Mountaineer, photographer, author, aristocrat, fundraiser and mother, Elizabeth Main was anything but your average visitor to Switzerland.This content was published on September 24, 2003 - 10:20
Seventy years after her death, the life of the intrepid British alpinist is being re-explored in a new exhibition and book.
The alpine museum in Pontresina is presenting a selection of Main’s photographs, many of which were taken during first ascents of local peaks.
Personal belongings and biographical details have also been gathered together to bring Main’s extraordinary story back to public attention.
Of course many local people will be interested in the photos because of what they say about how we lived back then, and how the landscape looked,” says exhibition organiser Dora Lardelli.
“But I hope that we can also pique their interest in the extraordinary life of the woman behind the lens.”
Although Main’s blue blood could be traced all the way back to Catherine the Great, it was her lungs which first brought her in 1880 to the Engadin valley.
Like many wealthy Brits, Main was sent to the mountains to help her recover from a respiratory disorder.
The “Tages-Anzeiger” said Swiss management, led by André Dosé, would have to steer the airline through fierce competition from other carriers, overcapacity and plummeting flight prices, and warned that the fiercest competition was likely to come from Lufthansa.
The French-language “Le Temps” said the move was driven by a need to escape a “negative spiral” and boost the carrier’s chances of survival.
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