Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling. Professional rock climbing competitions have the objectives of either completing the route in the quickest possible time or attaining the farthest point on an difficult route. Due to the length of time and extended endurance required, because accidents are most to happen on the descent, rock climbers do not climb back down the route, or "downclimb" on the larger multiple pitch class III–IV, or multi-day grade IV–VI climbs. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that tests a climber's strength, endurance and balance along with mental control, it can be a dangerous activity and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world, rock climbing has been separated into several different styles and sub-disciplines, such as scrambling, another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations, differentiated by rock climbing's sustained use of hands to support the climber's weight as well as to provide balance.
Paintings dating from 200 BC show Chinese men rock climbing. In early America, the cliff-dwelling Anasazi in the 12th century are thought to have been excellent climbers. Early European climbers used rock climbing techniques as a skill required to reach the summit in their mountaineering exploits. In the 1880s, European rock climbing became an independent pursuit outside of mountain climbing. Although rock climbing was an important component of Victorian mountaineering in the Alps, it is thought that the sport of rock climbing began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century in various parts of Europe. Rock climbing evolved from an alpine necessity to a distinct athletic activity. Aid climbing, climbing using equipment that acts as artificial handhold or footholds, became popular during the period 1920–1960, leading to ascents in the Alps and in Yosemite Valley that were considered impossible without such means. However, climbing techniques and ethical considerations have evolved steadily.
Today, free climbing, climbing using holds made of natural rock while using gear for protection and not for upward movement, is the most popular form of the sport. Free climbing has since been divided into several sub-styles of climbing dependent on belay configuration. Over time, grading systems have been created in order to compare more the relative difficulties of the rock climbs. In How to Rock Climb, John Long notes that for moderately skilled climbers getting to the top of a route is not enough. Within free climbing, there are distinctions given to ascents: on-sight and redpoint. To on-sight a route is to ascend the wall without aid or any foreknowledge, it is considered the way to climb with the most style. Flashing is similar to on-sighting, except that the climber has previous information about the route including talking about the beta with other climbers. Redpointing means to make a free ascent of the route after having first tried it. Style is up to each individual climber and among climbers the verbiage and definitions can differ.
Most of the climbing done in modern times is considered free climbing—climbing using one's own physical strength, with equipment used as protection and not as support—as opposed to aid climbing, the gear-dependent form of climbing, dominant in the sport's earlier days. Free climbing is divided into several styles that differ from one another depending on the choice of equipment used and the configurations of their belay and anchor systems; as routes get higher off the ground, the increased risk of life-threatening injuries necessitates additional safety measures. A variety of specialized climbing techniques and climbing equipment exists to provide that safety. Climbers will work in pairs and utilize a system of ropes and anchors designed to catch falls. Ropes and anchors can be configured in different ways to suit many styles of climbing, roped climbing are thus divided into further sub-types that vary based on how their belay systems are set up. Speaking, beginners will start with top roping and/or easy bouldering and work their way up to lead climbing and beyond.
Still the most popular method of climbing big walls, aid climbers make progress up a wall by placing and weighting gear, used directly to aid ascent and enhance safety. This form of climbing is used when ascent is too technically difficult or impossible for free climbing; the most used method to ascend climbs refers to climbs where the climber's own physical strength and skill are relied on to accomplish the climb. Free climbing may rely on top rope belay systems, or on lead climbing to establish protection and the belay stations. Anchors and protection are used to back up the climber and are passive as opposed to active ascending aids. Subtypes of free climbing are trad sport climbing. Free climbing is done as "clean lead" meaning no pitons or pins are used as protection. Climbing on short, low routes without the use of the safety rope, typical of most other styles. Protection, if used at all consists of a cushioned bouldering pad below the route and a spotter, a person who watches from below and directs the fall of the climber away from hazardous areas.
