In mountaineering, a first ascent (abbreviated to FA in guidebooks) is the first successful, documented attainment of the top of a mountain, or the first to follow a particular climbing route. First mountain ascents are notable because they entail genuine exploration, with greater risks, challenges, and recognition than climbing a route pioneered by others. The person who performs the first ascent is called the first ascensionist.
In free climbing, a first ascent (or first free ascent, abbreviated FFA) of a climbing route is the first successful, documented climb of a route without using equipment such as anchors or ropes for aiding progression or resting.
The details of the first ascents of even many prominent mountains are scanty or unknown; sometimes the only evidence of prior summiting is a cairn, artifacts, or inscriptions at the top. Today, first ascents are generally carefully recorded and usually mentioned in guidebooks.
Overwhelmingly, the idea of a "first ascent" is a modern one, especially in places such as Africa and the Americas with a history of colonialism. There may be little or no physical evidence or documentation about the climbing activities of indigenous peoples living near the mountain. For example, the volcano Llullaillaco on the border of Argentina and Chile is known to have been climbed in the prehistoric period due to the presence of Incan artifacts at the summit, yet credit for the first recorded ascent is given to Chilean climbers Bión González and Juan Harseim, who summited in 1952.
The term is also used when referring to ascents made using a specific technique or taking a specific route, such as via the North Face, without ropes or without oxygen.
In rock climbing, some of the earlier first ascents, particularly for difficult routes, involved a mix of free and aid climbing. As a result, purist free climbers have developed the designation first free ascent (FFA) to acknowledge ascents intentionally made more challenging by using equipment for protection only.
Second ascents are also noteworthy in climbing circles, frequently involving improving on a pioneering route through lessons learned from it, experience which may span from technical improvements to having a better understanding of how much gear and provisions to take.
Some other "first ascents" could be recorded for particular mountains or routes. One is the First Winter Ascent, which is, as the name easily suggests, the first ascent made during winter season. This is most important where the climate of winter is a factor in increasing the difficulty grade of the route (higher elevation, polar latitudes). In the Northern Hemisphere conventional winter ascents are made between December 21 and March 21 and are not related to the conditions. Also in the Himalayan area, although Nepal and China's winter season permits start on December 1, the conventional winter ascents begin on December 21.
Another is the First Solo Ascent, which is the first ascent made by a single climber. This is most important on high-level rock climbing, when the climber has to provide his own security (self-belaying) or even when climbing without any protection at all (often recorded as First Free Solo Ascent). Another type of ascent, also known as FFA (not to be confused with First Free Ascent as listed above) is the first female ascent. While not generally considered as important, this designation remains significant on some difficult, limit-pushing climbs, where the first female ascent may not happen until well after the FA, due to possible difficulties encountered by female physicality.
The term last ascent has been used to refer to an ascent of a mountain or face that has subsequently changed to such an extent – often because of rockfall – that the route no longer exists (e.g., the south-west face of the Aiguille du Dru in the Alps). It can also be used facetiously to refer to a climb that is so unpleasant or unaesthetic (due to loose rock, excessive brush, poor route selection, etc.) that no one would ever willingly repeat the first ascent party's ordeal.
Denali () (also known as Mount McKinley, its former official name) is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. With a topographic prominence of 20,156 feet (6,144 m) and a topographic isolation of 4,629 miles (7,450 km), Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on Earth, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U.S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.
The Koyukon people who inhabit the area around the mountain have referred to the peak as "Denali" for centuries. In 1896, a gold prospector named it "Mount McKinley" in support of then-presidential candidate William McKinley; that name was the official name recognized by the Federal government of the United States from 1917 until 2015. In August 2015, following the 1975 lead of the State of Alaska, the United States Department of the Interior announced the change of the official name of the mountain to Denali.In 1903, James Wickersham recorded the first attempt at climbing Denali, which was unsuccessful. In 1906, Frederick Cook claimed the first ascent, which was later proven to be false. The first verifiable ascent to Denali's summit was achieved on June 7, 1913, by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit. In 1951, Bradford Washburn pioneered the West Buttress route, considered to be the safest and easiest route, and therefore the most popular currently in use.On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced that the mountain is 20,310 feet (6,190 m) high, not 20,320 feet (6,194 m), as measured in 1952 using photogrammetry.Dhaulagiri
The Dhaulagiri massif in Nepal extends 120 km (70 mi) from the Kaligandaki River west to the Bheri. This massif is bounded on the north and southwest by tributaries of the Bheri River and on the southeast by the Myagdi Khola. Dhaulagiri I is the seventh highest mountain in the world at 8,167 metres (26,795 ft) above sea level, and the highest mountain within the borders of a single country (Nepal). It was first climbed on 13 May 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition.
