Earth From Above - France, Yann Arthus-Bertrand Aerial Photography :France From Above:Roped party of mountaineers climbing Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie Department, FranceWallpaper

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Roped party of mountaineers climbing Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie Department, France
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2009.8.14
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France From Above:Roped party of mountaineers climbing Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie Department, France, Roped party of mountaineers climbing Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie Department, France (45°50’N, 6°53’E).
The Alps, which form the largest mountain range in Europe, began forming about 65 million years ago. At 4,807 meters (15,765 feet), Mont Blanc is their highest peak. In the sixteenth century it was known as the Montagne Maudite (accursed mountain), representing a chaos of rocks and sterile, dangerous glaciers for the shepherds of the Chamonix Valley. For all but a few intrepid chamois hunters and mineral collectors, it remained so until the end of the eighteenth century. In 1787, Jacques Balmat, Gabriel Pacard, and Horace Benedict de Saussure made an arduous, two-day climb to the summit. Since then there have been many more ascents. One hundred fifteen people reached the summit between 1787 and 1860. The scientific motivation of the Enlightenment gave way to the quest for physical achievement, then in more recent times to tourism. The summit is equipped for hikers, and receives a stream of up to 300 visitors a day. The site, which is extremely fragile, is now deteriorating. This tourist boom, which represents the primary economic resource for the people of the valley, may result in its own demise. It is not only large cities or rich plains that suffer from the presence of humans, but extreme places - deserts and high mountains - as well.
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Earth From Above - France, Yann Arthus-Bertrand Aerial Photography   - France From Above:Roped party of mountaineers climbing Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie Department, FrancePhoto 3