Bouldering may be an arena for intense and safe competition, resulting in exceptionally high diffic
BASE jumping sometimes written as B. A. S. E. Jumping, is parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: building, antenna and earth. Due to the lower altitudes of the jumps, BASE jumping is more dangerous than skydiving from a plane. In the U. S. BASE jumping is regarded by many as a fringe extreme sport or stunt; the acronym "B. A. S. E." was coined by filmmaker Carl Boenish, his wife Jean Boenish, Phil Smith, Phil Mayfield. Carl Boenish was the catalyst behind modern BASE jumping, in 1978, he filmed the first BASE jumps which were made using ram-air parachutes and the freefall tracking technique. While BASE jumps had been made prior to that time, the El Capitan activity was the effective birth of what is now called BASE jumping. BASE numbers are awarded to those; when Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield jumped together from a Houston skyscraper on 18 January 1981, they became the first to attain the exclusive BASE numbers, having jumped from an antenna and earthen objects.
Jean and Carl Boenish qualified for BASE numbers 4 soon after. A separate "award" was soon enacted for Night BASE jumping when Mayfield completed each category at night, becoming Night BASE #1, with Smith qualifying a few weeks later. Fausto Veranzio is believed to have performed a parachute jumping experiment for real and, therefore, to be the first man to build and test a parachute: according to the story passed on, Veranzio, in 1617 over sixty-five years old, implemented his design and tested the parachute by jumping from St Mark's Campanile in Venice; this event was documented some 30 years in a book Mathematical Magick or, the Wonders that may be Performed by Mechanical Geometry written by John Wilkins, the secretary of the Royal Society in London. However and other sporadic incidents were one-time experiments, not the systematic pursuit of a new form of parachuting. After 1978, the filmed jumps from El Capitan were repeated, not as a publicity exercise or as a movie stunt, but as a true recreational activity.
It was this that popularized BASE jumping more among parachutists. Carl Boenish continued to publish films and informational magazines on BASE jumping until his death in 1984 after a BASE jump off the Troll Wall. By this time, the concept had spread among skydivers worldwide, with hundreds of participants making fixed-object jumps. During the early eighties, nearly all BASE jumps were made using standard skydiving equipment, including two parachutes, deployment components. On, specialized equipment and techniques were developed for the unique needs of BASE jumping. Upon completing a jump from all of the four object categories, a jumper may choose to apply for a "BASE number", awarded sequentially; the 1000th application for a BASE number was filed in March 2005 and BASE #1000 was awarded to Matt "Harley" Moilanen of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As of May 2017, over 2,000 BASE numbers have been issued. Guinness World Records first listed a BASE jumping record with Carl Boenish's 1984 leap from Trollveggen in Norway.
It was described as the highest BASE jump. The jump was made two days before Boenish's death at the same site; this record category is still in the Guinness book and is held by Valery Rozov. On 5 October 2016, Russia's Valery Rozov leapt from a height of around 7,700 m from Cho Oyu, the sixth-highest mountain in the Himalayas, located on the China/Nepal border, he fell for around 90 seconds before opening his parachute, landing on a glacier two minutes at an altitude of around 6,000 m. On July 8, 2006 Captain Daniel G. Schilling set the Guinness World Record for the most BASE jumps in a twenty-four-hour period. Schilling jumped off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho, a record 201 times. BASE competitions have been held since the early 1980s, with accurate landings or free fall aerobatics used as the judging criteria. Recent years have seen a formal competition held at the 452 metres high Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, judged on landing accuracy. In 2018 at Eikesdalen, Norway a world record was set with 69 BASE jumpers jumping from the cliff Katthammaren.
In 1912, Franz Reichelt, jumped from the first deck of the Eiffel Tower testing his invention, the coat parachute, died when he hit the ground. It was his first-ever attempt with the parachute and both the authorities and the spectators believed he intended to test it using a dummy. February 2, 1912 Rodman Law parachuted from the top of the candle/torch of the Statue of Liberty; the top of the candle is 305 ft 11 in above the ground. In 1913, it is claimed that Štefan Banič jumped from a 15-story building to demonstrate his parachute design. In 1913, Russian student Vladimir Ossovski, from the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, jumped from the 53-meter high bridge over the river Seine in Rouen, using the parachute RK-1, invented a year before that by Gleb Kotelnikov. Ossovski planned to jump from the Eiffel Tower too. In 1965, Erich Felbermayr from Wels jumped from the Kleine Zinne / Cima piccola di Lavaredo in the Dolomites. In 1966, Michael Pelkey and Brian Schubert jumped from El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley.
