The Alpine Club was founded in London in 1857-1858. The club's first president, John Ball, edited Peaks Passes and Glaciers, a collection of climbing essays. Ball noted with satisfaction that members of the Alpine Club had left the beaten track in the Alps to complete first ascents of the Monte Rosa, the Dom, the Grand Combin, the Alleleinhorn, and the Wetterhorn. Contemporaries viewed their ascents as a sign of "modern times" and the strength of the English national character.
Source: Title page, John Ball, ed. Peaks, passes, and glaciers. A series of excursions by members of the Alpine Club. (London, 1859). Swi 688.59*, Houghton Library, Harvard University, http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/004190942/catalog