The mountain's name is धौलागिरी (dhaulāgirī) in Nepali. This comes from Sanskrit where धवल (dhawala) means dazzling, white, beautiful and गिरि (giri) means mountain. Dhaulagiri I is also the highest point of the Gandaki river basin.
Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545 ft) is 34 km. east of Dhaulagiri I. The Kali Gandaki River flows between the two in the Kaligandaki Gorge, said to be the world's deepest. The town of Pokhara is south of the Annapurnas, an important regional center and the gateway for climbers and trekkers visiting both ranges as well as a tourist destination in its own right.Eiger
The Eiger is a 3,967-metre (13,015 ft) mountain of the Bernese Alps, overlooking Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, just north of the main watershed and border with Valais. It is the easternmost peak of a ridge crest that extends across the Mönch to the Jungfrau at 4,158 m (13,642 ft), constituting one of the most emblematic sights of the Swiss Alps. While the northern side of the mountain rises more than 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above the two valleys of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, the southern side faces the large glaciers of the Jungfrau-Aletsch area, the most glaciated region in the Alps. The most notable feature of the Eiger is its 1,800-metre-high (5,900 ft) north face of rock and ice, named Eiger-Nordwand, Eigerwand or just Nordwand, which is the biggest north face in the Alps. This huge face towers over the resort of Kleine Scheidegg at its base, on the homonymous pass connecting the two valleys.
The first ascent of the Eiger was made by Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren and Irishman Charles Barrington, who climbed the west flank on August 11, 1858. The north face, considered amongst the most challenging and dangerous ascents, was first climbed in 1938 by an Austrian-German expedition. The Eiger has been highly publicized for the many tragedies involving climbing expeditions. Since 1935, at least sixty-four climbers have died attempting the north face, earning it the German nickname Mordwand, literally "murder(ous) wall"—a pun on its correct title of Nordwand (North Wall).Although the summit of the Eiger can be reached by experienced climbers only, a railway tunnel runs inside the mountain, and two internal stations provide easy access to viewing-windows carved into the rock face. They are both part of the Jungfrau Railway line, running from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, between the Mönch and the Jungfrau, at the highest railway station in Europe. The two stations within the Eiger are Eigerwand (behind the north face) and Eismeer (behind the south face), at around 3,000 metres. Since 2016 the Eigerwand station is not regularly served anymore.Grand Teton
Grand Teton is the highest mountain in Grand Teton National Park, in Northwest Wyoming, and a classic destination in American mountaineering.Grandes Jorasses
The Grandes Jorasses (4,208 m; 13,806 ft) is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif, on the boundary between Haute-Savoie in France and Aosta Valley in Italy.
The first ascent of the highest peak of the mountain (Pointe Walker) was by Horace Walker with guides Melchior Anderegg, Johann Jaun and Julien Grange on 30 June 1868. The second-highest peak on the mountain (Pointe Whymper, 4,184 m; 13,727 ft) was first climbed by Edward Whymper, Christian Almer, Michel Croz and Franz Biner on 24 June 1865, using what has become the normal route of ascent and the one followed by Walker's party in 1868.
The summits on the mountain (from east to west) are:
Pointe Walker (4,208 m; 13,806 ft) – named after Horace Walker, who made the first ascent of the mountain
Pointe Whymper (4,184 m; 13,727 ft) – named after Edward Whymper, who made the first ascent of this, the second-highest summit
Pointe Croz (4,110 m; 13,484 ft) – named after Michel Croz, a guide from Chamonix
Pointe Elena (4,045 m; 13,271 ft) – named after Princess Elena of Savoy
Pointe Margherita (4,065 m; 13,337) – named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, wife of King Umberto I of Italy
Pointe Young (3,996 m; 13,110 ft) – named after Geoffrey Winthrop YoungKangchenjunga
Kangchenjunga, also spelled Kanchenjunga, is the third highest mountain in the world. It rises with an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft) in a section of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal delimited in the west by the Tamur River, in the north by the Lhonak Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east by the Teesta River. It lies between Nepal and Sikkim, India, with three of the five peaks (Main, Central, and South) directly on the border, and the remaining two (West and Kangbachen) in Nepal's Taplejung District.Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world, but calculations based on various readings and measurements made by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India in 1849 came to the conclusion that Mount Everest, known as Peak XV at the time, was the highest. Allowing for further verification of all calculations, it was officially announced in 1856 that Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.Kangchenjunga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of a British expedition. They stopped short of the summit in accordance with the promise given to the Chogyal that the top of the mountain would remain intact. Every climber or climbing group that has reached the summit has followed this tradition. Other members of this expedition included John Angelo Jackson and Tom Mackinon.List of climbers and mountaineers
This list of climbers and mountaineers is a list of people notable for the activities of mountaineering, rock climbing (including bouldering) and ice climbing.List of mountains in Nepal
Nepal contains part of the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. Eight of the fourteen eight-thousanders are located in the country, either in whole or shared across a border with China or India. Nepal has the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest.Matterhorn
The Matterhorn (, German: [ˈmatərˌhɔrn]; Italian: Cervino [tʃerˈviːno]; French: Cervin [sɛʁvɛ̃]) is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. It is a large, near-symmetrical pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, whose summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points and are split by the Hörnli, Furggen, Leone/Lion, and Zmutt ridges. The mountain overlooks the Swiss town of Zermatt, in the canton of Valais, to the north-east and the Italian town of Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley to the south. Just east of the Matterhorn is Theodul Pass, the main passage between the two valleys on its north and south sides, and a trade route since the Roman Era.