On January 31, 1972, Rick Sylvester skied off Yosemite Valley's El Capitan, making the first skiBASE jump (he termed it a "ski/parachute jump" since the acronym BASE had yet to
Monument Valley is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft above the valley floor. It is located near the Four Corners area; the valley lies within the territory of the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U. S. Highway 163. Monument Valley has been featured in many forms of media since the 1930s. Director John Ford used the location for a number of his best-known films and thus, in the words of critic Keith Phipps, "its five square miles have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West." The area is part of the Colorado Plateau. The elevation of the valley floor ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level; the floor is siltstone of the Cutler Group, or sand derived from it, deposited by the meandering rivers that carved the valley. The valley's vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone; the darker, blue-gray rocks in the valley get their color from manganese oxide.
The buttes are stratified, with three principal layers. The lowest layer is the Organ Rock Shale, the middle is de Chelly Sandstone, the top layer is the Moenkopi Formation capped by Shinarump Conglomerate; the valley includes large stone structures including the famed "Eye of the Sun". Between 1945 and 1967, the southern extent of the Monument Upwarp was mined for uranium, which occurs in scattered areas of the Shinarump Conglomerate. Monument Valley is a large area that includes much of the area surrounding Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, a Navajo Nation equivalent to a national park. Oljato, for example, is within the area designated as Monument Valley. Visitors may drive through the park on a 17-mile dirt road. Parts of Monument Valley, such as Mystery Valley and Hunts Mesa, are accessible only by guided tour. Monument Valley experiences a desert climate with hot summers. While the summers may be hot, the heat is tempered by the region's high altitude. Although the valley experiences an average of 54 days above 90 °F annually, summer highs exceed 100 °F.
Summer nights are comfortably cool, temperatures drop after sunset. Winters are cold, but daytime highs are above freezing. In the winter, temperatures below 0 °F are uncommon, though possible. Monument Valley receives an occasional light snowfall in the winter. Monument Valley has been featured in numerous computer games, in print, in motion pictures, including multiple Westerns directed by John Ford that influenced audiences' view of the American West, such as: Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Many more recent movies, with other directors, were filmed in Monument Valley, including Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West, the first spaghetti western to be filmed outside Europe, The Lone Ranger. Valley of the Gods Harvey, Thomas J.. Rainbow Bridge to Monument Valley: Making the Modern Old West. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 9780806141909. "Complete Monument Valley Guide: Drive, Camping, Seasons". When To Go. 2017-11-12. "List of movies and television shows with scenes in Monument Valley".
IMDb. "Monument Valley". American Southwest Guide. "Monument Valley". Navajo Nation Parks. "Photographs and documents of pre-automobile access Monument Valley from the Monument Highway Digital Collection". Utah State University. "Uranium mining in Monument Valley and its decommissioning". Energy Information Administration
Animal rights is the idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own existence and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings. Its advocates oppose the assignment of moral value and fundamental protections on the basis of species membership alone—an idea known since 1970 as speciesism, when the term was coined by Richard D. Ryder—arguing that it is a prejudice as irrational as any other, they maintain that animals should no longer be viewed as property or used as food, research subjects, entertainment, or beasts of burden. Multiple cultural traditions around the world such as Jainism, Hinduism and Animism espouse some forms of animal rights. In parallel to the debate about moral rights, animal law is now taught in law schools in North America, several prominent legal scholars support the extension of basic legal rights and personhood to at least some animals.
