THE STONE KING
Celebrated by Virgilio as Vesulus pinifer, by virtue of its Cembran pine forests which grow on its slopes, the Monviso with a height of 3841 metres, was also mentioned by Plinio il Vecchio, Dante and Petrarca and described as an isolated giant, with a crown of lower peaks, as testified by the toponym Vesulus, also relating to the Lombard plain. The name however may also derive from the Germanic word weiss, meaning white towering height. The first to climb the heights of the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps, symbol of the Varaita and Po valleys, were the British on 30th August 1861. The most famous climb however was that of the first Italian roped party guided by Quintino Sella who, after reaching the peak in 1863 founded the Club Alpino Italiano.