Friday, October 21, 2011

"Bernard Of Menthon"

I'm back at it again! Time for round two of Genuine Guide Gear's Skigraphiks Contest. This round goes to Backcountry Magazine Editor's Choice 2012 ski in the "Mountaineering" category, the G3 Saint. Congrats to G3 for winning this fantastic award!

Now I shall tell you a little about how I came about my design! I wanted to stray away from the cliche images associated with the term "Saint," cathederals, statues, Renaissance-esque artwork, etc. As I thought about it, I remembered some images I had seen of "Patron Saints of Graphic Design." I thought, well heck, there must be a Patron Saint of Snow, or Skiing or some Saint along those lines. Low and behold I found him! His name was Bernard of Menthon. And through my research about him, turns out he was a pretty awesome feller and most of us don't actually know who he is, but we do  know of him! He will forever be commemorated in the form of a massive, docile, gentle beast of a pup known as the St. Bernard! And thus the idea of my design was simple, straight to the point and off I went! To vote for my design and check out the many other fantastic designs, click here! G3 Skigraphiks Saint
A summed up version of Saint Bernard, the Patron Saint of Skiers and Alpinists goes a little something like this:

There is a path across the Pennine Alps leading from the valley of Aosta to the Swiss canton of Valais. This pass is constantly covered with snow seven to eight feet deep, and drifts sometimes accumulate to the height of forty feet. Although the pass was extremely dangerous, especially in the springtime on account of avalanches, it was often used by French and German pilgrims on their way to Rome. Bernard of Menthon (Bernard of Montjoux 923-1008) founded a monastery and hospice at the highest point of the pass in the year 962, and the pass came to bear his name. A few years later he established another hospice on the Little St. Bernard Pass, a mountain saddle in the Graian Alps. These hospices were renowned for the generous hospitality extended to all travelers over the Great and Little St. Bernard. Heroic monks accompanied by their well-trained dogs went out in search of victims who might have succumbed to the severity of the weather. They offered food, clothing, and shelter to the unfortunate travelers and took care of the dead.

History shows how Bernard saved the lives of scores of travelers who had fallen victim of avalanche, exposure and other mountain hazards. Bernard was canonized and further honored in the late 1800's when European dog owners renamed the Alpine Mastiff, known for it's endurance and capabilities in high altitude rescue, the Saint Bernard. Today Saint Bernard is known as "The Patron Saint of Skiers and Alpinists."

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