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124-Year-Old Climbing Footage from the Alps

A restored video from 1899 showing climbers descending a famous glacier

The Instagram account History Colored has shared a restored coloured video of climbers in the Alps from 1899. The short video is of climbers on the Mer de Glace on Mont Blanc in France. The footage was first shared on archive.org before History Colored sped it up and used AI technology to add colour.

The first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc was on Aug. 8 in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard. The ascent was considered the start of modern mountaineering. Marie Paradis was the first woman to summit in 1808, and Henriette d’Angeville was the second woman to summit in 1938.

The most popular route is the Goûter Route and one of the best technical climbs is The Peutérey Integral, one of the longest ridges in the Alps. It starts at Val Veny then climbs to the summit of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey (3,773 m), descends to the Brèche south of the Dames Anglaises and crosses it before going up to the Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey (4,112 m), down to the Col de Peuterey, up Pilier d’Angle (4,234 m), and to the Mont Blanc summit in Courmayeur first (4,765 m) and Chamonix (4,810 m).

Restored Footage