Mountain climbing is an extremely popular pastime. It varies tremendously in difficulty and can be as simple as taking a day hike to relieve stress and enjoy the outdoors or as hardcore as pushing the limits to summit a mammoth like Everest, The experience is exhilarating, which ever option you choose.
But with today’s technological advances and guide companies geared toward extreme travel and mountain climbing, more thrill seekers are able to explore some of the world’s most remote mountains, some of which top out at heights of more than 3,350meters. So which are the top 5 mountains to climb in the world? Narrowing the list down is a epic task, but read on to see if you’ve summated any of the top 5 yet.
5. Mount Kilimanjaro
Flat-topped Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and located near Tanzania’s northern border. Kilimanjaro is made up of three extinct volcanoes: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The highest peak, Uhuru, stands approximately 5,892 meters tall.
Kilimanjaro is a unique climb in that you don’t need much climbing equipment or experience to conquer its heights. A physically fit novice climber can climb Kilimanjaro in about five days. You’ll likely begin your climb in the lush lowland forest area where you’ll see vegetation like beautiful heather and proteas. At an elevation of about 3,200 meters, you’ll encounter a dramatic expanse of moorland with plants like giant groundsels and lobelia. At 4,000 meters, the landscape changes to a breathtaking alpine desert. Then, at 5,000 meters, you’ll begin your trek to the summit where you’ll encounter the Kibo crater, 182 meters deep and 2.4 kilometers across, and Uhuru’s peak on Kibo’s rim. Of the three volcanic summits on Kilimanjaro, Kibo looks the most like a volcanic crater and is covered with snow due the glaciers in its surface.
4. The Matterhorn
One of the most popular mountains to climb in the world is located in the Alps of Switzerland and Italy and reaches an elevation of 4,478 meters. You can choose from a variety of routes to the summit depending on your skill level. If you’re a beginner climber, you can take the popular Horni Ridge or Lion routes. These routes feature fixed ropes, huts and ladders along the way to the summit. However, if you’re a more accomplished climber, you can tackle a route of escalating difficulty, such as the Zmutt, North Face or Furggen Ridges.
The Matterhorn looks like a pyramid with steep ridges that jut out from the glaciers that surround it. Due to the remote position of the Matterhorn, the weather on the mountain can change quickly, so versatile clothing and supplies are advised. The best time to tackle the Matterhorn is during the summer months; however, summer storms can bring about winter conditions, which means most recreational climbers can’t tackle the mountain.
The Matterhorn is definitely a long and difficult climb, requiring a great deal of skill to negotiate its unstable rocks and varying weather conditions.
3. Fitzroy and Cerro Torre, Patagonia
Located in both Argentina and Chile in the southern most part of the Andes, the mountains of Patagonia climb to breathtaking heights. The peaks of both Fitzroy and Cerro Torre stand 3,375 meters and 3128 meters above sea level respectively. It offers truly breathtaking scenes of granite peaks that jut out into the sky and vertical faces of the mountains that fall away for about a mile down.
Due to the influence of the weather patterns of the nearby ocean, you’ll be likely to encounter somewhat temperate weather throughout most of Patagonia, but temperatures during the winter have been known to drop below freezing. With granite spires of sheer faces, these rocky peaks feature steep inclines, so rock climbing experience is helpful in conquering their heights.
2. Mount McKinley
Mount McKinley is the highest peak in North America and is also known as Denali, tower at heights of 6,194 meters. From base to summit, you will experience the greatest elevation gain in the entire world with a rise of 5,490 meters. A part of the Yukon Mountain Range and the centerpiece of Denali National Park, Mount McKinley is surrounded by five glaciers and numerous icefalls. It is an extremely difficult climb and is categorized as a major mountain expedition. The severe weather that climbers encounter on their way to the summit makes for a challenging climb more so than the actual difficulty of the climb. It’s best to climb Mount McKinley in the spring months.
1. Mount Everest
The tallest mountain on the face of the earth! Rising approximately 8850 meters above sea level, Mount Everest is the ultimate mountain to climb. In the past 60 years since Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay first conquered this peak in 1953, there have only been about 2,500 climbs to the summit. Located in the Himalayas of Nepal and China, Mount Everest is an extremely difficult mountaineering expedition. Climbers have to obtain a permit from the Nepalese or Chinese governments to attempt to climb Mount Everest. If you don’t want to attempt to reach the summit, you can take a trek to the base camp of Everest on the north or south side of the mountain. On the northern side of the mountain, you can visit a Buddhist monastery at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier. Here, you can contemplate your view of the world’s tallest peak.