Rock climbing timeline Answers and Questions

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  • IELTS reading locating information
  • IELTS reading sentence completion
  • IELTS reading Multiple Choice Questions

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IELTS reading passage – Rock climbing timeline

Rock climbing timeline

A. Mostly in initial periods of mountaineering, safety, practise standards, and the influence on the environment also weren’t frequently considered. Following the successful descent of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe, by Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard during 1786, the sport gained popularity. This incident marked the birth of modern mountaineering, but for the next century, the only factor that mattered was whether or not climbers reached the top and claimed the honour of having earned the first ascent. 

B. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, however, technological advancements sparked controversy about climbing. Pitons (metal spikes that climbers drive into the rock face for leverage) and the usage of belaying 2 techniques were of particular significance throughout this era. A few, such as the Italian climber Guido Ray, advocated for these techniques as means to make climbing lighter and more “acrobatic.” Others said they were only useful as a safety net if all other options failed. Paul Preuss, an Austrian, scaled incredible heights using only his shoes and bare hands, eschewing all artificial aids. A renowned British mountaineer and author whose name was Albert Mummery who managed to climb the European Alps and, more notably, the Himalayas, in which he died when he was 39 clearly trying a surprisingly hard climb, invented the idea of ‘fair means’ as a kind of informal procedure that discouraged the usage of ‘walk-through’ guidebooks and equipment such like ladders and grappling hooks.

C. In the 1940s, bolts began to replace pitons as the climbing equipment of choice, and their use was met with similar criticism. In 1948, when two American climbers scaled Mount Brussels in the Canadian Rockies using a limited number of pitons and bolts, climber Frank Smythe wrote: ‘I still regard Mount Brussels as unclimbed, and my feelings are no different than if I had heard that a helicopter had deposited its passenger on the summit of that mountain so that he could boast that he had trod an untrodden mountain peak.’

D. With the exception of climbing purists, the tide began to move against bolting and pitons in the 1970s. The United States and most of the western world were becoming aware of the devastation they had caused to the globe, and environmentalist initiatives and new government laws were spreading. This increased environmental consciousness and sensitivity permeated the rock climbing community. As a result, a form of rock climbing called ‘clean climbing’ gained widespread popularity. Clear mountaineering helped preserve granite faces and was much easier to master than older techniques. This was due in part to the characteristic of clean climbing — the use of nuts — which were preferred to bolts because they could be placed into the rock face with one arm while climbers maintained their grip with the other.

E. Not everyone appreciated the clean climbing movement. Ten years later, controversy erupted over two additional advances. The first pertains to the practice of chipping, wherein climbers remove small bits of rock to create microscopic crevices for their fingers. The second main source of disagreement was a procedure involving the installation of bolts from the top of the descent down. Rappel bolting makes practically any rock face climbable with relative ease, and as a result, the sport has lost a great deal of its risk factor and pioneering spirit; in fact, it has become more of a test of physical prowess and technical mastery than a psychological test of courage under pressure. Many enthusiast hikers have gone to indoor facilities, in which the rate of fatal injury is less, as a result of this change in emphasis.

F. Given the environmental harm caused by rock climbing, this may be a desirable development. It is ironic that the majority of rock climbers and mountain climbers enjoy the outdoors and have a deep appreciation for the highness of nature and the formidable challenges she presents, yet in their pursuits of their objectives they inevitably damage and disturb delicate flora and lichens that develop on ledges and cliff faces. Doug Larson and Michelle McMillan of a Canadian university discovered that rock faces that are often climbed had lost up to 80 percent of their native plant species’ coverage and diversity. As if that were not awful sufficient, non-native species have also been accidentally introduced by the boots of climbers.

G. This renders rock climbing uncertain. Climbers aren’t the only users who desire to enjoy the environment; hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders often frequent the same regions, and they are significantly better organised, with well-established special interests protecting their interests. With rising demand on rare resources, it has been argued that climbers should set aside their disagreements over the ethics of different climbing techniques and concentrate on the impact of their behaviours on the environment and their interaction with other users and landowners.

H. Regardless, there is no doubt that the era of the rock climber as a lone wolf or courageous pioneer is over. Similar to numerous other kinds of recreation, rock climbing has been increasingly included into institutional attempts to control risky behaviour and manage our natural ecosystems effectively. This may have diminished the sport’s mystique, but it has also made it safer and more sustainable; regulatory authorities would be well to explore intensifying these efforts in the future.

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Rock climbing timeline reading questions

Question 1– 6

The reading passage has eight paragraphs, A-H. Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter, A–H, in boxes on your answer sheet.

  1. Examples of climbers’ effects on ecosystems.
  2. A description of the political influences on rock climbing.
  3. A less hazardous option to rock climbing.
  4. A proposal for improved regulation.
  5. A reference to a climber who didn’t utilize any equipment or ropes.
  6. Different types of persons who utilize the outdoors for recreation.

Question 7 – 13

Complete the sentences below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

Some climbers debate that pitons and ropes must be regarded as a (7)_______ alone.
(8)__________ proposes unwritten rules-based standards that discourage climbing assistance. 1940s New equipment causes contention. Frank Smythe asserts that Mount Brussels is effectively (9)__________ because to the techniques used to scale the hill. 1970s
(10)____________ is more eco-friendly.As a tool for climbing, 
(11)_____ are introduced. 1990s – till todayClimbers debate the advantages of new approaches for constructing handholds and 
(12)__________ . Many claim that climbing is now more of a test of physical prowess and 
(13)_______________ than of bravery.

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Question 14

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter on your answer sheet.

14) Select the most suitable title for the reading.

  • A history of climbing rocks.
  • Issues of morality in rock climbing.
  • Recent developments in rock climbing.
  • Traditional climbers versus sport climbs. 

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Rock climbing timeline reading answers

7.A Safety net
8.Albert Mummery
10.Clean Climbing
12.Rappel bolting
13.Technical mastery


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