Talk:Mont Blanc

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Untitled[edit]

What about someone scaling this image to provide a thumbnail? Then, provide a link to this larger version? I can do it if there is consensus. RedWolf 01:03, Dec 6, 2003 (UTC)

Ṛ== Elevation Figure == Hallo Anthere, you have reverted my yesterday edit related to Mont Blanc heights on English wiki pages. I had changed the height of the peak. If you read the website http://www.ign.fr/telechargement/Pi/C_PRESSE/CP_Mt_Blanc_2003.pdf you can revert your changes. Best wishes HeBB 12:30, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hello HeBB.

I am glad to learn that once again experts have changed their minds. Here is my feeling...I think that the most well known current height is 4810 m and not 4808 m. Hence, my reverting was quite natural. Your changes rather looked like a change made by an uninformed editor.
Since the news are quite recent, you might have mentionned this reference R r Ŕ ŕ Ř ř Ŗ ŗ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ S s Ś ś Ŝ ŝ Š š Ş ş Ș ș Ṣ ṣ ß T t Ť ť Ţ ţ Ț ț Ṭ ṭ Þ þ U u Ú ú Ù ù Û û Ü ü Ǔ ǔ Ŭ , at least in this article, which would have avoided me all that painful work to revert you.
I have the deep feeling that you are subtilely (or whatever spelling) trying to suggest I was real bad in reverting you, when all I did was protkhclkjdhnAJDNlqksjhQLICqlkwjbxQIEBCQKSJCBISEUCBqekcjbQSKCBJUqkjBHASIUCBqlwkejdcbQESLKJCBeqsilcuQGBWCKJb n c c c c c c c c c c cc c JNJGKHUIGgĦŔecting the quality of the encyclopedia from a motivated newbie :-) I should have headed for a herbal tea instead :-)
Due to your slight sarcastic comment, I will not revert my changes back. I am just not in the mood :-) Best wishes for you to do so. fr0069

actually, I mostly do not have time. If you do not do it yourself graciously, I will check to make the correction in a couple of weeks :{Regards [Documenting what confused me: that's Anthere/fr0069 again, a day later, per Page history.]

Hallo Anthere.

Sorry, if you was angry for me. I am new in wikipedia and I have still to learn. Really, I had forgotten to give my reference. But it will be better in future. Regards HeBB 16:09, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)


The final 'graph of the article clarifies that following these numbers is not a matter of tracking the improvement of the height to within a 20 cm. accuracy band and eventually beyond. That is, BTW, why i removed the portion that pointlessly specifies

However, some GPS measurements made in 2001 revealed it was 3 meters higher than previously thought. New measurements of the Institut Géographique National of France made in 2003 had given the new result of 4,808.45 m. (Numbers stated with false precision, by the way.)

In the source cited above, the 'graph headed "variations constees au sommet" (which is uncomfortably beyond my incompetant French) should be paraphrased in English on this page, for the sake of the elevation, and also, perhaps, for information that may show whether i, and/or the editor whose contribution i tried to clarify, are confused about whether the summit is definitively in France, or also moves as the glacier slumps one direction or the other. (We can't rule it out; on a steep enough slope, 23 m. of glacier can, tipped, account for 200 m. of vertical depth. Also, if the ground immediately across the border is especially level, a lot of depth could sometimes build up there, even if there are times when it's only 23 m. down to rock at the summit.) --Jerzy 05:36, 2004 Feb 23 (UTC)


While the R text box gives height as 4810, the first paragraph gives height of 4810.45 , which is spurious accuracy. Firstly, it should be rounded down to the nearest metre, and second, because this is not the height of actual rock, but of an icecap, upon which snow is observed to fall, and is therefore slightly variable. I therefore edited it to 4810m. --FixedIP. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.3.255.103 (talk) 23:31, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Highest in What?[edit]

I notice that my edit from "Western Europe" to "west of the Volga" here is probably not my first: my first seems to have been changed w/o my noticing. I continue to point out that "Western Europe" is far too weak a claim; Elbrus is 3000 km. away, and it is of interest that Blanc is higher than everything in Europe, except for what's in that little corner in the Caucasus that i, and i expect Europeans as well, think of as having the least in common with the rest of Europe as you can get away with and still be counted in Europe.

Changing it to Western Europe doesn't make the article false, but it detracts from the article.

On the other hand, i looked at a map again, and realize i wasn't looking at the Volga when i wrote that: i was looking at the lower Don, the Don-Volga canal, and the upper Volga; the Volga flows into the Caspian, and i'd have to confess that Elbus can only be described as west of it.

In light of that, i propose describing Blanc as the highest west of Russia. If there were a more inclusive term brought forward, that is equally visualizable, i'd favor it. (I'd oppose "west of the Caucusus", bcz no one in most of Europe can picture that without a map.) What i'd really like is a way of saying that you can include everything to the Urals and a long way south, without finding Elbrus, but i'm not seeing it.

(Hmm, "in the 95% of Europe that isn't within X km. of being in the Middle East"?)

For now, i'm holding off a few days before settling for the "west of Russia" terminology.

BTW, is this "in Western Europe" thing a matter of national pride? If so, bear in mind that there's nothing wrong with the overlapping but not conflicting claim that Elbrus is the highest in Europe. --Jerzy 10:54, 2004 Feb 23 (UTC)

IMHO it is a good idea to include references between the two saying that scholars and wikipedians alike are discussing which of the two is the highest in europe. Or we should start Mont Blanc vs Mount Elbrus discussing the controversy. MartinBiely 21:23, 31 May 2004 (UTC)


On a related note, I think the new addition "and the fifth highest in Europe" needs a source and/or clarification, especially in light of this list placing it at #18. The addition may be correct if one means "fifth highest independent peak," with a certain cutoff to define "independent," but I'm not sure. -- Spireguy 01:23, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Is Mont-Blanc in Italy or not ?[edit]

I have read various mistakes about this question and I am soon to edit the article on this tiny question; I prefer to point here to a precise external reference (in italian, pdf), an article by Umberto Pelazza since this is notoriously a "passionate" issue - hence some use for a Talk section if somebody has some other info to part about this.

