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47

Stairs are easier to walk than rocky paths. In ancient times they allowed royalty more leisurely access to sacred mountains symbolizing their high rank in society, while commoners were likely restricted to walking older foot paths (if they were even allowed on top). Today all 'pilgrims' are afforded the ease of stairs. In Europe a lot of mountain top ...


33

The picture is from Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, in the Canadian Rockies. That view is probably from the Fairmont hotel. It's one of the top nature destinations in Canada and if you're interested in visiting, they're open pretty much all year round though to get that view you have to go in summer.


32

To add to the other answers, some paths my be susceptible to soil erosion - from foot traffic and rainfall. This eventually makes some sections almost impassable for some people, as well as damaging the terrain and surrounding vegetation. I have seen this first hand in Hong Kong. For example: So in many places, steps are built. In HK these were ...


22

Usually driving down a steep hill with narrow turns is more dangerous down than up for the simple reason that gravity will accelerate you going downhill. Going up hill gravity slows you down and your engine needs to work to overcome that which usually means that you're not driving fast enough to lose control, although the condition of the road may still ...


17

Pick the side that hugs you closest to the interior. No matter if it zig-zags or has switchbacks, take a look at it and stick to the inside. In Australia, this may mean taking the route that hugs the left side. In Oman, this always meant the route that hugged the right side.


15

Ultimately the mountain road is equally safe either direction. The difference would be your driving skills, those of the other drivers on the road at the same time and the current road surface condition (wet, icy, dry). If you are comfortable and practiced with driving mountain roads, then either direction is about the same. If you are inexperienced, then ...


14

When many people climb the same path every day, natural rocks become smooth, slippery and dangerous. An example in Europe is the path to Château de Montségur in the french Pyrenees. Stairs are less prone to such wear over time.


13

Down is more dangerous. There are three factors contributing to this. When you need to decide on a slowdown in case of potential accident, you basically need to annihilate momentum, and when you are going up, gravity contributes to the total work needed to slow down. When you are going down, gravity works against your intent to slow down, and brakes alone ...


9

European point of view: Back in the times (or what I was told many years ago by some locals) is that they would let a donkey lead the group to find the path of least resistance. The natural instincts of the animal would find the best path for climbing (wonder what IQ is required ... as opposed to humans :) Considering they used the mules and such for loads/...


8

The best I can recommend to you is to become a member of the German Alpine Club (Deutscher Alpenverein, DAV) or the Austrian Alpine Club (ÖAV, all links in German). Membership costs varies depending on the "Sektion" you choose to become a member of (you can choose freely and I know many people who choose one purely based on cost) but is in the range of EUR50 ...


7

I think the relative risk depends on the road, the traffic, your skill as a driver, and other conditions. If it's a relatively empty road (very low traffic), then going up is probably safer, as the only risk you're facing is your own inability to navigate the road, versus the downhill risk of burning out your breaks and losing control of the vehicle due to ...


7

I'm very familiar with the European alps, but not at all familiar with the sacred mountains in China. So I can only address why stairs are rare in the alps: You mentioned hiking up the sacred mountains. The peak isn't that important in the Alps, so paths rarely take the shortest route to the peak. Instead you have a whole network of paths that link various ...


7

Since someone wondered if it could be winter in one of the comments, here is what winter looks like


6

I have another possible explanation that I cannot corraborate with online sources at this time. I visited Japan several years ago, and as one does (and should definitely do), I visited many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines while there. I believe it was a Buddhist temple (as opposed to a shrine) where I first noticed two sets of stairs. There was a ...


6

I am a terrible driver and can have mishaps at the drop of a hat. For the scenario you have described, I would consult the navigator and attempt to infer the route that has the most traffic. This route would be preferable to me because with lots of traffic one can get 'inside' a group of cars somewhere near the end. This would be my strategy if the road ...


4

Here's a fly through of the mountain track (sometimes known as the tourist route) on youtube. If you watch the brief video or any of the other real life videos of the hike, it should reassure your friends that there is nothing to fear.


4

If you stick to the Mountain track which starts from near the visitor centre you should be fine. There aren't any steep drops(didn't see one when I last climbed in August 2011) per se but there are drops nonetheless. But most of the drops are before the halfway mark. After the halfway mark it is more or less like a zig zag way winding up the mountain.


3

Some parts of the GR10 are indeed reachable by public transport usually involving a combination of train and bus. The railway network takes you to the larger cities which are found at the lowest altitudes near the GR10. From these you'll need a bus/coach to reach higher altitudes. In addition, the bus might drop you several km away from the marked trail so ...


3

Yes - it seems to be possible to rent gear. The local Swiss tourist board website gives a list of a few shops in the area (click on Explore). The first, Wyss Sport in Kleine Scheidegg offers rental of jackets and "shoes" for the trip to the Jungfraujoch - and their shop is near to the start of the Jungfraujoch Railway. There are a few other shops listed in ...


3

Warning: as of June 2016 in the comments here in the post you link to, the route is out of bounds for tourists currently. Do enquire with the guy who entertains the blog as he seems both informed and responsive. Looks like a nice trek. Besides the report that you could find, here is another trip report as of 2007 from Zero Point to Cholamu lake that I came ...


3

As far as I know UIAA is a federation of climbing and mountaineering clubs, you can see the full list here: http://www.theuiaa.org/member-federations.html. E.g. in the UK the only full member of UIAA is the British Mountaineering Council, and you can sign up to the BMA. In Poland there is the PZA, which again is a local federation of clubs. Which means that ...


3

This link shows what looks to be the same peak: Birishiri of Shusong Durgapur, Netrokona The exact image you show is also named as Birishiri on this blog and Durgapur Upazila, Bangladesh on Panoramio saying: This picture is taken from Birisiri, Shusong-Durgapur. Photographer is unknown, do not be confuse because I found this picture from friend of ...


2

I would say just based on the photos (and I realize they are just examples) that whether or not you build stairs or switchbacks would depend entirely on the landscape, the composition of the mountain, and surrounding vegetation. If I were to try to plan a path to the top of the mountain, I would look at what I had to work with. If I had the real estate to ...


2

Your question seems to arise from Wikipedia which says: Only members of a national UIAA club are allowed to climb the peak on their own. Other visitors have to take a certified mountain guide. As has been pointed out in the other answer by @Grzenio (to whom +1), you can not be a member of the UIAA but of a national member club, as correctly stated in ...


2

I always was told "What goes up must come down" There have been valid points made for both directions.. here's my take on it for WHEN you lose control Losing control while traveling downhill, you can release your brakes and work on regaining control Losing control while traveling uphill, you come to a stop.. at least at first, if the road is REALLY bad, ...


1

It's quite certainly a composite. Building on @MarkMayo's answer I figured tin eye might help and it did. Sadly the original image is a stock image and seems hard to find the origin. From some of the places the picture has been used here it seems likely it is in the Tiroli alps.



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