Even those who get dizzy at the top of a step-ladder cannot fail to be enthralled by the exploits of Mountaineers even if the force that drives people to what look like near suicidal situations can never be understood by sane human beings. Surely only spiders can stick to overhanging and vertical cliffs?
So when was mountaineering invented?
For most British people the mid-nineteenth century saw the prosaically named Albert Smith climb Mont Blanc in 1851 and Edward Whymper climb The Matterhorn in 1865 and perhaps more importantly both wrote books about their exploits. The Alps received much attention during this period and many gentlemen travelled further afield so that climbing books such as books about the Himalayas by William Conway appeared as early as 1894. In this Victorian period the molehills of Great Britain did not receive much attention or at least much documented attention.