First the reference to "17th century" as the beginning of the controversy of the border line in this sector seems unlikely to be true: in this period both sides of Mont-Blanc were part of Savoie, and there was indeed no international border running there.

The border existed for a few years during Napoleonian wars; then Savoie got reunited with Valle d'Aosta. Things changed for good in 1861, where Savoie was devoluted to France, Valle d'Aosta remaining in the kingdom of Sardegna. The article quoted above reminds of the precise text of the treaty, (indeed more precisely the convention about border delimitation following the treaty): the border line "monte sur le groupe du Mont-Blanc, en touche le point le plus élevé", which I would translate roughly as "the border line strides over Mont-Blanc group, and touches its higher point". Furthermore an annexed map shows the quoted 4807 point as a border point (I saw once a picture of this map in a geography newspaper, which is not available on the web as I know).

A few years later only, military French maps have added to the French territory in this area a small half-circle, but this is clearly in contradiction to the treaty. Italian maps have constantly traced the border as following the watershed line.

The "200 m" related in the article has probably been read on these inaccurate French maps.

As concerns the "advanced surveying methods", I think the editor of this sentence might refer to recent measurements (this spring indeed) trying to locate the very rock summit of Mont-Blanc, ice removed. Since this summit is a bit further west than the visible summit, it might be considered that it is a piece of France alone. But in any case, Italy should nearly reach the altitude of this summit, missing it by only a few meters, not 200.

With all those elements, I feel it is justified to completely rewrite the sentences of the article about the position of Mont-Blanc relative to the border. French Tourist 21:07, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The French maps[edit]

French maps indicate that the "Monte Bianco" is French. Where say other maps (not italien)? --Ilario 10:41, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

False claim. They clearly indicate "Mont Blanc". Only Italian maps indicate "Monte Blanco". 90.9.155.205 (talk) 15:41, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
That's Monte Bianco, not Monte Blanco. Blanco is Spanish for "white". Bianco is Italian for it.151.72.8.97 (talk) 17:52, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

French Translation[edit]

I have translated the passage "The Ascent" from the french article. Feel free to edit it to improve how it reads in english, since I am biased having read the french. A few things require clarification, since the French article isn't perfect and neither am I.

  • Horace-Bénédict de Saussure had something to do with the first ascent, but I am not sure of the exact nature. It appears he offered a prize for the first ascent. See also Mountaineering#History
  • In reference to the difficulties of the ascent, the french mentions "le couloir du Goûter" (the corridor of Gouter, Gouter means "to taste" or "afternoon tea") and rock slides, it could be good to get some more direct information on this.

Matt73 12:36, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

And now moving on to "Protection".

  • The French version does not provide a citation for "Mont Blanc is one of the most visited tourist destinations on the planet", but it would be nice to have one.
  • 'Pro-Mont Blanc' - anyone want to do an article? :-)
  • I'm not sure what category they want it listed under. The one mentioned in the french version is Exceptional and Unique World Site (my translation) which doesn't seem to match a UNESCO category.

Matt73 11:35, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Definition of Europe[edit]

(Transferred from User_Talk:Elk Salmon

Hi, if you look at a topographic map of the world, you will see that the Caucasus mountains are much more closely connected to the Asian mountains of Turkey and Iran than they are to other European mountains, and that they are therefore, physically, part of the Asian continent. To reach European mountain ranges from the Caucasus, you have to travel a long distance and descend almost to sea level, by contrast the Greater Caucasus are connected to the Lesser Caucasus by a short distance and a 943m pass, and the Lesser Caucasus are part of the same high area that includes Turkey and Iran. Viewfinder 15:38, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Viewfinder, please withstand from WP:OR. Border between Asia and Europe is going by the water divide in the Caucasian and Ural mountain ranges. And not based on the personal feeling of land masses. Check the Europe article. Elk Salmon 00:37, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I do not think that you can "withstand" from OR. You mean "refrain" perhaps? Anyway, I reject your OR claim. The view that the Caucasus are not, geographically, part of the European continent is not my personal OR; it is frequently put forward. Examine the edit history of Mont Blanc, especially [1]. The footnote should remain, although the wording is debatable. As a matter of interest, the Caucasian water divide does not define political Europe; Georgia is part of political Europe. There is no fixed view about the extent of geographical Europe, but the Caucasus mountains are much more closely linked to Asian mountains than European mountains - and this page is about a mountain. Viewfinder 12:15, 22 November 2006 (UTC) Viewfinder 13:27, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

(above slightly modified after transfer) Viewfinder 13:27, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Those who consider that, geographically, the Caucasus is Asian may not be in a majority but they are not limited to a bunch of crackpots, and the view is not OR. There is room for discussion about the wording of the footnote but please do not delete it. Viewfinder 13:41, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely with Viewfinder's last comment. Mont Blanc is the highest peak in some sort of Europe, and is widely seen as such. Since the definition of Europe (an essentially arbitrary border) is not unambiguously defined, we should leave the footnote in. In fact, in general, it is better to leave in extra information, rather than removing every vestige of a conflicting opinion. The wording of the footnote could perhaps be improved to make it sound less like one person's opinion and more like objective truth, but wholesale deletion is not an improvement. --Stemonitis 14:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Roosevelt[edit]

Anyone know what this sentence in the article is about?

  • In 1886, Future [sic] US President Theodore Roosevelt led the third recorded expedition to the peak.

