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Alpine style is mountaineering in a self-sufficient manner, thereby carrying all of one's food, shelter and equipment as one climbs,as opposed to expedition style (or siege style) mountaineering which involves setting up a fixed line of stocked camps on the mountain which can be accessed at one's leisure. Additionally, alpine style climbing means the refusal of fixed ropes, mountain guides, high-altitude porters, supplemental oxygen and doping agents, portable hyperbaric bag.
Many consider alpine style to be the most aesthetically "pure" form of mountaineering,setting a standard to which all mountaineers should aspire. This style became well-known and popular with Reinhold Messner, when he and Peter Habeler climbed Gasherbrum I (K5) without oxygen equipment in 1975. Earlier, Wojciech Kurtyka began alpine-style climbing at high altitudes (1972 - Akher Tsagh (7017 m) and Kohe Tez (7015 m)). It was Hermann Buhl's idea to demonstrate alpine style in the Karakoram at the successful Austrian Broad Peak expedition in 1957; in pure alpine style the members of this expedition later climbed Skil Brum (Marcus Schmuck and Fritz Wintersteller) and approached Chogolisa (Hermann Buhl and Kurt Diemberger). A particular increase in popularity has occurred since the creation of the Golden Ice Axe award, one of the main requirements of which is the use of the alpine style.
The benefits of alpine style include spending much less time on the route, thereby reducing objective dangers such as avalanches or blizzards. This can be a major factor on routes with ice fields full of blocks of ice hundreds of feet tall which could fall at any time. Snow and icy conditions often change over the course of a day forcing climbing parties to climb in the early hours before the sun melts the snow or ice making it unsuitable and more susceptible to avalanche. This tendency to climb in the morning has led to the term "Alpine Start". An "Alpine Start" is an early start that ranges from starting at 11:00pm of the night before on long routes, to not long before sunrise for shorter routes or faster parties. An "Alpine Start" must begin in the dark.
The problems encountered while alpine style climbing are related to lack of support and potentially the lack of acclimatization associated with spending less time at very high altitudes. Without fixed ropes to retreat down in case of emergency, or a lower camp to return to, the commitment of alpine style is greater than expedition style in terms of the choice to ascend or descend. A climbing group caught at a point where conditions do not allow further ascent must consider other options such as an unplanned bivouac (perhaps without the appropriate gear), rappels (leaving multiple pieces of protection behind), or moving to another route from their current position (perhaps without adequate knowledge of an alternative route). However, alpine style often is cheaper and faster for those on a budget, as alpine style climbing typically involves less equipment, and eliminates the need to hire porters.
K2, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest. It lies in the Karakoram range, in part in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-administered Kashmir and in part in a China-administered territory of the Kashmir region included in the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang.
Mountaineering, or alpinism, is the set of activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing, and traversing via ferratas. Indoor climbing, sport climbing and bouldering are also considered mountaineering by some.
Mount Everest is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The China–Nepal border runs across its summit point. Its elevation of 8,848.86 m (29,031.7 ft) was most recently established in 2020 by the Nepali and Chinese authorities.
Scrambling is "a walk up steep terrain involving the use of one's hands". It is an ambiguous term that lies somewhere between hiking, hillwalking, mountaineering, and rock climbing. Canyoning often involves scrambling.
Reinhold Andreas Messner is an Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author. He made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest and, along with Peter Habeler, the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen. He was the first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level. Messner was the first to cross Antarctica and Greenland with neither snowmobiles nor dog sleds. He also crossed the Gobi Desert alone. Messner has published more than 80 books about his experiences as a climber and explorer. In 2018, he received jointly with Krzysztof Wielicki the Princess of Asturias Award in the category of Sports.
Nanga Parbat, known locally as Diamer, is the ninth-highest mountain in the world at 8,126 metres (26,660 ft) above sea level. Located in the Diamer District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat is the western anchor of the Himalayas. The name Nanga Parbat is derived from the Sanskrit words nagna and parvata, which, when combined, translate to "Naked Mountain". The mountain is known locally by its Tibetan name Diamer or Deo Mir, meaning "huge mountain".
Broad Peak is a mountain in the Karakoram on the border of Pakistan and China, the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,047 metres (26,401 ft) above sea level. It was first ascended in June 1957 by Fritz Wintersteller, Marcus Schmuck, Kurt Diemberger, and Hermann Buhl of an Austrian expedition.
