The mountaineer and photographer Vittorio Sella was born in Biella in 1859.
He is renown both for his climbs and for his photographic reportages of the expedition. He started climbing at a very young age, and the Alps where the destination of many of his excursions; among the most famous are the winter ascent of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, as well as the first winter traverse of Mont Blanc. His photographs of the Alps include all the most important peaks of the mountain chain.
Due to his expertise both as a climber and as a photographer, he also made some international reportages: he attended expeditions in the Caucasus (for which he won prizes from the Czar Nicholas II and the Royal Geographic Society of London); Alaska; Ruwenzori; and Karakorum.
Sella particularly loved the 30×40 format, that allowed him to take images of extraordinary quality despite the technical difficulties due to the dimensions of the equipment. In 1935 he had to stop climbing, at the age of 76, after an accident involving one of his guides. He died in Biella in 1943.