To me it looks somewhat fishy, to say the least. Ericoides 21:23, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

The claim is made on other websites too, e.g. [2], but that does not rule out the possibility of the reproduction of incorrect information. Viewfinder 00:15, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that - but you know how Wiki itself disseminates such errors - perhaps in this case too? I'll leave this objection here for a fortnight and if no one has given a good case why, a hundred years after its first ascent and with numerous other recorded ascents having been made, Roosevelt gets the credit for the 'third recorded expedition', I will remove the claim from this article (and from the main T. Roosevelt article as well). Ta. Ericoides 07:38, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
By the late 19th century, you did not mount an "expedition" to Mont Blanc; you took the train to Chamonix, hired a guide and went up.24.108.28.165 (talk) 03:25, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Exploits[edit]

Does anyone consider Marco Evaristti's feat an "exploit" ? Personally, I don't. 82.229.209.33 18:08, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Summit[edit]

The article claims that: "The location of the summit itself is a subject of controversy between the two countries, as each tends to place it within its own boundaries on maps.". This is highly exaggerated and give a twisted picture of the truth. Although the location of the summit was never stated precisely, there isn't any diplomatical controversy at all between the two countries, nor any of the two has some sort of agenda regarding the MB summit. They both accept the status quo that the summit lies between Italy and France. Besides it is also plain wrong, since Italy never tended to place the summit within its border, as the French did in 19th century. --89.97.35.70 (talk) 13:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I have not re-introduced by claim that because French national mapping agency (IGN) maps show the summit wholly in France, the French government claims the summit exclusively, although I still maintain that it follows by implication. But that these maps are IGN should still be mentioned. The Swiss maps of French territory are photo-reproductions of the IGN and do not imply any Swiss position; the Swiss have reproduced the French maps of the area, not the Italian, because they are more up to date. Viewfinder (talk) 10:16, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
As it is written, it seems OK to me. As far as I understand the topic (but this is for a discussion page, not an article, this is more or less "original research"), French authorities were fiercely nationalistic at the outset of WWII say in 1945-47. For somebody reasonably high in the chain of command (how high ? no idea !) owning the whole of the summit was probably important. It would be erroneous (or at least unsourced) to leave the impression that this funny geographical oddity is of any importance for anybody in French officialdom today, in 2008. This is probably more or less of an embarrassment for anybody who has any knowledge of the affair. French Tourist (talk) 12:32, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Coordinates[edit]

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Please note that the coordinates in this article need fixing as:

Summit ownership, again[edit]

A contributor has added several times the following mentions :

  • "Although widely recognised by the international community as evenly split between Italy and France"
  • "Today the summit is internationally recognised as belonging to both Italy and France."

with no sources given.

I have reverted twice, now he/she asks in the comment box :

"sources already given. Discuss before reverting"

I am absolutely open to discussion. Let's begin : where have the sources been given ? Now I revert, thanks for the sources (of course the text of a treaty between Sardinia and France is not an acceptable source for these contentious assertions, which assert an "international recognition" of a version of the border). French Tourist (talk) 07:10, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi French Touriste, nice to meet you again. About the convention between Sardaigne and France, part of Treaty of Turin and suspend during the II world war, it was coming again into force after Treaty of Paris in 1947 (article 44). Imho, after 1947, asserting that there is an international recognition is right, because the treaty of Turin, six mounth later Treaty of Paris, was notified and registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations. By --Shardan (talk) 11:30, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Parent Peak[edit]

Mount Everest is listed as the parent peak of Mont Blanc. Is this a joke? Unless I'm heinously mistaken, a 'parent peak' is a larger mountain connected to the peak in question by a col or saddle, or at least it is a geographically related peak. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doktor M. (talkcontribs) 23:54, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

You don't understand the meaning of "parent peak." Mont Blanc is part of the Afro-Eurasian landmass; the highest point of that mass if Mount Everest.Ryoung122 20:28, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Shouldn't this be Mt. Elbrus (Higher than Mt. Blanc, lower than Everest and a ton of other Himalayan mountains)? --Cú Faoil (talk) 01:17, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Have a look at Topographic prominence#Parent peak, everything (or almost) is explained there. ZachG (Talk) 20:32, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Article reeks of Italian bias[edit]

The claim that the highest point of Mont Blanc is in Italian territory is a contention sourced to (what else)? Italian sources. Yet the authors attempt to discount French and Swiss maps that do the same?

