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Lizzie Le Blond: Climbing with Ropes "Piz Bernina, Piz Roseg from Piz Corvatsch"


"Piz Bernina, Piz Roseg from Piz Corvatsch"

Elizabeth Main Le Blond: Queen of the Mountain
Our museum is home to an unprecedented collection of over 2,000 photographs and personal archives of Elizabeth Alice Frances Hawkins-Whitshed Burnaby Main Le Blond (1860-1934). Lizzie, as she was nicknamed, was an author, mountain climber, and one of the world's first female filmmakers. Lizzie was climbing mountains in Victorian skirts and shooting her extraordinary photographs of stunningly scenic glacial landscapes before legendary nature artist Ansel Adams was even born. She is credited with producing the very first sports films, covering the fields of hockey, tobogganing and bobsleigh racing. The photographs in this collection, accompanied by Lizzie's own captions and notations, detail many events and personal relationships that were publicly unknown before the albums were discovered and donated to this museum.

Basic Background on Lizzie: Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed Burnaby Main Le Blond (June 26, 1860 - July 27, 1934) was a mountaineering pioneer in a time when it was unheard of for a woman to participate in most sports, and certainly none as extreme as ice climbs over four kilometer peaks. In her life, Elizabeth climbed the highest mountains in central Europe and northern Norway. Of her over 200 climbs, 24 were the first ascents ever, by either women or men. In 1900 she and Evelyn McDonnell lead the first “manless” ascent, a winter traverse of Piz Palü on the Swiss-Italian border. 

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