The animals most considered in arguments for personhood are bonobos and chimpanzees. This is supported by some animal rights academics because it would break through the species barrier, but opposed by others because it predicates moral value on mental complexity, rather than on sentience alone. Critics of animal rights argue that nonhuman animals are unable to enter into a social contract, thus cannot be possessors of rights, a view summed up by the philosopher Roger Scruton, who writes that only humans have duties, therefore only humans have rights. Another argument, associated with the utilitarian tradition, is that animals may be used as resources so long as there is no unnecessary suffering. Certain forms of animal rights activism, such as the destruction of fur farms and animal laboratories by the Animal Liberation Front, have attracted criticism, including from within the animal rights movement itself, as well as prompted reaction from the U. S. Congress with the enactment of laws allowing these activities to be prosecuted as terrorism, including the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
Aristotle argued that animals lacked reason, placed humans at the top of the natural world, yet the respect for animals in ancient Greece was high. Some animals were considered e.g. dolphins. In the Book of Genesis 1:26, Adam is given "dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth, over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Dominion need not entail property rights, but it has been interpreted, by some, over the centuries to imply ownership. Contemporary philosopher Bernard Rollin writes that "dominion does not entail or allow abuse any more than does dominion a parent enjoys over a child." Rollin further states that the Biblical Sabbath requirement promulgated in the Ten Commandments "required that animals be granted a day of rest along with humans. Correlatively, the Bible forbids'plowing with an ox and an ass together'. According to the rabbinical tradition, this prohibition stems from the hardship that an ass would suffer by being compelled to keep up with an ox, which is, of course, far more powerful.
One finds the prohibition against'muzzling an ox when it treads out the grain', an environmental prohibition against destroying trees when besieging a city. These ancient regulations forgotten, bespeak of an eloquent awareness of the status of animals as ends in themselves", a point corroborated by Norm Phelps; the philosopher and mathematician, urged respect for animals, believing that human and nonhuman souls were reincarnated from human to animal, vice versa. Against this, student to the philosopher Plato, argued that nonhuman animals had no interests of their own, ranking them far below humans in the Great Chain of Being, he was the first to create a taxonomy of animals. Theophrastus, one of Aristotle's pupils, argued that animals had reasoning and opposed eating meat on the grounds that it robbed them of life and was therefore unjust. Theophrastus did not prevail. Plutarch in his Life of Cato the Elder comments that while law and justice are applicable to men only and charity towards beasts is characteristic of a gentle heart.
This is intended as a correction and advance over the utilitarian treatment of animals and slaves by Cato himself. Tom Beauchamp writes that the most extensive account in antiquity of how animals should be treated was written by the Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry, in his On Abstinence from Animal Food, On Abstinence from Killing Animals. According to Richard D. Ryder, the first known animal protection legislation in Europe was passed in Ireland in 1635, it prohibited pulling wool off sheep, the attaching of ploughs to horses' tails, referring to "the cruelty used to beasts." In 1641, the first legal code to protect domestic animals in North America was passed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The colony's constitution was based on The Body of
In rock climbing and other climbing disciplines, climbers give a grade to a climbing route or boulder problem, intended to describe concisely the difficulty and danger of climbing it. Different types of climbing each have their own grading systems, many nationalities developed their own, distinctive grading systems. There are a number of factors that contribute to the difficulty of a climb, including the technical difficulty of the moves, the strength and level of commitment required, the difficulty of protecting the climber. Different grading systems consider these factors in different ways, so no two grading systems have an exact one-to-one correspondence. Climbing grades are inherently subjective, they may be the opinion of one or a few climbers the first ascensionist or the author of a guidebook. A grade for an individual route may be a consensus reached by many climbers who have climbed the route. While grades are applied consistently across a climbing area, there are perceived differences between grading at different climbing areas.
