Chamonix (officially Chamonix-Mont-Blanc) is a resort in the Haute-Savoie region of France, bordering Italy, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It's regarded as the birthplace and one of the capitals of mountaineering.
Traditional mountaineering was a practical business of hunting and farming, and of leading travellers over the passes by the safest route, tugging their pack-mules through the sleet. In the 18th, scientific enquired people to climb the highest peaks. In 1760 the scientist Horace Bénédict de Saussure put up a prize for the first ascent of Mont Blanc. In those days the mountain lay in Savoy, an independent country that included Nice, Aosta, Piedmont and Sardinia. Not until 1860 was the territory definitively incorporated into France and Italy, with Mont Blanc marking the border.