That's not acceptable. The best thing to do is to follow Wikipedia's pluralistic viewpoint policy and explain the multiple points of view, not favor one over the other.Ryoung122 20:31, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Not just Italian sources, but Italian and French sources, or better Italian and French bilateral treaties as the Convention de delimitation entre la France et la Sardaigne, conclue à Turin le 7 mars 1861 (Sardaigne = Sardinian state = Italian state) [3]. That convention was suspend during II world war, from June 10 1940 to march 1° 1948, but was coming again into force after Treaty of Paris in 1947 (article 44) [4], and territorial clauses were not regarding Mont Blanc at all. Here article 44: BILATERAL TREATIES / Article 44 / 1. Each Allied or Associated Power will notify Italy, within a period of six months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, which of its pre-war bilateral treaties with Italy it desires to keep in force or revive. Any provisions not in conformity with the present Treaty shall, however, be deleted from the abovementioned treaties. 2. All such treaties so notified shall be registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations. 3. All such treaties not so notified shall be regarded as abrogated. Here territorial clauses: SECTION I / FRONTIERS / Article 1 : The frontiers of Italy shall, subject to the modifications set out in Articles 2, 3, 4, 11 and 22, be those which existed on 1 January 1938. These frontiers are traced on the maps attached to the present Treaty (Annex I). In case of a discrepancy between the textual description of the frontiers and the maps, the text shall be deemed to be authentic.- Article 2: The frontier between Italy and France, as it existed on 1 January 1938, shall be modified as follows: 1. Little St. Bernard Pass - The frontier shall follow the watershed, leaving the present frontier at a point about 2 kilometers northwest of the Hospice, crossing the road about 1 kilometer northeast of the Hospice and rejoining the present frontier about 2 kilometers southeast of the Hospice. 2. Mont Cenis Plateau- The frontier shall leave the present frontier about 3 kilometers northwest of the summit of Rochemelon, cross the road about 4 kilometers southeast of the Hospice and rejoin the present frontier about 4 kilometers northeast of Mont d'Ambin. 3. Mont Thabor-Chaberton - (a) In the Mont Thabor area, the frontier shall leave the present frontier about 5 kilometers to the east of Mont Thabor and run southeastward to rejoin the present frontier about 3 kilometers west of the Pointe de Charra. (b) In the Chaberton area, the frontier shall leave the present frontier about 3 kilometers north-northwest of Chaberton, which it skirts on the east, and shall cross the road about 1 kilometer from the present frontier, which it rejoins about 2 kilometers southeast of the village of Montgenevre. 4. Upper Valleys of the Tinée, Vesubie and Roya - The frontier shall leave the present frontier at Colla Longa, shall follow along the watershed by way of Mont Clapier, Col de Tenda, Mont Marguareis, whence it shall run southward by way of Mont Saccarello, Mont Vacchi, Mont Pietravecchia, Mont Lega and shall reach a point approximately 100 meters from the present frontier near Colla Pegairolle, about 5 kilometers to the northeast of Breil; it then shall run in a southwesterly direction, and shall rejoin the existing frontier approximately 100 meters southwest of Mont Mergo. 5. The detailed description of those sections of the frontier to which the modifications set out in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 above apply, is contained in Annex II to the present Treaty and the maps to which this description refers form part of Annex I. Have you got any sources stating that Convention of march 7 1861 and Treaty of Paris on 1947 (about territorial clauses) are not valid anymore? If yes, please, could you show them here ? .--Shardan (talk) 11:08, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Imho the summit belongs to Italy and France. There is not exclusive property for Italy. Footnote n 3 [5] is not well read between the lines. Saying : dagli studi.....si evidenzia la proprietà italiana, doesn’t mean that the summit is Italian, but that the summit is – in part – Italian. If was write: dagli studi......si evidenzia la piena proprietà italiana (piena = exclusively) we could say that was entirely in Italy. But even the mention of French and Swiss maps are misleading because are not supported with sources. If we want add IGN point of view, we should support that point of view inserting the official source has legitimate IGN to do maps on Mont Blanc like has done (summit entirely on French borders). Otherwise everything is really ambiguous. The only official sources about borders on Mont Blanc summit are the Treaty of Turin and the Treaty of Paris, there is nothing else. I will remove IGN point of view and the argument about exclusively Italian property in few days if anybody show appropriated sources.--Shardan (talk) 15:17, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I have been interested in the topic since I began editing on Wikipedia. I agree with Shardan on many points, and partially disagree. A very important thing is to use secondary sources, that is books or journal articles and not research (as obvious the result might seem) originating from maps or even treaties. I am a bit too lazy to try to work the article proper, but I strongly suggest to use exclusively Carl McKeating, Rachel Crolla, Europe's High Points, Cicerone Press Limited, 2010 whose relevant page is accessible on Google Books (see p. 88) and which gives, as far as I can judge, a good panoramic view of the topic (of course not with many details, but it is very sufficient to write about Mont Blanc while we would need more sources to write in a specific article about French/Italian border on Mont Blanc). French Tourist (talk) 08:55, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Hi French Tourist, :-) I don’t manage on Goole book to open Europe's High Points at p. 88, I’ll try later. About secondary sources, imho, talking about borders on Mont Blanc summit, primary sources like the Convention de délimitation [6] and Treaty of Paris [7] are fundamentally, otherwise we are talking about aria fritta. IGN point of view on Mont Blanc frontier, without a basic primary source to support it, is just a POV not really trustable. On Wikipedia to show primary sources about a specific theme, is not research, but simple routine. Anyway, doesn’t matter for IGN POV. It was important to clearly explain that the summit is bi-national otherwise Wikipedia was losing credibility. Saluti --Shardan (talk) 12:29, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Hi, nice to meet you again. I should perhaps take a bit more time to explain Ryoung122 that I don't completely agree with his analysis of the problem, as far as I understand it. Of course we could admit there are different "points of view" on this question, but this is not so obvious as it seems.
