samedi 12 septembre 2015


Mount McKinley, which was officially named by a New Hampshire-born Seatleite, William Dickey, a short but stout man who wore an oversized, black hat  and who led a gold prospecting expeditions in the 1890’s, didn’t want to support the democrat William Jenning's bid for presidency because he was pro-silver.

Hudson Stuck, looking at the camera,  the first to climb Denali in 1907 was a theologian from London.

 Indeed Dickey favoured William McKinley who went on to become President of the United States and promised to bid for a gold standard that would add nuggets to Dickey’s pockets, hence explaining his choice for Mount McKinley. However, recently it has  been renamed Denali or “the tall one” which was the original name given by the Koyukon Athabaskans. (It can be spelled Deenalee or Deanaliii dependi

ng on whether the Athbaskans where facing the mountain south at 63 degrees 04 minutes and 12 seconds north or North, at 63 degrees 03 minutes and 11 seconds south. It is unlikely the Athabaskans knew how tall Denali, which at 6,190 meters makes it the tallest peak in North America actually was.

The renaming of Mount McKinley did not happen overnight: Jimmy Carter in 1980 tried to negotiate a deal that Ohio congressman Ralph Regula strongly opposed by naming the adjacent national park “Denali Park”. However, some claimed that this only created confusion and only years after congressman Regula’s retirement did a new path open up for the renaming of the actual mountain.

The Mount Blanc at 4810 meters situated at 45 degrees, 49 minutes and 55 seconds north, as legend has it, was named by dentist  Gabriel Michel Paccard, 29, and a Savoyard hunter Jacques Balmat24, who in 1786, were the first to climb the famous mountain.
When they arrived down to the small village of Chamonix they were greeted by a crowd. 
“C’etait tout maa, maa, blanc” exclaimed Dr Paccard, breathing heavily and near exhaustion from having carried a ladder up and down the mountain. In fact, without sunglasses both climbers were blinded by the light  and the mayor of the village, Monsieur Dubonbois, who, like many was a patient of the Doctor,  thought he had said  “Mont Blanc”. (Historians believe the mispronunciation was due to Paccards lips being frozen, despite it being the month of August.)

Today, a recent petition has been put forth to change the name of Mont Blanc, considered banal and obvious to many to “Spenstolatos”. This name is derived from Mr Spencer, Stone and Skarlatos, the 3 Americans who foiled Ayeb El-Khazzani’s attempt to massacre a large number of people who were travelling from Amsterdam to Paris  on August 21, 2015. 

Curiously the 21st of August is also the date when Paccard and Balmat climbed and named Mont Blanc and today’s mayor, Eric Fournier, approved the motion to rename the highest peak in Europe saying, “I was so impressed when these three young men looking like boys in their polo t-shirts, got the legion d’honneur from President Hollande. The only better honour I could think

of is to rename our mountain after them.”

To appease any opposition the Mer de Glace, a nearby glacier, will be renamed the "Mer de Glace Blanc".

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