Because of these variables, a given climber might find a route to be either easier or more difficult than expected for the grade applied. In 1894, the Austrian mountaineer Fritz Benesch introduced the first known grading system for rock climbing; the Benesch scale had seven levels of difficulty, with level VII the easiest and level I the most difficult. Soon more difficult climbs were made, which were graded level 0 and 00. In 1923, the German mountaineer Willo Welzenbach compressed the scale and turned the order around, so that level 00 became level IV–V; this "Welzenbach scale" was adopted in 1935 by French mountaineers like Lucien Devies, Pierre Allain and Armand Charlet for routes in the Western Alps and in 1947 in Chamonix by the Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme. It was renamed in 1968 as the UIAA scale. A 6-grade scale, it has been open-ended since 1979. For free climbing, there are many different grading systems varying according to country, they include: The Yosemite Decimal System of grading routes was developed as the Sierra Club grading system in the 1930s to rate hikes and climbs in the Sierra Nevada range.
The rock climbing portion was developed at Tahquitz Rock in southern California by members of the Rock Climbing Section of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club in the 1950s. It spread to Canada and the rest of the Americas. A single-part classification system and protection rating categories were added later; the new classifications do not apply to every climb and usage varies widely. When a route involves aid climbing, its unique aid designation can be appended to the YDS free climbing rating. For example, the North America Wall on El Capitan would be classed "VI, 5.8, A5", or Medlicott Dome – Bachar/Yerian 5.11c The system consists of five classes indicating the technical difficulty of the hardest section. Class 1 is the easiest and consists of walking on terrain. Class 5 is climbing on vertical or near-vertical rock, requires skill and a rope to proceed safely. Un-roped falls would result in severe death. Class 6 was used to grade aid climbing. However, the separate A rating system became popular instead.
The original intention was that the classes would be subdivided decimally, so that a route graded 4.5 would be a scramble halfway between 4 and 5, 5.9 would be the hardest rock climb. Increased standards and improved equipment meant that climbs graded 5.9 in the 1960s are now only of moderate difficulty. Rather than regrade all climbs each time standards improve, additional grades were added at the top—originally only 5.10, but it soon became apparent that an open-ended system was needed, further grades of 5.11, 5.12, etc. were added, thus the system is no longer decimal. While the top grade was 5.10, a large range of climbs in this grade was completed, climbers realized a subdivision of the upper grades was required. Letter grades were added for climbs at 5.10 and above by adding a letter "a", "b", "c", or "d". The system considered only the technical difficulty of the hardest move on a route. For example, a route of 5.7 moves but with one 5.11b move would be graded 5.11b and a climb that consisted of 5.11b moves all along its route would be 5.11b.
Modern application of climbing grades on climbs at the upper end of the scale consider how sustained or strenuous a climb is, in addition to the difficulty of the single hardest move. The YDS system involves an optional Roman numeral grade that indicates the length and seriousness of the route; the Grade is more relevant to mountaineering and big wall climbing, not stated when talking about short rock climbs. The grades range from grade I to VI spanning a one-hour climb to a multi-day climb respectively. I–II: 1 or 2 pitches near the car, but may need to be avoided during avalanche season. III: Requires most of a day including the approach, which may require winter travel skills; the East Buttress route on Mt. Whitney is a grade III, yet it requires 1,000 feet of technical climbing and a total gain of over 6,000 vertical feet from trail head to summit. Only a minority of climbers, the most fit and seasoned, could do this route car to car in a day. Other grade III climbs, such as Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne, are done in one day.
IV: A multipitch route at higher altitude or remote location, which may involve multi-hour approaches in serious alpine terrain. A predawn start is indicated, unforeseen delays can le
Slacklining refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing, tensioned between two anchors. Slacklining is similar to tightrope walking. Slacklines differ from tightwires and tightropes in the type of material used and the amount of tension applied during use. Slacklines are tensioned less than tightropes or tightwires in order to create a dynamic line which will stretch and bounce like a long and narrow trampoline. Tension can be adjusted to suit the user, different webbing may be used in various circumstances. Urbanlining or urban slacklining combines all the different styles of slacklining, it is practiced for example in city parks and on the streets. Most urban slackliners prefer wide 2-inch lines for tricklining on the streets, but some may use narrow lines for longline purposes or for waterlining. See the other sections of slackline styles below. One type of urbanlining is timelining, where one tries to stay on a slackline for as long as possible without falling down.
