Alpine Club Receives Pelmo d'Oro Award

The Alpine Club has been awarded the 25th Pelmo d'Oro Award by the Italian region of Provincia di Belluno. The Pelmo d'Oro, also known as the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Special Award, is given annually to an organisation or individual who has helped to promote, protect, chronicle or in some other way contribute to the ongoing history of the Dolomites.

This year's award recognises the contribution of the Alpine Club's first President John Ball who, in 1857, made the first ascent of Monte Pelmo - one of the iconic symbols of the Dolomites.

Monte Pelmo by Elijah Walton (1832-1880), Alpine Club Collection

In explaining their decision, a spokesperson for the Provincia di Belluno said the following:

"The Alpine Club, the first of its kind in the world, was founded in 1857. This initiative was inspired by the venture John Ball had accomplished a few months before: accompanied by a guide from Borca di Cadore, he made the first mountaineering ascent to Mount Pelmo, one of the symbols of the Dolomites. The first mountaineers were also the main observers and communicators of those aesthetic, scientific and landscape values, which are universally appreciated today, and are fundamental to the recognition that UNESCO has given to the Dolomites in 2009."

John Ball (1818-1889), Naturalist, Politician & First President of the Alpine Club

Current Alpine Club President Simon Richardson, who will travel to Italy to receive the award, said: 

“The Alpine Club is very proud to receive the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Special Award. At its heart alpinism has always maintained a deep respect for the mountain environment and it is fitting that the Alpine Club, Provincia di Belluno and UNESCO all seek to celebrate and preserve these special landscapes for the enjoyment of present and future generations.”