Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Célestin Passet was born in Gavarnie in 1845. In the Passet family, being a mountain guide was a veritable institution: Laurent (1810-1864), his uncle and his son Henri (1845 - 1920) extensively wrote on the early history of Pyreneism.
His father often guided Russell on climbs in the mountains. It was obvious that Célestin would become a guide himself too.
His mountain guide career began on July 3, 1872; at 27 years, he was the first to climb Monte Perdido (3355 m) from the eastern side with Henry Russell.
In 1878 he meets Henri Brulle and Jean Bazillac in Sarradets. That day, a great team was born which would make many feats and firsts to its credit. But it is especially Henri Brulle who pushes the professional development.
In 1883 Passet left for his first campaign in the Alps with Henry Brulle and Bazillac.
The following year, they meet again in the Alps and they perform a large number of new climbs: Southern Aiguille d'Arves Dent Parrachée, Grande Casse , Grand paradise, Mont Blanc , Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, fourth ascent of the Dru (first in a day from Chamonix)
He quickly became the most famous of the great guides of the Pyrenees. His reputation exceeded the small area of Gavarnie; he travels the world, accompanying many customers.
Célestin Passet died in November 1917 of an attack of paralysis.