The alpinism is a whole of sporting disciplines which gather various techniques of progressions in Montagne.
- In a letter with his/her friend Francesco Dionigi, Pétrarque claimed to have climbed the Mont Ventoux on April 26th, 1336 accompanied by his/her brother and two servants, " pushed only by the desire to visit a famous place for its altitude".
- In 1492, the Mont Switches was climbed by Antoine of City on order of Charles VIII of France. It is about the first rise having had recourse to techniques of alpinism.
- One generally considers that the alpinism was invented by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure when he proposed a premium with the first which would climb the Mont Blanc.
The conquest of the AlpsThe August 8th 1786, the guide Jacques Balmat and the doctor Genevese Michel Paccard arrive for the first time at the top of the Mont Blanc.
Before becoming a sporting discipline, the alpinism was practiced by the inhabitants of the Alps, in particular the hunters of chamois. It is them which accompanied the military topographers on the tops at the beginning of the XIXe century. Many first rises were undoubtedly not recorded in these old times, which left the free field to the tourists to declare their first within the framework of a sporting and mediatized alpinism.
The alpinism took then its rise at the 19th century under the impulse the climbing ones, as a British majority of nationality:
- Edward Whymper ;
- Albert F. Mummery;
- William Auguste Coolidge which was, him, American.
- Frederick Gardiner,
The two last great tops virgin of the Alps are climbed in 1865 (Whymper reaches for the first time the top of the Cervin), then the August 16th 1877: E. Boileau de Castelnau with Gaspard Father and wire carry out the first rise of the Meije. All the great tops of the the Alps were thus conquered: it is the beginning of the sporting alpinism.
The last faces north
At the beginning of the XXe century, the goal was to reach the top by choosing the easiest way. The mountaineers frequently carried with them measuring devices scientist or material of painting to justify their rise. Henceforth, the beauty and the difficulty of the way take importance.
The material develops with the use of the pitons, snap hooks and shoes with rubber soles. Certain mountaineers free themselves from the guides and thus develop a practice which is not reserved any more for a fortunate elite. Little by little, all the slopes of the tops of the the Alps are climbed, including the worrying faces nord.
The last faces north were climbed in the Années 1930, in particular the faces north of the Grandes Jorasses, the Eiger and the Cervin.
With the attack of the 8000
After having climbed all the tops of the the Alps by all the slopes, the mountaineers sought other playing fields or other forms of challenges.
Thus certain mountaineers turn to higher tops: it is the race to the 8000 in the the Himalayas.
During the years 1950 and the beginning of the year 1960, the great tops of the the Himalayas are conquered.
In the the Alps, the fashion is with winter (rises carried out in winter), with the solos (rises carried out only, often car-policy-holder), with the sequences (achievements of several ways of continuation). Certain climbing even try to combine the three practices while realizing in solo, the winter, the sequence of the emblématiques faces Northern of the Alps: the Large Jorasses, the Cervin, the Eiger…
Summits of more than 8.000 meters
The tops of more than 8000 meters are fourteen and all are located in the solid mass of the the Himalayas. Divide them the India, the Pakistan, the Nepal and the China. The first top with being climbed was the Annapurna, on June 3rd, 1950, by the mountaineer (and politician) French Maurice Herzog. The others were climbed in turn in the Années 1950 and the beginning of the Années 1960.
When the alpinism is not practiced in solo, the partners are generally connected by a cord, whose role is to deaden and stop a possible fall. This cord is attached to the Baudrier which encloses the basin of the mountaineer. To a frozen ground, the mountaineers relate under their shoes of the Crampons whose steel points hang the ice. For their balance, they make use of a Piolet held with the hand and whose bottom of the handle comprises a point. In vertical medium, the blade located in top of the handle of the ice axe is used for traction. To ensure their progression in this vertical medium, the cord passed regularly in points of anchoring, Piton, Coinceur or Sangle, placed manually in the rock. If the rock is covered with ice, a Broche with ice allows the assurage while being inserted in the ice. The Declads S, made up of two Mousqueton S and of a Sangle, play the part of connector between the point of anchoring and the cord. The chute is one of the systems connected to the cord on the level it cross-belt to control the run of the cord at the time of the assurage or the Abseil.
Quotation of the difficulties
Snows, ice and mixed
Of I with VII: the quotation of serious expresses engagement, the length, the distance, the difficulty of approach and descent, continuity, the equipment in place, the difficulty of being protected and the risks objective.
