A name that already seemed to mark what would become his greatest feat: touching the sky with a finger from the top of the "roof of Europe". It is "Marie Paradis" and her story, is set in the very first years of the 1800s in Chamonix. She worked as a waitress in a village inn and had neither mountaineering experience nor ambitions as a mountain climber. What was destined to become an important record in the history of climbing was actually born out of a random event and certainly not planned on the table, as an expedition would require.
Marie received the crazy proposal to climb Mont Blanc from Jaques Balmat, already famous for being the first to plant the flag on that very summit together with her climbing partner Paccard. Probably Balmat wanted to increase his notoriety, aware that he was giving rise to a debate for having convinced a woman to perform an action worthy of a few brave men. On the other hand, the humble Marie at most aspired to gain a little respect from the mountaineers passing through the inn. In any case, in the guide who put forward the idea and, in the woman, who accepted the invitation, there was the desire to face a difficult challenge.
On 14 July 1808, Jacques, Marie and her 14-year-old son Gédeéon accomplished this great feat. Marie, without any physical preparation or even adequate equipment, found herself in serious difficulty. On her return the woman recounted that in the last part of the climb, exhausted, she asked to be left on the mountain. With the help of her companions she managed to climb to the summit and then descend to the valley.
What remains today of the first woman who reached the summit of Mont Blanc?
That of Marie Paradis, or "Marie du Mont Blanc" as she was named on her return, was certainly not a memorable ascent in terms of performance. Besides commemorative plaques in schools, routes and walks, remains its profound significance of this ascent to what was considered by common sense as impossible and forbidden to women. It was certainly a crucial starting point, which opened the way for other women who, from then on, embarked on new expeditions. It still remains today a great example of determination for all people, regardless of gender, who accomplish small and large feats every day, and for those who feel a "call" that they cannot ignore.
Epic Women, the product line of hiking boots designed for women
We chose to dedicate the "Epic Women" collection to Marie Paradis, Amelia Edwards and Henriette D'Angeville, three protagonists of mountaineering challenges worthy of being remembered even today.
Born as a product range dedicated to women, the Epic Women line meets a high level of performance. The special Women’s last is designed to provide the maximum comfort to the female foot. All the models are light and flexible and enriched with precious details.
Focus on women's hiking boots: model 330 Marie Gxt
An ideal boot for trekking and backpacking, designed for women who want to tackle excursions of all levels ensuring maximum comfort to the foot.
The upper is made of soft Tuscan leather combined with the Gore-Tex lining which provides breathability and waterproofness in all weather conditions.
Safety and grip on all types of terrain are guaranteed by the Vibram® Lite Wolf sole. The arrangement of lugs and grooves has been studied for a self-cleaning action.
We hope that the "Epic Women" line becomes the symbol of all the women who are determined to express their value in several contexts, following the footsteps of Marie, Amelia and Henriette.
On the International Women's Day we want to donate the 15% of the sales from March 7 to March 8 of our online shop to Telefono Rosa
, a charity which supports women victims of violence.