Sport of attaining, or attempting to attain, high points in mountainous regions, mainly for the joy of the climb. The pleasures of mountaineering lie not only in the conquest of the peak but also in the physical and spiritual satisfactions brought about through intense personal effort, ever-increasing proficiency, and contact with natural grandeur. The greater rewards do not come without considerable risk and danger. The first great peak ascended in modern times was Mont Blanc, in 1786. Other Alpine peaks followed, capped by the ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. By the 1910s, most peaks of the Andes, the Rockies, and other Western Hemisphere ranges had been climbed, including Mount McKinley (1913). Beginning in the 1930s a series of successful ascents of mountains in the Himalayas occurred; the summits of many of the Himalayan mountains were not reached until the 1950s, however. Of these climbs, the best known is the 1953 ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. In the 1960s mountaineering became an increasingly technical sport, emphasizing the use of specialized anchoring, tethering, and grappling gear in the ascent of vertical rock or ice faces.
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Climbing is the activity of using one's hands and feet (or indeed any other part of the body) to ascend a steep object. It is done both for recreation (to reach an inaccessible place, or for its own enjoyment) and professionally, as part of activities such as maintenance of a structure, or military operations.
Climbing activities include:
Rock, ice, and tree climbing all usually use ropes for safety or for aid. Pole climbing and rope climbing were among the first exercises to be included in the origins of modern gymnastics in the late 18th century and early 19th century.
Climbing has been featured in many popular movies, such as Cliffhanger and Mission: Impossible II, but is often inaccurately portrayed by Hollywood movies and popular media. Exceptions include the films The Eiger Sanction and Touching the Void. The sport of rock climbing was swept up in the extreme sport craze in the late 1990s which led to images of rock climbers on everything from anti-perspirant and United States Marine Corps commercials, to college promotional materials. Both pole and rope climbing can be seen in circus performances, such as Cirque du Soleil. The sport of rope climbing was once an official gymnastic event in the Olympic Games, but was dropped after 1932. The Czech republic and France have resurrected it and contests are held in public gathering places, such as shopping centers, as well as in gymnasiums. Pole and mast climbing were popular in the 18th and 19th century in village festivals in certain parts of Europe, and were still part of the physical education curriculum at the United States Naval Academy in the 1960s.