/ Why do mountaineers choose the hardest route to the top?

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SenzuBean - on 13 May 2017
https://aeon.co/essays/why-do-mountaineers-choose-the-hardest-routes-to-the-top

It's actually a pretty interesting article. I learned this for example:

The Russian practice was a legacy of Soviet mountaineering competition rules, which stated that teams were disqualified if any member died – so all teams used fixed ropes at all times, to maximise safety. Russians climbers expressed irritation at the death-inviting attitude of their Western cousins, and the negative judgment towards Russian prudence that went with it. Nonetheless, ‘Russian-style’ ascents are still widely considered inferior to the more dangerous ‘Alpine-style’ summits lauded by Western mountaineers.
Scotch Bingington - on 13 May 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

I have, on several occasions, been reliably informed that you can "just walk up the back" of stanage. I have always accepted this tip with gratitude, but for reasons unfathomable, ignored it.
nickh1964 - on 16 May 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

Was it Maurice Herzog who said that there were five reasons for climbing, beauty, muscle, adventure, escape and risk ?
An interesting read, I too was interested by the light it cast on the Russian approach.
davidbeynon on 16 May 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

Sometimes they choose the easiest route to the top...
JuneBob on 16 May 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

It's about the journey, not the destination.
Gordon Stainforth - on 16 May 2017
In reply to JuneBob:

Or, to put it more precisely, the fascination for the route (esp if it's a very aesthetic line or conversely, a very interesting and intricate 'line of least resistance') and the particular challenges and puzzles that it presents. A 'problem to be solved'.

Typically, of course, with an unclimbed mountain, the first route up will be the easiest way, or what is reckoned to be the most likely easiest way. Then other harder and more interesting routes can be done, and the easy way used as the descent route.
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The Potato - on 16 May 2017
In reply to JuneBob:

> It's about the journey, not the destination.

i think this sums it up nicely, pretty much like life in general.

My 2p - for some doing routes rather than 'walking round the back' is simply practice for mountains that are accessible only by climbing.

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