- I: Route short, not very distant, easy descent
- II: Longer route or a little more technical, descent asking attention sometimes, few objective dangers
- III: Route long, sometimes distant, delicate descent, possible objective risks
- IV: Route of width requiring a good experiment of the alpinism, approaches long or complicated descent, objective risks, delicate retirement
- V: Long route in a large wall, committed. The cord must have an excellent qualification level (choice of the route, problem of assurage, many difficult and constant lengths), difficult retirement, long or difficult descent, important objective risks
- VI: Route on a large face which can be traversed in one day by the best. Practically that hard and constant lengths. Seldom good conditions, advance complicated, assurage problematic, random retirement. Long and difficult descent. Very exposed route with the objective dangers (Serac S)
- VII: Idem in even harder. Very seldom used.
Of F with D then from 1 to 7: the technical degree expresses the most important difficulty, the hardest length.
- F: No the technical difficulty
- PD: Not very Difficult, requires a good use of the cramps, ice axe, assurage of the first or the second
- AD: Slope supported with rectified parts (45/50°)
- D: Slope supported with stiff sections (50/60°), request a sure technique and a good knowledge of the assurage
- 1: Long passage to 60°
- 2: Passage to 60/70° but good possibility of assurage
- 3: passage to 70/80° generally in good ice. The stiff parts alternate with good sites of rest making it possible to pose points of assurage
- 4: Passages to 75/85° with sometimes a short vertical section. Generally good ice and possibility of good relays
- 5: A length supported with great section with 85/90°, requires a good technical ease
- 6: At least a very constant length, request a very great technical control. The quality of the ice can leave something to be desired, random anchorings and protections
- 7: Frankly hard, technical and mental control inébranlable is essential…
Note: one can add + to these values in order to increase them/reduce. One can also supplement by: X, Risk of collapse, R: thin ice, M: mean section.
One of the traditional systems of quotation of the difficulty of a way in alpinism includes/understands six levels, of Difficult Facile to Extrêmement , to see seven if one includes quotation ABOminable . One finds sometimes the mentions " sup" and " inf" beside quotation, to indicate that the way is in the upper part (respectively lower) of quotation. These quotations take into account the engagement of the way.
Quotation in rock is supplemented by a figure from 3 to 9 accompanied by the letters has, B, C which expresses the technical degree required for the most difficult passage.
See also: Literature of alpinism
- Yves Ballu: The mountaineers (Arthaud 1984, republication Glénat 1997)
- Sylvain Jouty & Hubert Odier: Dictionary of the mountain (Arthaud 1999)
- Summits. Hundred years of adventure in mountain (ED. Place Victories 2004)
- Steven Mr. Cox and Kris Fulsaas: Guide of the mountaineer (Guerin 2007)
- Jacques DUCA and Claude Rey: " Safety in high-mountain with foot or ski" (Édisud 1998)
Novels, tales and news
- Roger Clipping-Rock: First of cord (Arthaud 1941, republished)
Alpine memories, accounts, biographies, tests
- Pierre Allain: Alpinism and competition (Arthaud 1949, and Guerin nouv. edition)
- Patrick Berhault: free Encordé but (Glénat, 2002)
- Walter Bonatti: Mountains of a life (Guerin 2001)
- Greg Child: Theorem of the fear (Guerin 1997)
- Lynn Hill: My life with the vertical (Guerin 2002)
- Rene Desmaison: 342 hours in Large Jorasses (Flammarion 1973)
- GHM: Great alpinism. Alpine accounts 1919-1999' (Guerin 2000)
- Maurice Herzog: Annapurna first 8000 (Arthaud 1951)
- Louis Lachenal: Notebooks of the giddiness (Horay 1956, nouv. edict. supplemented Guerin 1996)
- Lionel Terray: conquerors of Useless the (Gallimard 1961 and Guerin rééd. illustrated 1995)
- Jean-Christophe Lafaille: Captive of Annapurna (Guerin 2003)
- Georges Livanos: Beyond the vertical (rééd. supplemented Guerin 1997)
- Reinhold Messner: the naked mountain (Guerin 2003)
- Gaston Rébuffat: Mont Blanc, fairy-like garden (Guerin 1998)
- David Roberts: Annapurna, a business of cord (Guerin 2000)
- Joe Simpson: suspended death (Glénat 1989)
- Judy & Tashi Tenzing: Tenzing and Sherpas of the Everest (Glénat 2003)
- Alpinism without guide
- alpine Club French (CIF)
- French federation of the mountain and the climbing (FFME)
- 14 eight thousand
- a page devoted to the writer and mountaineer Roger Clipping-Rock
- a site devoted to the mountaineer Claudio Barbier, climbing who, in the years 1960-1970, marked of his print the development of the free climbing.
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