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Wednesday, 20 July 2016


The sport of mountaineering originated on June 26, 1492 when an expedition set out to climb Mont Aiguille, in the Vercors near Grenoble, led by Antoine De Ville, Lord of Domjulien and Beaupré. De Ville and his team scaled the near-vertical Alpine peak Moguille on King Charles VIII orders, reaching the summit by means of ropes and siege ladders. Their achievement was not repeated until 1834. It was the first ever recorded climb of any technical difficulty.

Physician Dr Michel-Gabriel Paccard and mountain guide Jacques Balmat completed the first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc on the French – Italian border on August 8, 1786, an act considered to be the birth of modern mountaineering.

In 1787 the top of Mont Blanc was removed and is now in a museum in the Netherlands.

Picture of a mountaineer by Josef Feid Anastasius Grün

A climbing team led by two German brothers, Johann Rudolf and Hieronymus Meyer, became the first to reach the summit of the Jungfrau on August 3, 1811. The Jungfrau is the third highest summit in the Bernese Alps.

The beginning of mountaineering as a systematic sport is generally dated to the ascent of the Wetterhorn in 1854 by Sir Alfred Wills who made mountaineering fashionable, especially in Britain. This inaugurated what became known as the Golden age of alpinism, with the first mountaineering club - the Alpine Club - being founded three years later.

A seven-man team by led by the English illustrator, Edward Whymper made the first ascent of the Matterhorn on July 14, 1865. Four of the party members fell to their deaths and this ascent is generally regarded as marking the end of the golden age of alpinism.

The first ascent of the Matterhorn, by Gustave Doré

Episcopal priest Hudson Stuck led the first successful ascent of Mt. McKinley, the highest point on the American continent on June 7, 1913.

Yevgeniy Abalakov became in 1933 the first man to reach the highest point in the Soviet Union, Communism Peak (now called Ismoil Somoni Peak and situated in Tajikistan) .

An all-female Japanese team reached the summit of Manaslu in 1974, becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak.

Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner made his ascent of Lhotse in 1986, making him the first person to climb all fourteen "eight-thousanders".

English mountain climber Julie Tullis became the first British woman to reach the peak of K2, the world’s second highest mountain in 1986, but died after being injured during a storm on the descent. She only took to serious mountain climbing in middle age and was also a black belt in aikido and karate.

The cast of the three Lord of the Rings movies often had to fly to remote shoot locations in New Zealand by helicopter. But actor Sean Bean was afraid of flying. So, when the crew shot the scenes of the Fellowship crossing the snowy mountains, Bean would spend two hours every morning climbing from the base of the mountain to the set near the top, already dressed as Boromir. The other cast and crew would pass him as they flew up.

Source Daily Mail

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