Mountaineering is the fusionand between man and the mountain, the full sense of freedom and the challenge with oneself in reaching the summit, overcoming one's limits. Conquest.
Mountaineering, from the etymology of the word Alps rimgo to primattempts to climb the main and highest peaks. It is the discipline practiced in the high mountains based on overcoming one's limits and the adversities associated with climbing the peak. The ascent can take place on: Rock, ice or snow, or mixed routes.
ORIGINS OF ALPINISM
The Alpine area has been populated since prehistoric times and the human presence is witnessed grazie to archaeological finds at altitudes much higher than the valley floor. It is assumed that iprimthe inhabitants of the Alps used to climb up the mountain through hunting or breeding at high altitude. The Primand exploits of the past (referring to the pioneers of archaic mountaineering) described by Greek and Roman historians such as: Herodotus, Sallust and Livy, recount the exploits of the primand ascended peaks such as Mont Ventoux (1909m) in 1336 or Rocciamelone 3538m high mountain, formidable feats for the time.
Among the various exploits of "mountaineering prehistory" in 1492, that of Mount Auguille (2085m) on the orders of Charles VIII is one of the best known. Captained by a military expert where religious people and local workers participated to erect 3 crosses and a votive chapel on the summit. Until 1700 the climbing of the great peaks represented sporadic events as they lacked resources of interest. The great mountains rimI foraged on unknown terrain for many years.
THE CLIMB OF THE MAIN PEAKS OF THE ALPS
By traditionone the birth of mountaineering is marked on August 8, 1786, the day of the primto ascendone of Mont Blanc. The push to make the climb was made by the Geneva scientist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure but the climb was carried out by the doctor Michel Gabriel Paccard and the hunter and crystal seeker Jacques Balmat originally from Chamonix.
The initial reasons for which it was intended to reach the top of the main peaks were for scientific purposes, in fact they wanted to measure the vicinityone and temperature as well as exploring environments that were still unknown at the time.
You ascend itone on the Alpine peaks it was soon joined by the taste for discovery like the Este familyone of Alpine tourism practiced in particular by the English and Germans. On primin the mid-nineteenth century they were climbed for the primall the main peaks of the Alps including:
Grossglockner – 1800
Punta Giordani (Monte Rosa) – 1801
Ortles – 1804
Jungfrau – 1811
Bernina – 1829
Pelmo – 1857
Monviso – 1861
Grandes Jorasses – 1865
Marmolada – 1864
Matterhorn – 1865
The period of climbing the peaks for scientific purposes ideally ends on 14 July 1865 with the primclimbing the Matterhorn.
If the ascent of Mont Blanc was to some extent aroused by scientific interest and discovery, the feat of the Englishman Edward Whymper contains the ingredients that will characterize modern mountaineering: the challenge as an end in itself with a mountain of great attractionone aesthetics, you competeone between different teams and nationalities, the tragedy of a fatal accident (during the descent four of the seven members lost their livesonemembers of the consortium) and the subsequent controversies.
BIRTH OF PRIMTHE ALPINE CLUBS
In the same period the primand mountaineering associations:
Alpine Club (English) in 1857
Österreichischer Alpenverein (Austrian) in 1862
Italian Alpine Club (CAI) in 1863
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) in 1869
Society of Tridentine mountaineers (SAT) in 1872
French Alpine Club in 1874
Friulian Alpine Society (SAF) in 1874
And if the events that happenrimSince in history they are the tip of an iceberg of a deeper substratum, it is not difficult to support the thesis of a primFrench manufacturer in constructionone of the foundations of modern mountaineering.
At the beginning of the 70s the new mountaineering movement took the name of "Nuovo Mattino", from the title of an article by Gian Piero Motti in the Rivista della Montagna. People began to question and contest the methods and purposes of the classThere are climbers with the idea of conquering via the routes classics, to be repeated with consolidated techniques and methodologies. The idea of the movement was to base mountaineering on the discovery of freedom, the taste for transgressionone, rejecting the mountaineering culture of the summit at all costs, of refuges, of boots, of the CAI, of guides, and deprecating the environmental exploitation of the mountains.
Through specific methods of physical and mental training, technical innovations often imported from the United States (iprimthe pioneers of free climbing) it became possible to overcome difficulties that at the time seemed insurmountable: it is the period in which smooth-soled shoes began to be used, in which free climbing was developed. Once the seventies and eighties have passed, the Nuovo Mattino will fade with its contradictions, leaving innovatione only what could be consumed and massified.
Worth remembering are the great descents from the north faces of Mont Blanc, by the great French snowboarder Marco Siffredi, who, following in the footsteps of Jean-Marc Boivin, was the firstrimor snowboarders to descend the Nant Blanc face alone (over 50º gradient).
Mountaineering in the third millennium has taken on aone increasingly sporty, with mountaineer-athletes capable of great physical performances (routes carried out at speed, linking several itineraries in a single day) or technical ones (very high degrees of difficulty in climbing, extreme descents on skis) also aided by the most modern and advanced training techniques and mountaineering technologies.
At the same time we are witnessing a differencefusionand mountaineering practices even outside the sector's professionals, i.e. simple enthusiasts and amateurs, to the point of pushing mountaineering itself in some cases towards true forms of mass sport or sports tourism, often underestimating personal risks and limits.