  • First there are points of view written by persons with a good knowledge of the topic, expressed in secondary sources of good quality, written by scholars. I know I read more than fifteen years ago a journal article in Italian, I never retrieved the reference ; a few books given in the bibliography of the article it:Storia della frontiera sul Monte Bianco of :it Wikipedia seem to enter in this category, notably the book La frontière italo-française du mont Blanc: deux solutions pour le meme problème or the chapter Il confine di Stato sulla vetta del Monte Bianco in Le Alpi in scala, maybe some others. These sources are mostly if not entirely published on the Italian side of the border, which does not disqualify them - contemporary scholars in Italy are not known as dangerously biased by obtuse nationalism. These scholarly sources should ideally be the only ones used, and the "points of view" that are to be included in the article should be only the points of view supported by these scholars. As far as I know (but I have not seen all these books), I suppose they support the obvious contention of a border straddling the mountain top, and of Monte Bianco as the highest point of Italy. Maybe a different sound is at least emitted as an hypothesis in at least one of the sources (I think of the book referring to "deux solutions" ; this could be an opportunity to be more talkative, not forgetting that the scholarly points of view should dominate more amateurish ones in our article ;
  • Second, there are the "points of view" of bodies of the Italian and the French state. Some primary sources used in the article fr:Histoire de la frontière sur le mont Blanc clearly show that this is a minor worry for the Italian Ministery of Foreign Affairs, and a heavier one for an Aostian MP. Not suprisingly, the Italian executive supports the PoV of a binational summit. I am not sure this should be included in WP (and quite sure that this is too much a detail for _this_ general article) - as far as we rely only on primary sources, even if their interpretation is absolutely easy, this is not far from Original Research.
As concerns the French state, things are trickier. Some primary sources have been exhibited while we worked on the article (the map of capitaine Mieulet, IGN maps, a local regulation from 1946 about communal limits). They are difficult to interpret and do not prove in my opinion the existence of a "Point of View of the French State" that has to be delivered on our article. It is obvious that some high-ranking officials and military officers have supported a de facto annexion by France of the contentious sector, but it is difficult to deduce more from these primary sources - whose PoV was it exactly ? The French government's or only some high-ranking civil servant's ? Is it still current today ? (My opinion would be "no" for the second question, but of course we cannot build articles with our opinions). I don't think that the course of a line on a French (or Swiss) map is a "Point of View" that has to be developed in our articles according to WP:NPOV - this is a factual information useful if it supports a PoV, but I don't think it has to be included if we have no secondary source justifying this PoV and, this is the most important thing, attributing it so that we can evaluate its weight.
  • Third, there is the "common knowledge" among Italians or French people. A typical flaw of Wikipedia is to give too much weight to this common knowledge in front of scholarly opinions. As far as it is known through admissible secondary sources, it might and even should be relayed ; but only under this condition so that we can be sure we don't overestimate (or underestimate) the weight of these rough underinformed opinions. The source I suggest (Carl McKeating,Rachel Crolla) does give informations in these directions which could be useful : "most Italians view their highest mountain as Monte Bianco" and "over time the French mountaineering community has sought to claim the summit wholly for France".
My conclusion (shameful to be so longish :-)) is that there is obviously a well-informed PoV of a binational summit (on the source I suggest "In our view, they are correct to do so" - (caveat : I have not read most of the scholarly sources, but I don't expect oddities in them). There also exists a PoV in the other direction, but after lengthy research, we find clues about it (lines on a map and so on...) that are not so easy to use than it might seem, especially for chronological reasons ; a PoV which has been slowly dying during the last sixty years is no more very relevant. This PoV is not sustained by any scholarly or even well-informed source, though it might be related by some of these. We must take care not to give the same weight to two opposite "PoVs" relying on documents of very different quality. A PoV explicitly supported by sources of good quality is not to be treated at equality with the PoV of popular knowledge of underinformed locals in Haute-Savoie. French Tourist (talk) 17:48, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Well done French Tourist! I agree with you, but I don't find where you are not agree with me :-). About primary sources, I find usual to quote them. About secondary sources, scholars you have cited based their own works on primary sources as bilateral treaties between Italy and France. I find a little bit in the dark yours words : ...some high-ranking officials and military officers have supported a de facto annexation by France of the contentious sector... Annexation of Aosta Valley was hardly countered by Italians, but - first of all - by American Army and and American diplomacy, and President Harry S. Truman was ready to don't give anymore support in weapons, munitions and oil to French army if they were not leaving Italian territory. And that is well documented : [8] at p. 18, and [9].--Shardan (talk) 11:24, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Geology[edit]

