Mountaineering is a sport, but for those who practice it, it is much more than that. It entails going on mountain excursions and is also the combination of technique, knowledge and skill, which make it possible to reach this objective.
It began to gain relevance at the end of the 19th Century with the creation of the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya. Then, it was not only seen as a sport, but also a cultural activity and a way to gain in-depth knowledge about the region.
Today the word has a sportier and more specialised connotation than the old word "hiking". This term began to be officially used in 1940, with the inclusion of Catalan hiking in the sporting guidelines of the Spanish Federation of Mountain and Climbing Sports.
Later, the practice was divided into two large trends. One is dedicated to mountain excursions, done in a freestyle manner and for recreational purposes. This gave rise to the creation of hiking entities and clubs and was driven by scouting.
The other is more commercial and its popularity grows every day. It consists of participating in, for recreational purposes, organised trips with specific itineraries promoted by specialised companies, or going on excursions as a member of entities or companies that provide the necessary resources and services. This second trend has become one of the pillars of tourism.
The Agrupació Excursionista Muntanya association (in Barcelona) organises outings on Sundays from October to May. The treks are no longer than eighteen kilometres, between approximately four and six hours of walking. The excursions are open to everyone and there is always at least one guide and one sweeper group.