After hundreds of failed attempts by dozens of aspiring mountaineers, Frenchmen Michael Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat made history when they became the first people to reach the summit of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. The mountain rises 15,711 feet above sea level and is ranked No. 11 in the world in topographic prominence. The pair, who lived in the town at the base of the mountain in Chamonix, ascended the summit on August 8, 1786, climbing the mountain from the Chamonix valley.
Mont Blanc First Ascent: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know