I've noticed no section on geology. We think of a mountain as a geological structure, made of rock; and the elevation as that of the highest point of this rock, not of annual snowfalls. I was quite excited to read of the meter of horizontal movement in a couple of years, until the snowfall issue 'clouded' this conclusion and, of course, the effect of global warming on the mountain.

Should an alpine geologist write a section on Mont Blanc's geological history -- and clarify its two elevations? -Geologist —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.218.108.22 (talk) 00:40, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

This would be valuable. Moonraker (talk) 22:34, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Infobox: " France /  Italy" or " Italy /  France"?[edit]

I have noticed that this page is experiencing a minor international incident over the priority of the flags in the infobox.

There is clearly some doubt about where exactly the international border lies, but from French Tourist's conclusion in the thread above, under the heading "Article reeks of Italian bias", we seem to have a working consensus that the border goes through the summit, so that the summit has dual nationality. Those disputing whether the French flag or the Italian flag should come first in the infobox do not wish to remove either flag. I do not think it matters how much of the top of the mountain people can stand on, or which side of the border they are standing. The summit is the summit and we are treating it here as having two nationalities. When more than one national flag flies alongside another, the rule is that no national flag should be flown physically higher than another, and if they are in a line at the same height then they go into alphabetical order, according to the principal language of the place where the flags fly. I therefore suggest that we should apply the alphabetical order rule. For that reason only, in my view the infobox should say " France /  Italy". If anyone disagrees, please leave a comment below. Moonraker (talk) 05:47, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Moonraker. The only criterion for ordering should be A-Z. Ericoides (talk) 12:40, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
If Wikipedia's guide line affirm what you say, I agree, otherwise I prefer Italy before France becouse space around summit is mostly on Italy.--93.45.60.12 (talk) 12:54, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Go by the alphabet, I would say, just like Mount Everest. If no agreement can be reached you can always say Europe and fly the European flag as a last resort. Calistemon (talk) 13:04, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Watershed line is well defined, and on summit area italian territory is more than french one. If not in disaccord with Wikipedia's guide line, common sense say Italy before France. In equal conditions, I agree with you--93.45.60.12 (talk) 13:17, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Due to the ongoing edit war, I've just fully protected the article for three days; if you can reach a consensus before then, I'll be happy to unprotect the page. Salvio Let's talk about it! 13:18, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
@ Moonraker. Just one thing: what that rule say if the summit area is for one-tenth on one side e for nine-tenth on the other side? Another thing: where on wikipedia I can read about that rule?Thanks --93.45.60.12 (talk) 14:48, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Frontiers are marked by lines. By consensus in the discussions above it has been pretty much agreed that the frontier runs across the summit, which is marked as a point on maps. It makes no sense to assert that more of the summit area lies in Italy. The notional line bisects the summit and so both countries must be seen to have an equal claim. See Category:International mountains of Europe. Regarding your insertion of death figures for the Mont Blanc massif, these belong on the Mont Blanc massif page not the Mont Blanc page. What you are doing would be equivalent to putting death figures for murders in New York State on the page for the city of New York. Many, but not all, of the deaths in New York State occur in New York. The figure is therefore useless. I'm sure that you know that over the years many people have died in the Mont Blanc massif on the Aiguille d'Argentière, Aiguille de Bionnassay, Aiguille de Blaitière, Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey, Aiguille du Chardonnet, Aiguille du Dru, Aiguille des Grands Charmoz , Aiguille du Grépon, Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Aiguille de Rochefort, Aiguille de Triolet, Aiguille Verte, Dent du Géant, Dôme de Rochefort, Les Droites , Grandes Jorasses, Mont Blanc de Courmayeur , Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Dolent, Mont Maudit etc etc. Why not try to find a figure for deaths on Mont Blanc itself? Ericoides (talk) 15:32, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm not talking about one point, I'm talking about the summit area. Summit area is mostly on Italy. About climbing routes, could you define where massif is ending and Mont Blanc starting? somebody died on Mont Blanc of Courmayeur, perhaps was going to Mont Blanc! Plenty of climbing routes ends on Mont Blanc even if they cross the Massif. --93.45.60.12 (talk) 15:47, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
What a ridiculous debate. Just put them in alphabetical order as in the EU or NATO. We Brits are well used to e.g. the UK being second last in NATO and the USA bringing up the rear, no matter what the relative size or contribution is. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:35, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Here is official Italian mapping of the summit area Monte Bianco. This arguably shows that Italy has more - but not as much as 9/10ths - of the summit area, although summit area is difficult to define so the argument is not clear cut. Official French mapping shows the summit wholly within France (imo a tenuous claim). Do we go by ownership of the summit area, or do we go by F before I? I don't really know, and know of no Wikipedia guideline on the subject, but to dismiss summit area ownership as "ridiculous" seems to me to be somewhat arrogant. Personally I would lean towards ownership of summit area and be slightly more inclined to put Italy first. Viewfinder (talk) 03:26, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