Hermann Buhl was an Austrian mountaineer and is considered one of the best climbers of all time. He was particularly innovative in applying Alpine style to Himalayan climbing. His accomplishments include:
The Kangshung Face or East Face is the eastern-facing side of Mount Everest, one of the Tibetan sides of the mountain. It is 3,350 metres (11,000 ft) from its base on the Kangshung Glacier to the summit. It is a broad face, topped on the right by the upper Northeast Ridge, and on the left by the Southeast Ridge and the South Col. Most of the upper part of the face is composed of hanging glaciers, while the lower part consists of steep rock buttresses with couloirs between them. It is considered to be a dangerous route of ascent, compared to the standard North Col and South Col routes, and it is the most remote face of the mountain, with a longer approach.One of the many people climbing the Mt Everest through kangshung face are Santosh Yadav.She lead her to climb the Mt Everest from its most difficult and almost impossible route the kangshung face
The 1953 American Karakoram expedition was a mountaineering expedition to K2, at 8,611 metres the second highest mountain on Earth. It was the fifth expedition to attempt K2, and the first since the Second World War. Led by Charles Houston, a mainly American team attempted the mountain's South-East Spur in a style which was unusually lightweight for the time. The team reached a high point of 7750 m, but were trapped by a storm in their high camp, where a team member, Art Gilkey, became seriously ill. A desperate retreat down the mountain followed, during which all but one of the climbers were nearly killed in a fall arrested by Pete Schoening, and Gilkey later died in an apparent avalanche. The expedition has been widely praised for the courage shown by the climbers in their attempt to save Gilkey, and for the team spirit and the bonds of friendship it fostered.
The 1924 British Mount Everest expedition was—after the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition—the 2nd expedition with the goal of achieving the first ascent of Mount Everest. After two summit attempts in which Edward Norton set a world altitude record of 28,126 feet (8572 m), the mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine disappeared on the third attempt. Their disappearance has given rise to the long-standing unanswered question of whether or not the pair climbed to the summit. Mallory's body was found in 1999 at 26,760 feet (8155 m), but the resulting clues did not provide conclusive evidence as to whether the summit was reached.
The 1922 British Mount Everest expedition was the first mountaineering expedition with the express aim of making the first ascent of Mount Everest. This was also the first expedition that attempted to climb Everest using bottled oxygen. The expedition would attempt to climb Everest from the northern side out of Tibet. At the time, Everest could not be attempted from the south out of Nepal as the country was closed to Western foreigners.
Expedition style refers to mountaineering which involves setting up a fixed line of stocked camps on the mountain which can be accessed at one's leisure, as opposed to Alpine style where one carries all of one's food, shelter, equipment etc. as one climbs. Expedition style also incorporates the use of fixed ropes, and climbers will travel up and down the route several times to fix ropes and set up camps, while Alpine style eschews fixed ropes, porters, and camps, and climbers usually only climb the route once in a continuous push. Expedition style was the type of climbing Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay used in the first summitting of Mount Everest.
Amir Mehdi was a Pakistani mountaineer and porter known for being part of the team which managed the first successful ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1953, and of K2 in 1954 with an Italian expedition. He, along with the Italian mountaineer Walter Bonatti, are also known for having survived a night at the highest open bivouac - 8,100 metres (26,600 ft) - on K2 in 1954.
The 1975 British Mount Everest Southwest Face expedition was the first to successfully climb Mount Everest by ascending one of its faces. In the post-monsoon season Chris Bonington led the expedition which used rock climbing techniques to put fixed ropes up the face from the Western Cwm to just below the South Summit. A key aspect of the success of the climb was the scaling of the cliffs of the Rock Band at about 8,200 metres (27,000 ft) by Nick Estcourt and Tut Braithwaite. Two teams then climbed to the South Summit and followed the Southeast Ridge to the main summit – Dougal Haston with Doug Scott on 24 September 1975, who at the South Summit made the highest ever bivouac for that time, and Peter Boardman with Pertemba two days later. It is thought that Mick Burke fell to his death shortly after he had also reached the top. British climbers reached the summit of Everest for the first time in an event that has been described as "the apotheosis of the big, military-style expeditions".
The 1936 British Mount Everest expedition was a complete failure, and raised questions concerning the planning of such expeditions. This was Hugh Ruttledge's second expedition as leader. Heavy snows and an early monsoon forced their retreat on several occasions, and on the final attempt two climbers narrowly survived an avalanche. This was the first expedition in which climbers were able to carry portable radios.
The 1970 British Annapurna South Face expedition was a Himalayan climb that was the first to take a deliberately difficult route up the face of an 8,000-metre mountain. On 27 May 1970 Don Whillans and Dougal Haston reached the summit of Annapurna I which at 26,545 feet (8,091 m) is the highest peak in the Annapurna Massif in Nepal. Chris Bonington led the expedition which approached up a glacier from the Annapurna Sanctuary and then used rock climbing techniques to put fixed ropes up the steep South Face. Although the plan had been to use supplementary oxygen, in the event it was not possible to carry any cylinders high enough for the lead climbers to use on their summit bid.
The 1955 British Kangchenjunga expedition succeeded in climbing the 28,168-foot (8,586 m) Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, for the first time. The expedition complied with a request from the Sikkim authorities that the summit should not be trodden on so the climbers deliberately stopped about five feet below the summit. George Band and Joe Brown reached the top on 25 May 1955, and they were followed the next day by Norman Hardie and Tony Streather. The expedition was led by Charles Evans who had been deputy leader on the 1953 British Mount Everest expedition.
On the 1953 German–Austrian Nanga Parbat expedition Hermann Buhl succeeded in making the first ascent of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. He reached the top on 3 July 1953 and this was and remains the only time an 8,000-metre summit was first reached by someone climbing alone. The expedition was led by Karl Herrligkoffer who went on to lead a long series of attempts to climb eight-thousanders in the Himalaya and Karakoram.