Mountain climbing gives the climber an exhilarating experience. Mountaineering or the sport of climbing mountains is simply one of the finest outdoor opportunities available to the lover of high places. Mountain climbing is all about challenge and perseverance, about putting hands and feet onto rocks and ice and snow and finally reaching a summit. There, high above the world of cities and civilization, the climber can pause and look across a natural world ruled by nature and her raw beauty. Mountaineering, also called alpinism, is not only climbing mountains the hard way with an ice axe, crampons, cams, and rope, but it is also simply challenging and difficult hiking up steep rocky slopes, talus fields, and along airy ridges studded with gendarmes in the high mountains.