ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of Mountain Climbing

Updated on May 26, 2010

Through most of history, people climbed mountains only when they had to. They climbed to hunt game, to rescue a lost or strayed animal, or to gain a military advantage over an enemy. But in general, mountains were avoided, not only because they were dangerous, but because men often considered them to be the home of demons and fearsome beasts.

In western Europe, however, at about the beginning of the 19th century, climbing began to be regarded as a sport. In 1786, and again a year later, Mont Blanc was ascended. The conquest of this peak, the highest in western Europe (15,771 feet; 4,807 meters), undoubtedly gave great impetus to mountain climbing as a sport.

By the middle of the 19th century, large numbers of English climbers were taking their holidays in the Swiss Alps, and the great tradition of the Swiss mountain-climbing guide was established. By 1900 every important peak in Europe had been climbed, and expeditions were already reaching out to other great mountain systems of the world, including the Rockies, the Andes, and the Himalayas.

The highest peak in eastern Europe, Mount Elbrus (18,481 feet; 5,633 meters), was climbed in 1868. Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet; 5,895 meters), the highest in Africa, was surmounted in 1889, and Aconcagua (22,831 feet; 6,959 meters), the highest in South America, in 1897. Mount McKinley (20,320 feet; 6,194 meters), the highest in North America, was climbed in 1913. Despite all these successes, Mount Everest (29,028 feet; 8,848 meters), Asia's highest peak and the highest in the world, remained unconquered. From the time of its first exploration in 1921, it took 32 years and numerous attempts to finally reach its top. Many lives were lost, including that of the famous British climber George Leigh Mallory, who disappeared into the summit mists with his companion, Andrew Irvine, during the 1924 expedition. At least 11 organized attempts were made on the mountain. Then, finally, a British expedition led by Colonel John Hunt was successful. On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander, and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa guide, reached Everest's summit.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)