My example was referred to the fact of how we deal with the flags if the summit area is located mostly on one side. In our case, Italy got approximately two-thirds, and France one-third, and I do not see why France flag should came before Italian flag, and I would know if that rule is part of Wikipedia guideline. Here [10] I comes before S, but here [11] S is first than I. Imho user Bermicourt didn't understood anything, and anybody oblige him to give his Pov about flags: if this debate - for him - is ridicolous, giving his Pov him too become ridicolous.--93.41.235.63 (talk) 06:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
1. Why this fixation with the notion of "summit area"? I recognise that Mont Blanc has a rounded summit unlike, say, the Dent du Géant, but it has a summit. This summit has a measurable height. The frontier divides this point. This is what we are dealing with, not some nebulous "summit area". Are you going to give us a reliable source that states exactly what the dimensions of a summit area is? Is it 10 sq metres, 100 sq m, 341 sq m? Would you let me know its exact area, 93.41.235.63, and give me a reference for that? If you cannot define its area you can have nothing definitive to say about it; you are dealing with a vague phantom, fascinating but not relevant here, as this is an encyclopedia. 2. If I am in New Jersey and am killed whilst walking to New York, I am killed in New Jersey. Equally, if I am on the Dru and get killed, I am not killed on Mont Blanc. Ditto all the peaks I listed above. It's a convention in mountain writing to be specific; if someone on the Grandes Jorasses – or the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, which is of course ultimately a spur of Mont Blanc – is killed, we do not say he was killed on Mont Blanc. You might have a case re Mont Blanc de Courmayeur, but my position hardly depends on that one example. The Chardonnet, Mont Dolent etc etc are miles from Mont Blanc. Of course, you could put apples on the banana page on the basis that they are fruit, but we have a banana page to put bananas on, just as we have a Mont Blanc massif page on which to put facts about the Mont Blanc massif. It's not exactly ingegneria aerospaziale. Ericoides (talk) 08:32, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Edit wars over who or what comes first are very common. The only formal Wikipedia guideline that I am aware of is the one which discourages such edit wars. Viewfinder (talk) 12:32, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
@Ericoides. The frontier doesn't divide only one point, it would have been easy! Frontier divide a lot of points, points that form the watershed line. We are talking about this line on summit area, and this area in not at all nebulous, as you say. We know everything about it, even how much meters of ice are there during the year. About its dimension, is not so hard to find. On Web you can find that: [12]. Phantoms are your prejudices. In 2003 the volume of ice was, over 4,800 meters, of 14,600 cubic meters. It dropped to 14,300 m / cubic in 2005, but now (2007) has reached 24,100 cubic meters. What happen if this ice melt? I think that for two third, water will go in Italy, and for one-third in France. As for the Mont Blanc Massif, you have not yet responded to my previous question, I mean, when Massif ends and Mont Blanc begins?. If for you the Mont Blanc is only the last 500 meters of the Massif, on Mont Blanc page we cannot write anything, aside from his height and how many cubic meters of ice are on the top. I think that we have irreconcilable positions on this point, while to me mont Blanc is that: [13], from the Val Veny Val Ferret to a height of 4810, and there are a lot of things to say about.--93.45.143.11 (talk) 09:47, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
1. My point is that the summit is a point and the frontier divides the point into two equal halves. Of course the frontier is more than one point; it is a line, but this is not what we are discussing. To decide on "summit area" as the criterion for flag precedence is completely arbitrary (why not choose volume of rock, the fact that we use the French name for our article, the most popular route of ascent, the relative fatness of the marmots or the swiftness of the ibex, the number of cable-car cabins or any other completely arbitrary measure?). I have nothing further to say on this, apart from to mention that on the official Swiss map (and the Swiss might be seen as partisan to neither the French nor the Italian side), the summit is shown as completely within France. Have a look here. See Moonraker's position above for a sensible rationale for flag precedence. 2. Regarding the Mont Blanc massif, it is not necessary to state exactly where Mont Blanc starts and finishes. Mont Blanc the mountain certainly does not include the Verte, Grandes Jorasses, Aiguille du Chardonnet etc. No one in their right mind would claim that it did. Just have a look at our page on the massif (or the template for the massif that I made) to acquaint yourself with the massif's boundaries. In any case, I have checked the Dumler reference (p. 208 of the UK edition) and the figures of 6000–8000 refer to Mont Blanc itself (Dumler: "Every summer, one hundred mountaineers fail to return alive from this peak, and it estimated that between 6000 to 8000 people have lost their lives on Mont Blanc – more than on any other mountain in the world."), not to the massif, as you said. If you had been more careful with your original claim – and if I had checked the book rather than relying on what you wrote ("Blanc Massif (my emphasis) averages nearly 100 fatalities a year with published estimate of 6000-8000 alpinist fatalities in total. (The High Mountains of the Alps, Dumler, 1994)") – we would not have had this dispute. So we are both at fault. Regards, Ericoides (talk) 10:34, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
OK for the second point. For the first point, I believe that the alphabetic order is right only under conditions of equality. In our case, the boundary line shows that there is not this condition of equality. (Please do not look for allies in Switzerland: it is clear that in this case they are not impartial, apart from the fact that Mont Blanc is not in Switzerland, and the only agreement about that mountain, is only existing between Italy and France) Then I am sorry, what changes for you if first is coming the Italian flag, and then the French one? If it is logic to me, because I am Italian, and because the separating line does not divide the top of the mountain into two equal parts, for you, that you are not French, what kind of logic there is? You don’t like perhaps the Italian flag!! Are you racist? Summit area possession as the criterion for flag precedence is not at all completely arbitrary, there is a clear logic: logic of national boundaries. If we were living without national boundaries, I would be completely with your point of view, but unluckily for Europe it's not yet like that, and Wikipedia should adopt a Neutral Point of View.--93.45.87.131 (talk) 11:34, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
So OK, according to you, the Swiss are not impartial, I might be racist, and you – despite being Italian – are not pushing a pro-Italian agenda. I think all these three comments reflect badly on your judgement (two of them are deeply offensive); in addition, in the absence of any engagement by you with the notion that the summit is a point, bisected equally – as outlined above – and your continued promotion of the theory of the "summit area" (which, in any case, is not supported by two 24-carat WP:RSs, the Swiss and French maps), I will let others continue the debate, as I am wasting my time. For the record, I am English and like France and Italy about equally. But that is an irrelevance. Ericoides (talk) 19:47, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Both the EU and NATO use strict alphabetic order to avoid wasting time over ridiculous "flag-waving" disputes like this, by nations trying to assert their importance over one another. Let's be humble and just follow their sensible example. And then get on with improving the article content, which is surely what Wikipedia is supposed to be striving for. I'm only glad that the UK is always last in these alphabetical lists; we have nothing to lose! --Bermicourt (talk) 20:28, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Quite, it's all simply ridiculous flag-waving. So, Bermicourt, why not change to the alphabetic order as seems to be the consensus here and as I tried – on many occasions – to do? I trust that you do not suffer the frustrating experience I have had. Ericoides (talk) 21:12, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
The alphabetical order is generally used to make easy research when there are long lists of general issues of equal importance. It is not the case. The lists of EU nations are in alphabetical order simply because it is a general list of nations that make up the EU. But if we want to specify, for example, gross domestic product of each nation EU, then we can not put them in alphabetical order, but in descending order. In our case, if we want to specify which flag to employ to indicate the top of Mont Blanc, then the alphabetical order is questionable, because they can be taken into account other factors, such as the amount of summit area that each nation has its own borders. Of course, this is my point of view, and Wikipedia is based on consensus. For me there is nothing dramatic or frustrating, we are only talking about logic and common sense, to give correct information as possible.--93.45.82.177 (talk) 13:31, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Moonraker's proposition. In the case of lakes, glaciers or (well-defined) mountain ranges, giving precedence to regions that occupy the largest area could be an option. But since summits don't have an area (the "summit area" isn't something precise, it is just an approximation of the real summit), alphabetical order seems the most logical and neutral criterion to me. ZachG (Talk) 13:56, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree with anonymous. The watershed line divides the mountain. The two sides are well defined by the watershed line. The same can be said then about lakes bi-national. Nevertheless I do not see anybody be shocked if they do not fit the flags in alphabetical order in the voice over Lake Geneva.--Shardan (talk) 15:23, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I notice that in the Matterhorn article (where alphabetical order is used in the infobox), the introductory sentence says "on the border between Switzerland and Italy." So I thought everyone would be happy if we followed alphabetical order in the infobox and the reverse order in the introduction (pending clarifications about how we measure the 'summit area'). Does it sound acceptable? ZachG (Talk) 16:56, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

