Alpinism (or “Mountaineering”)has a pretty long and interesting
history and actually goes all the way back to the times when no one in the
world even had the technology needed to simply write about it. Because of the
overall lack of information regarding actual alpinism in the world of the past,
most modern day alpinists simply have to surmise what the world’s earliest
mountaineers actually did to traverse the difficult terrain safely. Most
mountaineers also often ponder whether or not traversing mountains in the past
was generally avoided as often as possible and if they did climb, what their
motivation was. The answer to such questions could actually be pretty simple
though. George Mallory simply said that his main reason to climb mount Everest
was “because it’s there”.
For the most part, many hikers and mountaineers all agree on
the fact that early mountaineering trips of mankind were probably done for the
sake of hunting and resource gathering as well as spiritual and religious
purposes (altar building, meteorological observation, watch tower building,
etc.). Expert heliskiing
Today, Mountaineering is a popular sport, hobby, and even a
profession of walking, hiking and mountain climbing on either rock (rock craft)
or snow (snow craft).
It is frequently undertaken for the thrill of reaching the
summit of a mountain. Extreme heliskiing
The achievements made in the sport are no mean feat. They
require a lot of physical, mental and even logistical preparations if one aims
for a successful climb. Aside from popularizing the sport, mountain expeditions
also contributed to a lot of scientific studies. Below are some of the
highlights in the Mountaineering world:
1874 - Grove, Gardiner, Walker, Sottajev and Knubel reached
the summit of the highest mountain in Europe: Elbrus.
1913 - Karstens, Harper, Tatum and Stuck reached the summit
of the highest mountain in North America: Mount McKinley also known as Mount
1953 - Norgay and Hillary reached the summit of the highest
mountain in the world: Mount Everest in Nepal.
1985 - Dick Bass reached Mount Everest and became the first
person to reach all of the Seven Summits.
But not everyone was born for the rough terrain.
Mountaineering, a practice handed down by the hunters and workmen of the
ancient communities, requires high technical and gymnastic abilities. It is
therefore important to be well-trained and climb mountains that are within your
level of experience and expertise. The most expensive equipment can never
compensate for your own lack of experience, so make sure to build your
experience up first before anything else.
Hiking, a gentler component of Mountaineering, is simply walking
on unspoiled mountain trails with the intention of exploring and enjoying
nature. What used to be man’s mere familiarity with mountain treks in the
spirit of the hunt is now a leisurely, even therapeutic activity.
The term “Hiking” is used by all English-speaking countries
with variations in different regions. Australians, for instance, use the term
“bushwalking” while the English simply call it “walking.” Overnight Hiking is
specified as “backpacking” by the English while New Zealanders call it
Today, Mountaineering is already a multi-billion dollar
industry which has spawned numerous websites, trails, and equipment which are all
marketed to meet the lures of the sport. Aside from the monetary component,
this activity is already popular and continues to become more popular among the
younger generation who do it to appreciate and commune with nature more. They
are the ones who will continue writing the History of Mountaineering until
every mountain in the world has been climbed.