A farmer and crystal prospector, Jacques Balamat was born in Chamonix on 19 January 1762. He searched relentlessly for a way to climb Mont Blanc and was the first to reach the summit on 8 August 1786 with Doctor Michel-Gabriel Paccard. Together they reached the “roof of Europe” at 6:23 pm and remained there for 30 minutes. In 1787 he also guided Horace-Bénédict de Saussure. A mineral aficionado, Balmat accompanied naturalists in the Alps and died at the Cirque du Fer in Cheval in 1834.