World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Alpine route

Article Id: WHEBN0036432971
Reproduction Date:

Title: Alpine route  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Rock climbing, Kempraten, Janet Adam Smith
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Alpine route

Sign on the Alpine Route at Piz Uccello, Switzerland
Swiss signs: hiking trails in yellow,
mountain path in white-red-white,
Alpine Route in white-blue-white

An alpine route is a trail or climbing route through difficult terrain in high mountains such as the Alps, sometimes with no obvious path. In the Alps, the Alpine clubs define and mark an Alpine Route, also called Alpinweg or Alpinwanderweg (Alpine hiking trail).

More generally, the term is used for routes of crossing the Alps, such as Roman crossings and Napoleon crossing the Alps. It is also used to describe routes (trails, roads and railroads) in other mountains with alpine conditions.

Description

Alpine routes are typically neither built nor maintained. They grew from being used traditionally over years or decades. Occasionally, dangerous and exposed sections may be equipped with protection such as wire cables, chains, abseiling points and bolts. This is kept to a minimum ("die absolute Ausnahme", the absolute exception), for both the preservation of the environment and to prevent liability issues for those who install the devices.[1] Climber Paul Preuss argued in 1911 about the use of aids such as pitons on alpine routes in his essay "Artificial Aids on Alpine Routes".[2]

Warning marking of Alpine routes by the Alpine clubs

In the Alps, the Alpine clubs mark their designated "Alpine Routes" in blue and white. In Austria and Germany the signs are blue-white-blue,[1] in Switzerland the signs for the so-called "Alpinwanderwege" are marked white-blue-white signs.[3] Sometimes the routes have no signs, only cairns ("Steinmandl", little stone man) or poles marking the way. Some routes require climbing skills of minor levels of difficulty (I and II according to UIAA).[1]

Cairn on the Treffauer

To hike Alpine routes, climbers need physical fitness and good equipment, sure-footedness, and on some routes also a head for heights. They also need a good sense of direction and know to use maps and compass.[1][3] If they don't have alpine experience, they should use a mountain guide. Clothing has to be weatherproof. Some routes require climbing equipment such as ropes and ice axes, some even need crampons. It is of prime importance to check weather and route conditions beforehand.[1][3]

Alpine routes are graded according to different systems. In Switzerland, an Alpinwanderweg is a marked hiking trail of the highest grade in difficulty according to the Swiss Alpine Club's hiking grades.[3]

History

The first Roman road connecting Italy with today's Germany was the Via Claudia Augusta, completed in 46–47 AD, from Verona to the Reschen Pass, the Inn valley and the Fern Pass to Augusta Vindelicorum, today Augsburg. The most ancient pass of the Western Alps is the Great St Bernard Pass, used as far back as the Bronze Age and showing traces of a Roman road.[4] Napoleon crossed the Alps here in May 1800, depicted in an idealised view by Jacques-Louis David in Napoleon Crossing the Alps and, less idealised, by Hyppolyte Delaroche in Bonaparte Crossing the Alps.

Notable examples

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Wander- und Bergwegekonzept des Landes Tirol / Tiroler Bergwege-Gütesiegel" (PDF) (in German). Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung, Abteilung Sport. 2008. pp. 9–10. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  2. ^  
  3. ^ a b c d "Hiking in Switzerland". Swiss-Switzerland. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Hyde, Walter Woodburn (1935). Roman Alpine Routes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 353–354. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.