This takes tremendous concentration and focus of will, is a great endurance training for postural muscles. Another type of urbanlining is streetlining, which combines street workout power moves with the slackline's dynamic, bouncy feeling. Main focus are static handstands, super splits — hands and feet together, front lever, back lever, one arm handstand and other interesting extreme moves that are evolving in street workout culture. Tricklining has become the most common form of slacklining because of the easy setup of 2-inch slackline kits. Tricklining is done low to the ground but can be done on highlines as well. A great number of tricks can be done on the line, because the sport is new, there is plenty of room for new tricks; some of the basic tricks done today are walking, walking backwards, drop knee and jumping onto the slackline to start walking, bounce walking. Some intermediate tricks include: Buddha sit, sitting down, lying down, cross-legged knee drop, surfing forward, surfing sideways, jump turns, or "180s."
Some of the advanced tricks are: jumps, tree plants, jumping from line-to-line, 360s, butt bounces, chest bounces. With advancements in webbing technology & tensioning systems, the limits for what can be done on a slackline are being pushed constantly, it is not uncommon to see expert slackliners incorporating flips and twists into slackline trick combinations. Highlining is slacklining at elevation above the water. Many slackliners consider highlining to be the pinnacle of the sport. Highlines are set up in locations that have been used or are still used for Tyrolean traverse; when rigging highlines, experienced slackers take measures to ensure that solid and equalized anchors are used to secure the line into position. Modern highline rigging entails a mainline of webbing, backup webbing, either climbing rope or amsteel rope for redundancy. However, many highlines are rigged with a mainline and backup only if the highline is low tension, or rigged with high quality webbing like Type 18 or MKII Spider Silk.
It is common to pad all areas of the rigging which might come in contact with abrasive surfaces. To ensure safety, most highliners wear a climbing harness or swami belt with a leash attached to the slackline itself. Leash-less, or "free-solo" slacklining – a term loosely taken from rockclimbing – is not unheard of, with proponents such as Dean Potter and Andy Lewis. Slackline yoga takes traditional yoga moves them to the slackline, it has been described as "distilling the art of yogic concentration". To balance on a 1-inch piece of webbing tensioned between two trees is not easy, doing yoga poses on it is more challenging; the practice develops focus, dynamic balance, breath, core integration and confidence. Using standing postures, sitting postures, arm balances, kneeling postures and unique vinyasa, a skilled slackline yogi is able to create a flowing yoga practice without falling from the line. Slackline yoga has been covered in Yoga Journal and Climbing Magazine. Rodeo slacklining is the art and practice of cultivating balance on a piece of rope or webbing draped slack between two anchor points about 15 to 30 feet apart and 2 to 3 feet off the ground in the center.
This type of "slack" slackline provides a wide array of opportunities for both swinging and static maneuvers. A rodeo line has no tension in it, while tightropes are tensioned; this slackness in the rope or webbing allows it to swing at large amplitudes and adds a different dynamic. This form of slacklining first came into popularity in 1999, through a group of students from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, it was first written about on a website called the "Vultures Peak Center for Freestyle and Rodeo Slackline Research" in 2004. The article "Old Revolution — New Recognition - 3-10-04" describes these early developments in detail. Windlining is a practice of slacklining performed in windy conditions. Depending on the intensity of the wind, it can be difficult to remain on the line without being blown off; the sensation one experiences is like flying as the slacker must angle his body and arms in an aerodynamic manner to maintain balance. While rope walking has been around in one manner or another for thousands of years, the origins of modern-day slacklining is attributed to a young rock climber named Adam Grosowsky from southern Illinois i
Patagonia is a sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America, shared by Chile and Argentina. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes mountains and the deserts and grasslands to the east. Patagonia is one of the few regions with coasts on three oceans, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Southern Ocean to the south; the Colorado and Barrancas rivers, which run from the Andes to the Atlantic, are considered the northern limit of Argentine Patagonia. The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is sometimes included as part of Patagonia. Most geographers and historians locate the northern limit of Chilean Patagonia at Huincul Fault, in Araucanía Region; the name Patagonia comes from the word patagón, used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native tribes of the region, whom his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time; the Argentine researcher Miguel Doura observed that the name Patagonia derives from the ancient Greek region of modern Turkey called Paphlagonia, possible home of the patagon personage in the chivalric romances Primaleon printed in 1512, ten years before Magellan arrived in these southern lands.
