THE BIRTH OF MOUNTAINEERING | The first feats on the mountains
The birth of mountaineering is generally traced back to 1786, more precisely the date of 8 August, when a team of two mountain enthusiasts from Chamonix conquered the summit of Mont Blanc. Until that time, the great Alpine peaks were considered a real taboo by the Europeans, and they were mainly hunting ground and smuggling places, where it was easier to avoid customs controls.From this first, historic ascension, driven above all by scientific interest due to the high altitude atmospheric conditions and relative behavior of the human body, all the other expeditions started towards the peaks of the Alpine arc, and progressively lost their scientific character to make room for the challenge and to the increase of the tout-cour mountaineering ability, up to becoming real competitions between different groups, as happened in the case of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, in 1865. It was above all passionate English and German climbers who ventured into the first ascents to the Alpine peaks, belonging to the wealthy bourgeoisie who could afford the necessary expenses to equip the groups. However, the fundamental element of these challenges remains the presence of mountain guides, the local people who, thanks to the knowledge of the terrain and the trails, managed to make the adventurers move safely among the dangers of the mountains.