The Matterhorn was studied by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure in the late eighteenth century, who was followed by other renowned naturalists and artists, such as John Ruskin, in the nineteenth century. It remained unclimbed after most of the other great Alpine peaks had been attained and became the subject of an international competition for the summit. The first ascent of the Matterhorn was finally made in 1865 from Zermatt by a party led by Edward Whymper which ended disastrously when four of its members fell to their deaths on the descent. That climb and disaster, later portrayed in several films, marked the end of the golden age of alpinism. The north face was not climbed until 1931 and is amongst the three biggest north faces of the Alps, known as "The Trilogy". The west face, which is the highest of the Matterhorn's four faces, was completely climbed only in 1962. It is estimated that over 500 alpinists have died on the Matterhorn since the first climb in 1865, making it one of the deadliest peaks in the world.The Matterhorn is mainly composed of gneisses (originally fragments of the African Plate before the Alpine orogeny) from the Dent Blanche nappe, lying over ophiolites and sedimentary rocks of the Penninic nappes. The mountain's current shape is the result of cirque erosion due to multiple glaciers diverging from the peak, such as the Matterhorn Glacier at the base of the north face.
Sometimes referred to as the Mountain of Mountains (German: Berg der Berge), the Matterhorn has become an iconic emblem of the of the Alps in general. Since the end of the 19th century, when railways were built in the area, the mountain has attracted increasing numbers of visitors and climbers. Each year, numerous mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn from the Hörnli Hut via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit. Many trekkers also undertake the 10-day-long circuit around the mountain. The Matterhorn has been part of the Swiss Federal Inventory of Natural Monuments since 1983.McArthur Peak
McArthur Peak is a peak in the Saint Elias Mountains of Yukon, Canada. The peak, 31st highest in the Yukon, sits 11 km NE of Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada. A secondary peak two kilometres to the east is known as McArthur East. The peak was named for James Joseph McArthur, a Dominion Land Surveyor who also made the first ascent of a Canadian peak over 10,000 ft (3047 m) — Mount Stephen in 1887.
The first ascent was made in 1961 from the Hubbard Glacier up the north ridge by Barbara Lilley, Alexander McDermott, Donald Monk, Seymour Ossofsky, George Wallerstein.Mount Athabasca
Mount Athabasca is located in the Columbia Icefield of Jasper National Park in Canada. The mountain was named in 1898 by J. Norman Collie, who made the first ascent on August 18 of that year. Athabasca is the Cree Indian name for "where there are reeds" which originally referred to Lake Athabasca.Mount Hector (Alberta)
Mount Hector is a 3,394-metre (11,135-foot) mountain summit located in the Bow River valley of Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada. The mountain was named in 1884 by George M. Dawson after James Hector, a geologist on the Palliser expedition. The mountain is located beside the Icefields Parkway, 17 km (11 mi) north of Lake Louise.
