Andes Research



Mountaineering

Mountaineering

Mountaineering has historically been integral to global exploration, political conquests, scientific studies, recreation, and tourism.  Peaks like these above 6,000 meters in the tropical Cordillera Blanca have offered increasingly popular mountaineering terrain, ever since members of the German Alpine Society (Deutscher Alpenverein) first climbed Peru's highest peak, Mount Huascarán Sur (6,768 meters), in 1932.

Mountaineers have been climbing peaks worldwide for centuries.  Although today we often think of climbing as strictly recreation, mountaineering has historically been integral to global exploration, political conquests, scientific studies, and tourism economies.  What's more, the ideas and values climbers carried into the mountains reveal a lot about how societies have understood nature, landscapes, risk, travel, and socio-cultural relations.

Carey is currently writing a book on the history of mountaineering in South America that analyzes these diverse themes.  He has already written an in-press article on mountaineering in the Andes, which focuses on interactions between various Peruvian social groups and climber-scientists from the German and Austrian Alpine Societies after the 1930s, especially the Austrian geographer/glaciologist Hans Kinzl.

Related Publications

Carey, Mark. "Mountaineers and Engineers: The Politics of International Science, Recreation, and Environmental Change in Twentieth-Century Peru," Hispanic American Historical Review 92, no. 1 (2012): 107-141.