First ascent

Mountaineering and climbing term / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mountaineering and climbing, a first ascent (abbreviated to FA in guide books), is the first successful documented climb to the top of a mountain or the top of a particular climbing route. Early 20th-century mountaineers and climbers were focused on reaching the tops of iconic mountains (e.g. the eight-thousanders) and climbing routes (e.g. the great north faces of the Alps) by whatever means possible, often using considerable amounts of aid climbing, or with large expedition style support teams that laid "siege" to the climb.

As all the key tops were summited, the manner in which the top was reached became important, particularly the ability to complete the ascent without artificial aid, which is called free climbing. In free climbing, the term first free ascent (abbreviated FFA) is used where a mountain or climbing route was ascended without any artificial aid (devices for protection in the event of a fall could be used as long as they did not aid progression). Completing the FFA of a climbing route is often called freeing (or more latterly sending) a route.