The lord of the Maritime Alps
Victor De Cessole
It was his family doctor who advised the count to go into the mountains to cure some health problem. Looking down the list of his conquests, it seems he took his doctor's orders very seriously.
Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, usually accompanied by the guides Andrea Ghigo, known as "il Lup", and Jean Plent, he accomplished around ninety first ascents. These were peaks that had never been trodden before, he also opened an incredible number of new routes and managed many first winter climbs.
His "masterpiece" is the South-West wall of Corno Stella climbed in 1903. This mountain had, until then, been considered completely inaccessible. Cavalier De Cessole's intuition led him to weave a route, with various stretches of grade IV climbing, which after crossing a difficult slab (the "mauvais pas"), conquered by Plent in hobnailed boots with a hemp rope around his waist, came out on the open summit slope.