CLIMBING TECHNIQUES AND DIFFICULTIES
Mountaineering is based on overcoming the difficulties resulting from ascensionone.
These can be linked to obstacles in the terrain (vertical walls, narrow ridges, etc.) or by the environment itself (high altitude, conditions of atmospheric variability, etc.). The difficulties vary depending on the seasonone in which you undertake the climb and the type of environment you decide to face. Sometimes climbing techniques are necessary by going up climbing routes, other times fully equipped routes such as via ferratas are used.
Climb in summer environment
The difficulties posed by the summer environment at low altitudes are mainly due to overcoming vertical rock obstacles (walls). The techniques applied to overcome these difficulties are those of climbing, free or artificial. In particular, we range from roped advance techniques, each constituting the insuranceone of the other, to the use of the insurance chainone, parking, brake or anchor points.
Climb in winter environment
In winter, low temperatures and the presence of snow and ice pone the mountaineer faces difficulties that are different from those posed by the summer environment (often in a winter environment the new difficulties are added to those typical of the summer environment). To deal with harsh temperatures, special clothing is used, while for technical difficulties (progressone on snow and ice climbing) it is necessary to use special tools, such as one or two ice axes, crampons and ice screws. The techniques used on ice waterfalls are applied on terrain consisting of vertical ice. Some routes allow the use of ski mountaineering techniques in whole or in part.
Mountaineering often involves reaching high altitudes. Here the rigid temperatures due to the altitude mean that the environment is very similar to the winter one even in summer, while the winter characteristics are even more accentuated in the summer season.one cold. Added to this is greater atmospheric variability and the presence of physiological disorders due to high altitude.
The fee can be classified based on the physiological effects observed on the human organism:
0-500 m, near sea level: atmospheric changes are imperceptible to humans and have no effect on human physiology.
500-2000 m, low altitude: atmospheric changes are noticeable, but no significant disadvantages are noted. In elite athletes a reduction is observedone of performanceone above 1500 m.
2000-3000 m, medium altitude: environmental changes become evident and the appearance of altitude disorders is observed after a few hours of residence. I provide itone physical is progressively reduced but can be restored with acclimatization.
3000-5500 m, high altitude: a large number of subjects suffer from altitude disorders, even serious ones. I provide itone physical is reduced even after proper acclimatizationone.
>5500 m, extreme altitude: due to the extreme conditions and the appearance of high-altitude disturbances, permanent human presence is not possible above 5500 meters.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
To know which one ascendsone (via) can tackle based on his technical skills and preparationone physical, the mountaineer needs to know the difficulty of the route itself, in order not to run the risk of finding himself on terrain that he is unable to overcome without being able to go back. The operationone assigning a grade to a route is called quoting or grading and is carried out by the openers and climbersrimthe repeaters of the route. Given the difficulty of classify the routes based on objective data only, the routes are graded through comparison with known, reference routesrimento, for which there is a broad consensus on their degree of difficulty. However, it may happen that subjective data (for example the mountaineer's ability or the habit of moving in a certain environment) and objective but variable factors (for example (e.g. weather conditions or snowfall).
The various disciplines of mountaineering and climbing use different scales of difficulty and also depending on the country (Europe, United States) there may be different scales:
mountaineering difficulty: it is a difficulty scale of French origin that describes overall the values of length, difficulty, exposureone of the street. The grade is expressed with the letters F, PD, AD, D, TD, ED, and ABO.
free climbing: the most used difficulty scales are the UIAA one, expressed by a Roman numeral ranging from I to XI and the French one, expressed by a figure (3 - 9) followed by a letter (a - c). The "+" symbol is also used for intermediate grades. There are also other scales such as that of the United States, England or Australia.
aid climbing: a scale of six increasing grades from A0 to A5 (plus a separate seventh) is used based on the difficulty and quantity of artificial tools used.
ice climbing: the Canadian scale is used, which esprimand both environmental and technical difficulty, and one called WI, Water Ice, which ranges from WI1 to WI7.
mixed climbing: a difficulty scale called M, Mixed is used which goes from M1 to M13.
Mountaineering ascents generally include a so-called "approach" phase, which includes the route taken up to the top.rimor point where mountaineering difficulties are encountered. The approach route is therefore of a hiking type, and follows the same difficulty scale used in hiking:
T, tourist: itineraries with clear routes, on small roads, mule tracks or comfortable paths, generally below 2000 metres. They require some knowledge of the mountain environment and preparationone physical walking.
And, hiking: Itineraries that take place on paths or on tracks that are not always easy to find, or even at higher altitudes. Sometimes exposed, on grassy or debris slopes, on snowy sections, with non-demanding equipped passages, etc. They require a sense of direction and knowledge of the mountains, as well as adequate footwear and equipment.
EE, for expert hikers: Itineraries that involve single rocky passages that are easy to climb, crossing snowy channels, aerial and exposed sections, passages on treacherous terrain, etc. They require equipment and preparationone adequate, experience of the mountains, surefootedness and absence of vertigo.
The EE grade, considered the limit of hiking activity, in some cases tends to coincide with the F grade of the mountaineering scale, although generally the routes classcertified as mountaineering, they require greater commitment and familiarity in moving on unmarked routes. However, there are also ascents to peaks along routes or climbing routes judged to be hiking and not mountaineering difficult, typically on more modest peaks, often grassy without or with a reduced presence of rock.