Adolphus Warburton Moore

Adolphus Warburton Moore

1871 portrait of Moore (top right) with Lucy Walker, seated beside her father Frank Walker, and Melchior Anderegg (standing, centre). The identity of the other man is not known.
Born 1841
Died 1887
Nationality British
Employer Civil service
Known for Mountaineering

Adolphus Warburton Moore (1841–1887) (known generally as A. W. Moore) was a British civil servant and mountaineer.


The son of Major John Arthur Moore and Sophia Stewart Yates,[1] Moore was an India Office official from 1858–1887, holding the role of Assistant Secretary, Political Department from 1875–1885.[2] He was also private secretary to Lord Randolph Churchill.[3]


Moore made a first ascent during his first visit to the Alps in 1862 and immediately became a central figure in the golden age of alpinism.

Moore's first ascents include:

This last route, the Brenva Spur, was the first to be climbed on the remote southern side of Mont Blanc and exceeded in difficulty anything that had thus far been attempted on the mountain. Moore's description of the Brenva ascent is, according to Claire Engel, 'amongst the finest Alpine tales in existence'.[4]

Moore went to the Caucasus with Douglas Freshfield, Charles Comyns Tucker and the guide François Devouassoud in 1868, making the first ascent by a non-native of Mount Elbrus (the lower of the two summits), the highest mountain in the Caucasus,[5] and the first ascent of Kazbek with the same party.[6]


Both Pic Moore and Col Moore on the Brenva face side of Mont Blanc are named after him. According to F. S. Smythe, who together with Thomas Graham Brown gave the col its name during their first ascent of the Brenva face by the "Sentinelle Rouge" route in 1927, "The ordinary Brenva route [the Brenva Spur] begins with the ascent of a little gap, which we named Col Moore in honour of the first conqueror of the Brenva route, A. W. Moore, situated between the foot of the Brenva ridge and a miniature peak now known as the Pic Moore."[7]


  1. – Person Page 14820
  2.[] British Library, Sources for the study of Afghanistan, 1843–1878
  3. Oxford DNB theme: Founders of the Alpine Club
  4. Claire Engel, Mountaineering in the Alps, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971, p. 125
  5. Horace Walker and party made the first ascent of the higher summit six years later in 1874.
  6. Douglas William Freshfield, The Exploration of the Caucasus, volume 1, London: Edward Arnold, 1902, p. 18
  7. F. S. Smythe, The Adventures of a Mountaineer, London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1940, p. 115


Moore, A. W., The Alps In 1864: A Private Journal, London: Basil Blackwell, 1939 (originally printed in 1867 for private circulation)

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