The hypothesis was published in a 2011 New Review of Spanish Philology report. Argentine Patagonia is for the most part a region of steppelike plains, rising in a succession of 13 abrupt terraces about 100 metres at a time, covered with an enormous bed of shingle bare of vegetation. In the hollows of the plains are ponds or lakes of fresh and brackish water. Towards Chilean territory the shingle gives place to porphyry and basalt lavas, animal life becomes more abundant and vegetation more luxuriant, consisting principally of southern beech and conifers; the high rainfall against the western Andes and the low sea surface temperatures offshore give rise to cold and humid air masses, contributing to the ice-fields and glaciers, the largest ice-fields in the Southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica. Among the depressions by which the plateau is intersected transversely, the principal ones are the Gualichu, south of the Río Negro, the Maquinchao and Valcheta, the Senguerr, the Deseado River. Besides these transverse depressions, there are others which were occupied by more or less extensive lakes, such as the Yagagtoo and Colhue Huapi, others situated to the south of Puerto Deseado, in the centre of the country.
In the central region volcanic eruptions, which have taken part in the formation of the plateau during the Cenozoic, cover a large part of the land with basaltic lava-caps. There, caused principally by the sudden melting and retreat of ice aided by tectonic changes, has scooped out a deep longitudinal depression, best in evidence where in contact with folded Cretaceous rocks which are uplifted by the Cenozoic granite, it separates the plateau from the first lofty hills, whose ridges are called the pre-Cordillera. To the west of these, a similar longitudinal depression extends all along the foot of the snowy Andean Cordillera; this latter depression contains the richest and most fertile land of Patagonia. Lake basins along the Cordillera were excavated by ice-streams, including Lake Argentino and Lake Fagnano, as well as coastal bays such as Bahía Inútil; the geological limit of Patagonia has been proposed to be Huincul Fault which forms a major discontinuity. The fault truncates various structures including the Pampean orogen found further north.
The ages of base arocks change abruptly across the fault. There have been discrepancies among geologists on the origin of the Patagonian landmass. Víctor Ramos has proposed that the Patagonian landmass originated as an allochthonous terrane that separated from Antarctica and docked in South America 250 to 270 Ma in the Permian era. A 2014 study by R. J. Pankhurst and coworkers rejects any idea of a far-travelled Patagonia claiming it is of parautochtonous origin; the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits have revealed a most interesting vertebrate fauna. This, together with the discovery of the perfect cranium of a chelonian of the genus Niolamia, identical with Ninjemys oweni of the Pleistocene age in Queensland, forms an evident proof of the connection between the Australian and South American continents; the Patagonian Niolamia belongs to the Sarmienti Formation. Fossils of the mid-Cretaceous Argentinosaurus, which may be the largest of all dinosaurs, have been found in Patagonia, a model of the mid-Jurassic Piatnitzkysaurus graces the concourse of the Trelew airport.
Of more than paleontological interest, the middle Jurassic Los Molles Formation and the still richer late Jurassic and early Cretaceous Vaca Muerta formation above it in the Neuquén basin are reported to contain huge hydrocarbon reserves accessible through hydraulic fracturing. Other specimens of the interesting fauna of Patagonia, belonging to the Middle Cenozoic, are the gigantic wingless birds, exceeding in size any hitherto known, the singular mammal Pyrotherium of large dimensions. In