The first ascent was made in 1895 by Philip S. Abbot, Charles Fay and Charles S. Thompson.Mount Lucania
Mount Lucania is the third-highest mountain located entirely in Canada. A long ridge connects Mount Lucania with Mount Steele (5,073 meters (16,644 feet)), the fifth-highest in Canada. Lucania was named by the Duke of Abruzzi, as he stood on the summit of Mount Saint Elias on July 31, 1897, having just completed the first ascent. Seeing Lucania in the far distance, beyond Mount Logan, he immediately named it "after the ship on which the expedition had sailed from Liverpool to New York," the RMS Lucania.The first ascent of Mount Lucania was made in 1937 by Bradford Washburn and Robert Hicks Bates. They used an airplane to reach Walsh Glacier, 2,670 m (8,760 ft) above sea level; the use of air support for mountaineering was novel at the time. Washburn called upon Bob Reeve, a famous Alaskan bush pilot, who later replied by cable to Washburn, "Anywhere you'll ride, I'll fly". The ski-equipped Fairchild F-51 made several trips to the landing site on the glacier without event in May, but on landing with Washburn and Bates in June, the plane sank into unseasonal slush. Washburn, Bates and Reeve pressed hard for five days to get the airplane out and Reeve was eventually able to get the airplane airborne with all excess weight removed and with the assistance of a smooth icefall with a steep drop. Washburn and Bates continued on foot to make the first ascent of Lucania, and in an epic descent and journey to civilization, they hiked over 150 miles (240 km) through the wilderness to safety in the small town of Burwash Landing in the Yukon.The second ascent of Lucania was made in 1967 by Jerry Halpern, Mike Humphreys, Gary Lukis, and Gerry Roach.Mount Sarbach
Mount Sarbach is a mountain located in Banff National Park between Mistaya River and Howse River and is visible from the Icefields Parkway. The mountain is named after Peter Sarbach, a mountain guide from Switzerland, who guided the first ascent by J. Norman Collie and G.P. Baker in 1897. Mount Sarbach is situated south of Saskatchewan River Crossing, where the Icefields Parkway intersects with the David Thompson Highway.Mount Temple (Alberta)
Mount Temple is a mountain in Banff National Park of the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada.
Mt. Temple is located in the Bow River Valley between Paradise Creek and Moraine Creek and is the highest peak in the Lake Louise area. The peak dominates the western landscape along the Trans-Canada Highway from Castle Junction to Lake Louise.Reinhold Messner
Reinhold Andreas Messner (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaɪ̯nhɔlt ˈmɛsnɐ]; born 17 September 1944) is an Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author. He made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest, the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen, along with Peter Habeler, and was the first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level. He was also the first person to cross Antarctica and Greenland with neither snowmobiles nor dog sleds. Furthermore, he crossed the Gobi Desert alone. Messner also 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.Resplendent Mountain
Resplendent Mountain, or Mount Resplendent is a peak in the Canadian Rockies, located within Mount Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. It is a part of the Rainbow Range, and is a sister peak to the more famous Mount Robson, its nearest neighbour. Together they form a classic panorama seen by travellers from the VIA railway and Highway 16. The mountain was named by Arthur P. Coleman, and A.O. Wheeler wrote, "On the east side it is clad from top to bottom in pure white snow, and presents with the sun shining upon it a spectacle of such wonderful brilliance that the aptness of the name became immediately apparent." The first ascent was achieved on the same historic 1911 trip in which Conrad Kain first scouted the climbing routes later to be used on the first ascent of Mount Robson.
The east face of Resplendent towers above the sources of Resplendent Creek, feeding into the Moose River, and its north face emerges from the Robson Glacier, feeding the Robson River, another tributary of the upper headwaters of the Fraser River. Resplendent holds an important place in the history of Canadian Rockies ski mountaineering, and from the time of Peter L. Parson's first ski ascent (solo) in 1930, it has been a highly sought objective for winter ascents, with a ski descent of over 1800m from the summit to the toe of the Robson Glacier.Royal Robbins
Royal Robbins (February 3, 1935 – March 14, 2017) was one of the pioneers of American rock climbing. After learning to climb at Tahquitz he went on to make first ascents of many big wall routes in Yosemite. As an early proponent of boltless, pitonless clean climbing, he, along with Yvon Chouinard, was instrumental in changing the climbing culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s by encouraging the use and preservation of the natural features of the rock. He went on to become a well-known kayaker.Vinson Massif
Vinson Massif () is a large mountain massif in Antarctica that is 21 km (13 mi) long and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide and lies within the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. It overlooks the Ronne Ice Shelf near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula. The massif is located about 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) from the South Pole. Vinson Massif was discovered in January 1958 by U.S. Navy aircraft. In 1961, the Vinson Massif was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN), after Carl G. Vinson, United States congressman from the state of Georgia, for his support for Antarctic exploration. On November 1, 2006, US-ACAN declared Mount Vinson and Vinson Massif to be separate entities.Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica, at 4,892 metres (16,050 ft). It lies in the north part of Vinson Massif's summit plateau in the south portion of the main ridge of the Sentinel Range about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north of Hollister Peak. It was first climbed in 1966 by an American team led by Nicholas Clinch. An expedition in 2001 was the first to climb via the Eastern route, and also took GPS measurements of the height of the peak. As of February 2010, 1,400 climbers have attempted to reach the top of Mount Vinson.