Seligman, published Snow Structures and Ski Fields, recognized throughout the world as the leading work on this subject.

p. 152: "Glacier skiers may be divided into those who are primarily skiers, and those who are primarily mountaineers. The former are quite content to repeat the classic routes, such as the high-level traverse of the Bernese Oberland or the glaciers between Zermatt and Chamonix. But those who are primarily mountaineers are happiest when pioneering."

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Last Updated: Fri Feb 28 22:51:56 PST 2003