- Published: 02 March 2014
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Albert I’s great passion was rock climbing, especially in the Dolomites, but also in the Wilder Kaiser and Bregaglia Range. There he undertook significant expeditions – first roped to guides, but later increasingly in guideless parties – that are still admired today. He climbed – up to grade VI – until age 58. And he was rightly proud of his membership in the Club Alpino Accademico Italiano, which admitted only climbers who had independently completed major ascents. On 17 February, 1934, the Roi Alpiniste fell from the Rochers du Vieux Bon Dieu in Marche-les-Dames near Namur (Belgium), while he was solo climbing.
In many places throughout the world, Albert I lives on in the names of streets and parks, hotels and huts, peaks and ridges. For example, one of the most popular alpine huts in the Mont Blanc massif is still called Refuge Albert 1er – inaugurated on 30 August, 1930, by the king himself.