Peakbagging Page for Abc Hiker

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Click on photo for original larger-size version. (2017-06-03). Photo by Abc Hiker.
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Mountaineering was born in the Alps at the end of the 18th century. Its aim is to reach the top of a certain mountain, as a challenge to nature, which sometimes comes to lose its life. It is the discipline, generally sporting or recreational, which consists of the ascent and descent of mountains. It is also the set of techniques, knowledge and skills aimed at achieving this goal. Mountaineering is not a simple sport, since it derives from an ancient exploratory activity of the human being and as such it has a very important history and traditions that determine a well defined ethic (by fair means) which is the part between this discipline and other forms of adventure tourism. Besides, those who practice it, consider it as a real lifestyle and a way of experiencing and interpreting the world around them.

Mountaineering can be divided into several areas that encompass various specialties, some of which are far from the strict definition of mountain climbing, but which, nevertheless, require that natural environment for their practice: hiking (or hiking), trekking (often misnamed trekking, which actually means "walking for several days in remote places") and expeditions; sport climbing (and bouldering), canyoning (or rappelling, when done only as a downhill specialty and not as a complement to climbing) and ice climbing; there are also sports variants, such as duathlon in the mountains, half-marathon in the mountains and marathon in the mountains; canyoning, ski mountaineering (also called ski touring or ski mountaineering) and mountain biking.12

The term mountaineering is often understood as the sport practised in the high mountains, i.e. high altitude mountaineering. Thus, those who climb mountains are called "mountaineers" or "mountaineers" and not those who only practice one of the above-mentioned specialities. Also, when talking about a mountaineering course or manual, the focus is on hiking in the mountains and not on the whole range of specialities mentioned.

The entire Alpine region covers an area of about 200,000 square kilometres<2> It stretches about 750 km from west to east and about 400 km from south to north and is bordered by the Rhone valley, the Swiss Mittelland, the upper reaches of the Danube, the Little Hungarian Plain, the Po Valley and the Gulf of Genoa.

In the southwest at the Gulf of Genoa, the Alpine arc connects to the Apennines, includes the Po Valley, branches off to the French and Swiss Jura and ends fan-shaped in the east before the West Pannonian mountain and hill country. In the north-east, on the Danube near Vienna, the Alps are separated from the geologically related Carpathians by the Vienna Basin, and in the south-east they merge into the heavily karstified Dinaric Mountains. In the north, the Alps gradually drop to the Austrian and German Alpine foothills. In the south, the drop to the Po Valley is steeper. The mountain range to which the Alps belong extends from the African Atlas to Southeast Asia <3>.

The summit heights in the western mountain ranges are mostly between 3000 and 4300 meters above sea level, in the eastern Alps the mountains are somewhat lower. The highest peak of the Alps is the Mont Blanc with 4810 meters. 128 mountains of the Alps are four-thousand-metre peaks, several mountains are more or less glaciated. The Alps are divided into numerous mountain groups and chains.

The Alps form an important climate and water divide in the "heart of Europe". They separate the central Mediterranean area with the Etesian climate from the Atlantic influenced northern Central Europe and are under continental influence at the eastern edge. Also the drainage follows these major directions to the Mediterranean, North Sea and Black Sea.

The Alpine region comprises areas of the eight Alpine states France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria and Slovenia. It forms the habitat of 13 million people and enjoys European significance as a recreational area. Hungary has shares of low mountain ranges that are counted as part of the Alps, for example the Günser and Ödenburger mountains, but is generally not counted as part of the Alpine region. Since early history, Alpine valleys and passes have also been important trans-European transport links.


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