Mountaineering

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**History of Mountaineering:**
– Humans have been in mountains since prehistory.
– Ötzi’s remains found in the Ötztal Alps date back to the 4th millennium BC.
Climbing mountains was practical, symbolic, and for various purposes.
– The 1492 ascent of Mont Aiguille by Antoine de Ville is considered the birth of mountaineering.
– Conrad Gessner is recognized as the first to hike and climb for pleasure.
– Fanny Bullock Workman ascended Himalayan peaks in 1903, 1906, and 1908.
– Gurkha sepoys trained as mountaineers by Charles Granville Bruce contributed to exploration.
– Eckenstein-Crowley Expedition in 1902 attempted to scale K2 but turned back at 22,000 feet.
– Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal climbed Annapurna in 1950.
– Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay summited Mount Everest in 1953.

**Global Expansion of Mountaineering:**
– Horace-Bénédict de Saussure’s attempts on Mont Blanc in 1757.
– Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard’s climb of Mont Blanc in 1786.
– Sir Alfred Wills’ ascent of the Wetterhorn in 1854 marked the Golden Age of Alpinism.
– Edward Whymper’s party’s dramatic first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865.
– William Cecil Slingsby contributed to Norwegian mountaineering.
– Mountains of Norway, like Jotunheimen, were explored by British mountaineers.
– Norsk Tindeklub was founded by Norwegian mountaineers in the early 20th century.
– Mount Saint Elias in Alaska-Yukon was summitted by the Duke of the Abruzzi in 1897.
– European explorers climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 1889 and Mount Kenya in 1899.

**Mountaineering Today and Organization:**
– Middle-class emergence in the 19th and 20th centuries led to mass interest in mountaineering.
– Some criticize mountaineering as becoming overly commercialized.
– Lack of formal rules in mountaineering.
– Technical skills like roped climbing and snow travel are essential.
– Recognition of climbing activities by the International Olympic Committee.
– UIAA counts numerous national alpine clubs as its members.
– The Piolet d’Or is a prestigious mountaineering award.

**Mountaineering Activities and Techniques:**
– Traditional mountaineering involves climbing specific mountains using appropriate means.
– Ski mountaineering entails skiing on rugged terrain.
– Peak bagging is ascending notable peaks like the 4000m Alps peaks.
– Enchainment is climbing multiple summits in one outing.
Ice climbing requires climbing steep sections of ice using crampons and ice axes.
– Mountaineering techniques vary by location, season, and terrain.
– Hazards vary from trails to rock, snow, and ice.
– Adequate food, water, equipment, stamina, and skill are crucial for mountaineers.

**Safety, Shelter, and Conditions in Mountaineering:**
– Objective hazards relate to the environment, while subjective hazards relate to climbers’ poor judgment.
– Shelter options include alpine and arctic shelters, emergency bivouac sacks, and base camps.
– Safety measures include recognizing hazards, acclimatizing to altitude, and proper gear.
– Conditions like altitude sickness, heat-related illnesses, and cold-related illnesses require specific precautions.
– Mountaineering styles include expedition and alpine, each with its own characteristics and requirements.

Mountaineering (Wikipedia)

Mountaineering, mountain climbing, or alpinism is a set of outdoor activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing, and traversing via ferratas that have become sports in their own right. Indoor climbing, sport climbing, and bouldering are also considered variants of mountaineering by some, but are part of a wide group of mountain sports.

Mountain climbers ascending Mount Rainier looking at Little Tahoma Peak
A climber taking the final few steps to the 6,160 m (20,210 ft) summit of Imja Tse (Island Peak) in Nepal, 2004

Unlike most sports, mountaineering lacks widely applied formal rules, regulations, and governance; mountaineers adhere to a large variety of techniques and philosophies (including grading and guidebooks) when climbing mountains. Numerous local alpine clubs support mountaineers by hosting resources and social activities. A federation of alpine clubs, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA), is the International Olympic Committee-recognized world organization for mountaineering and climbing. The consequences of mountaineering on the natural environment can be seen in terms of individual components of the environment (land relief, soil, vegetation, fauna, and landscape) and the location/zone of mountaineering activity (hiking, trekking, or climbing zone). Mountaineering impacts communities on economic, political, social and cultural levels, often leading to changes in people's worldviews influenced by globalization, specifically foreign cultures and lifestyles.

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