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Cast in the shade of the 4,810 metres of the impressive Mont Blanc, Chamonix, a world-renowned mountaineering venue, has witnessed constant development and transformation without ever losing its traditions and soul. Let's take a look back over its history.


Chamonix has been key to the history of mountaineering and skiing. Here are some key dates in its history :

1741. Discovery of the Chamonix Valley by two young English aristocrats, William Windham and Richard Pocock, little did they know that their story about this small mountain village and its glaciers would spread across the whole of Europe.

1770. The first hostel opened up and marked the very beginning of the simultaneous development of the hotel trade and mountain expeditions.

1786. On 8 August, Jacques Balmat and Doctor Michel Gabriel Paccard were the first to reach the summit of Mont Blanc.

1816. Construction of the first luxury hotel, followed by three other luxury high-standing hotels which were to rise from the peaceful oat and rye fields in the valley.

1821. The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix was established.

1901. On 1 July, the railway line was officially opened between Le Fayet and Chamonix. The opening of this route opened up the valley in winter and made the venue into a real winter sports resort, with Doctor Payot being the precursor in the village.

1908. On 9 August, the Montenvers Train began operating.

1924. The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix.

1927. The Planpraz ski lift was opened.

1934. Chamonix Golf Course was opened.

1936. The Bellevue cable-car opened up towards the Houches.

1954. The infamous cable-car was opened at Aiguille du Midi leading towards the sublime Blanche Valley and Mont Blanc.

1965. The Mont-Blanc Tunnel began operating, and was a prime point for travel to and from Italy.

1971. The Prarion cable-car was opened.

2004. The Vallorcine cable-car was opened.