French-Italian border - incomplete article[edit]

This is Wikipedia, not a court. The dispute about the border should be faithfully documented here, not judged and then portrayed from a single perspective. Otherwise the article is biased or incomplete... Unfortunately, the article seems to aim only to convince readers that the summit is binational... without sufficient portrayal that or why some French sources view it differently.--Ibn Battuta (talk) 21:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

misleading image[edit]

The image titled "A panoramic view of Mont Blanc after the first snow" is dominated by the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey to the point that Mont Blanc itself is completely hidden.24.108.28.165 (talk) 03:02, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Ranking in elevation[edit]

I see Viewfinder's point that the List of mountains by elevation is incomplete, (see his revert edit comment) but as it stands the infobox may mislead the unwary reader to thinking that it is ranked 11th and we can't have that. There needs to be a statement of its elevation ranking. Plantsurfer (talk) 09:24, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

It seems clear enough that Mont Blanc is ranked 11th by topographic prominence. It is easy to rank Mont Blanc first in Western Europe by elevation, but how can it be given a world elevation ranking? Some mountains that are listed at List of highest mountains, where the rankings have a strict 500 metre prominence qualification, are ranked by elevation, but below 7200 metres we have no world ranking list by elevation. The List of mountains by elevation has no definitive inclusion criterion, it simply includes what anyone has cared to add. Viewfinder (talk) 11:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@Plantsurfer To echo and add to VF's reply and to clarify for other readers. Note the three different lists mentioned here:
  • List of mountains by elevation is simply a compilation of mountains (an incomplete one) grouped by elevation, with no criteria for inclusion and is added to frequently. It can contain any mountain that has an article, so no rankings are based off it.
  • List of highest mountains is a well maintained and complete list of peaks over 7200 m that meet a specific criteria. Peaks are ranked in this list only if their prominence is 500 m or more. All of them are located in the Himalayas or Karakoram ranges of Asia. Mont Blanc is nowhere near high enough to be included in this list and its actual ranking by elevation would be a mere estimation.
  • List of peaks by prominence is also a well maintained and accurate list. Mont Blanc is ranked here as the 11th most prominent mountain in the world. (There is also List of Alpine peaks by prominence where Mont Blanc is ranked first)
Yes it would be easy to state Mont Blanc is highest in Western Europe or in the Alps, but I don't think we have WP list for those. I see your point that the way it is now could be potentially confusing, but virtually every one of the peaks ranked in the two latter world lists has this same link in their infoboxes, and I don't recall there ever being a problem before. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 13:15, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, thanks, I got the point that the lists are random/arbitrary and therefore somewhat less useful for ranking than a chocolate teapot. I admit I am not an expert in this field, but are you telling me there isn't a reliable external source of this information? Plantsurfer (talk) 18:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, there is such a list that we could reference. See the "HIGH ALPS" list here, which ranks the Alps by height down to 100 metres of prominence, by my colleague Mark Trengove. But I am obliged to declare an interest in this site.. it is mine. There are no other summits in Western Europe that are over 4000 metres high. Viewfinder (talk) 18:31, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Not that I'm aware of. Sorry, I didn't mean to drum the point on your head. It was mostly intended as an overview for others. I'm not an expert either, but any list that would reach down to Mont Blanc would have to establish some prominence cutoff that may not be the same cutoff as the WP list uses here. That would cause many discrepancies. Even if such a list did use the same cutoff, it would likely contain many errors and many discrepancies due to differing sources. When I first starting editing mountain related articles, I was a little surprised by number of peaks that are poorly surveyed; have incorrect and falsely reported elevations; have sources differing from one another significantly with some even apparently confused about which peak they are talking about (a link to an example of this if you have a spare 20 minutes or so to read through it), etc.
A possible solution may be to change the prominence rank link to Ranked 11th by prominence to avoid it being confused as an elev ranking. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 18:38, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely no apology sought or needed, but I appreciate the thought! I think your suggestion is constructive. Plantsurfer (talk) 19:20, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
The prominence rank is in the prominence field, and linked to a prominence ranking list. I think it is clear enough that it is not an elevation rank. "Ranked 11th" has been where it is for several years, this issue has not, to my knowledge, been raised before. Of course I would have no objection to the elevation being linked to my site as mentioned above, but I cannot add such links myself. Viewfinder (talk) 20:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
There is more to consider on my suggestion of changing the link to clarify it's a prominence rank. I'm keeping the big picture in mind now. There are many peaks ranked from other prominence lists. See Grossglockner as an example of a peak ranked from List of Alpine peaks by prominence. These prominence rankings could similarly be misinterpreted as elevation rankings. But as pointed out, there hasn't seemed to be any problems in the past.
On the world rankings, there are 125 peaks that have the prominence ranking link in their infobox. I have placed many of them there myself. In cases where those peaks also have a world elevation rank there would be no possibility of confusion, so I suppose only the ones without the elevation rank would need to be changed, but that's still the majority of those. I am not sure how many peaks are ranked from other prominence lists in this way, but we are probably looking at between 150 to 200 articles (maybe more) that have the same situation, if we wanted to make clarifying the link, a sweeping change. I wouldn't mind executing the changes, but is this what we want to do? Personally I would rather not introduce more wording into the link, unless we think it's necessary. Perhaps just ranking the top ten Alpine peaks by elevation using VF's source would be better after all, but right now I'm of the opinion that no action is necessary. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 20:31, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I do not see why we should not be bold and rank a small number of alpine peaks in this way. The worst that can happen is that they are simply reverted. They may be re-linked to better sources. Or they may stick, in which case we can add more. Viewfinder (talk) 21:39, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's still not an ideal solution imo. I assume you are proposing something like this which unfortunately now really does change the implied meaning of the prominence rank. It looks like it's ranked 11th in the Alps. So that means we would still have to change the wording of the prominence rank so it looks like this or this.
I still think this is unnecessary unless there actually is a problem, instead of just a suspected one. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 23:02, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for uploading these examples. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further unless we find source with which I am unconnected. Viewfinder (talk) 00:12, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
That would be entirely up to you, but if we're just talking about how the infobox looks, then your input would be much appreciated. We'll see if Plantsurfer or anyone else has something to add.
PS: Sorry for butchering your site name in those drafts. If we decide to go that route, I will make sure it's correct and go over with you how to best format the citation; crediting Trengove for example, which I did not do in my draft. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 00:37, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Continuous vandalism made by an anonymous user[edit]

Here and there there is somebody who removes the italian name from the first paragraph of the article, as shown in the revision history. It's the second time I'm reverting those changes. I don't know (actually, I wonder perfectly why) why this 151.19.86.145/151.44.46.47 wants to vandalize this page, but maybe a restriction to editing it without having been registered on Wikipedia should be adopted. Flapane (talk) 08:37, 2 July 2015 (UTC)