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Mountaineering, climbing of hills, cliffs, or mountains for exploration or sport. There are two types of climbing: free climbing, in which the climber ascends by using protrusions and cracks in the rocks as holds; and artificial climbing, where ladders and slings are used as aids in climbing difficult places having no natural holds. Mountaineers usually climb in a team, roped together for safety. Depending on circumstances, they will use climbing boots, ropes, pitons (steel pegs), small hammers, carabiners (rings to hold rope), and insulating clothing; in addition, for snow climbing, sunglasses, crampons (spikes attached to boots), and ice axes; and on large mountains, concentrated food, signaling devices, medical supplies, camping and cooking equipment, and oxygen masks. Two of the most famous and challenging objectives for mountaineers have been Mount Blanc in the Alps, first scaled in 1786, and Mount Everest in the Himalayas, first conquered in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norkay.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Mississippian to Mud hen