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A short
introduction to the history of mountain guiding A short introduction to the history of mountain guiding  by KoenVl

Nowadays mountain climbing is immensely popular. Millions of tourists and mountaineers are visiting mountain ranges all over the world each year. According to UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) approximately 120 to 170 million people are visiting mountain regions around the world each year, taking up 15 to 20% of the global tourism market, and their number is ever growing.[1] More than six thousand official mountain guides are leading many of these people around the world safely in and on the mountains.[2] A great many of them hire mountain guides to help them climb mountains or to explore mountain regions they otherwise would not dare to do. In a mountain guide they find someone who is capable of leading them safely, and in good company, to those places. But how and why did the profession of mountain guiding began and how did it develop in the course of the nineteenth century? What part played the first alpine associations? How did this profession evolve to become as important and well respected as it is today?

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An
interesting comparison between the driest year (2014) and the wettest year
(2011) in Yosemite national park An interesting comparison between the driest year (2014) and the wettest year (2011) in Yosemite national park  by kamran

On September 5th, 2011, a friend of mine and I climbed Mt. Conness in the eastern part of the Yosemite national park. The year 2011 was the wettest year on record in the north of Sierra-Nevada range. The scenery was spectacular. I don’t think anybody had ever seen that much snow in the month of September in Yosemite national park. You can see my album here. On the other hand the year 2014 was one of the driest years (if not the driest) on record in California. In order to get some sense of the difference between 2011 and 2014, you can look at the amount of snowfall in several spots in northern Sierra-Nevada range. For example the average amount of annual snowfall on top of Squaw valley ski area is about 450”. In 2010/2011 that was 810”, and in 2013/2014 it was 297.5”. In fact in Squaw valley in the past 20 years, 2011 was the only year with snowfall higher than 700”, and 2014 was the only year with snowfall lower than 300”.

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Gaming Problems: Re-Thinking
Tejada-Flores Gaming Problems: Re-Thinking Tejada-Flores  by jacobsmith

At least outside Yosemite Valley aficionados, Lito Tejada-Flores is not a name many climbers today would recognize. I certainly didn’t when I first came across references to his essay, “Games Climbers Play,” in an anthology on climbing philosophy. Anyone familiar with American climbing history will recall such figures as Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, and Yvon Chouniard as pioneers of the big wall style, the precursors of the more stylish (and sticky-rubbered) Stonemasters - Jim Bridwell, John Long, Lynn Hill, and their ilk. It was into the former of these groups that Tejada-Flores fit, and he was indeed a participant in some of the most ground-breaking “grade six” ascents of his day. In “Games Climbers Play,” published in 1967, he attempted to define climbing in terms of a series of games with differing rules; this was to avoid the ever-looming question of what climbing is and, more divisively, what it is not.

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Old
Climbings (An old way of climb)/1 Old Climbings (An old way of climb)/1  by OsvaldoCardellina

But how is that climbed in the Sixties/Seventies and the equipment which was available both in climbing on rock and ice? And what is the security that was made on climbs? You have to make a huge leap backwards in time, only to realize that evolution is not never stop. We do not want to get to the wooden stairs that were used to cross the glaciers second already in the mid-eighteenth century and even the wooden pole used to pick up both the Grand Capucin the Père Eternel in the Twenties, but a little examination of the past is necessary for understand the present.

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In Praise
of Bushwhacking In Praise of Bushwhacking  by vancouver islander

From the perspective of the true outdoor enthusiast, “wilderness development” is an oxymoron. Development implies progress and how exactly can encroaching urbanisation, mechanisation, bijou wilderness lodges and the like and even signed trails properly be regarded as development when applied to real wilderness? Nothing truly belongs in the alpine environment except the mountain and its natural bastions of forest, river, cliff and glacier. Can anyone claim to have truly climbed a mountain who has used a gondola or an aircraft as a significant part of his or her approach strategy?

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Commercialism and Modern Climbing: A View From The Bottom Commercialism and Modern Climbing: A View From The Bottom  by jacobsmith

I am not a sponsored climber. I am not a guide. I am not employed by a manufacturer of climbing equipment. I am a lowly local climber: I read climbing blogs and take classes and buy equipment. My participation in climbing is roughly that of the majority of climbers. This is the perspective from which I am going to examine the issue of commercialism in modern climbing: from the bottom; not from the perspective of someone who actually has to choose whether or not to pursue sponsorship, but what the phenomenon looks like to someone to whom climbing is everything, but whom to climbing is no one.

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A Tribute to Paulo Roberto
A Tribute to Paulo Roberto "Parofes" Schmidt  by Marcsoltan

It pains me to bring you a sad news, friends. Summit Post has lost a valuable friend. Paulo Schmidt, also known as "parofes" passed away, May 10th-2014 . Parofes had the foresight to say goodbye to all of us by posting his wedding photo captioned "If I go, please remember me by this photo." Many of you sent personal words of encouragement and wished him a full recovery, and he answered each and every comment and message. Your expression of love and support meant everything to him. He fought a hard fight against an illness that has eluded our best and most brilliant minds. Cancer may have won another round against our physical existence and taken our friend, but it did not triumph over Parofes' mind and spirit. He was courageous and strong to his last breath.

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Joshua Tree
Memories. Going out of your comfort zone can have interesting consequences! Joshua Tree Memories. Going out of your comfort zone can have interesting consequences!  by Marcsoltan

Before the age of the Internet and smart phones it wasn't easy to find a climbing partner every single time you got the itch to get on the rocks. Although I had many climbing partners, on many occasions I found myself alone in Joshua Tree looking for someone willing to do what I wanted to do, to do the routes I wanted to climb. All I needed was a belayer.

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Dolomites, living mountains Dolomites, living mountains  by Silvia Mazzani

Also called "Pale Mountains" in reason of the impressive white bright colour which they assume under the moonlight, the Dolomites show a landscape marked by distinctive and unique characters, with an extraordinary aesthetic value: their beauty comes from a wide variety of spectacular steep rock formations, such as needles, massive towers, spires, huge walls, interrupted by the horizontal shapes, like ledges, karst tablelands and crags, rising suddenly from vaste screes and gentle hills. The green bottom valleys clash surprisingly with the awesome vertical rise of the mighty walls and peaks. Under the geological and geo-morphological aspects, the Dolomites are regarded as a Property of global value, being an exceptional example representing the history of the transformation of the primary carbonatic platform into an alpine range.

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Class Four is a Myth:
Problems in YDS Class Four is a Myth: Problems in YDS  by jacobsmith

Although technical mountaineering in the western United States has evolved directly from the Californian climbing communities, the nature of technical ascent has changed radically since then and their system, the Yosemite Decimal System, is no longer an effective descriptive tool. What is ultimately needed is an overhaul of the system, and this will be considered later in this essay, but first the pressing issue – fourth class. The basic problem with ‘class four’ is that in the modern usage it overlaps entirely with class three and low fifth. The exact division between these categories is the most vague and blurred in the entire system, due in no small part to the upward expansion of fifth class.

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