Ready to Climb? One of these Mountains Could Be Just Right for You

Ready to Climb? One of these Mountains Could Be Just Right for You

Mountain climbing represents the ultimate travel adventure — a feat that allows us to master an exhilarating challenge while providing an unparalled majestic view of the area surrounding us.

However, one person’s idea of a perfect mountain climbing experience could be another’s nightmare.

Following are five mountains that attract adventurers for varied experiences. One may make it on your travel list.

 

Top mountains to travel to:

1. Beginner’s climb: Mount Fuji. 

If you love a crowd and an accessible ascent, head to Japan for a climb up Mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in that nation. Famed for its nearly perfect cone shape, the majestic mountain stands at 3,766 meters at its highest peak. You will find yourself amidst plenty of company; Mount Fuji attracts more than 400,000 trekkers annually, including the elderly, children and just about everyone in between. Of course, with that many people making the trip, you can expect to see plenty of comforts and commercial goods along the way. For example, the Fifth Station features souvenir shops and eateries.

What you should know:

Expect the climb to take about six hours up and three hours down. Many people climb during the day, stay overnight in a primitive mountain hut along the way and then reach the top very early to see the sunrise. Climbing Mount Fuji is strongly discouraged outside of the months of July and August because of heavy winds, low temperatures and the lack of emergency services during other periods.

 

2. Most dangerous: K2. 

While it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to venture up what most people consider the most dangerous mountain in the world, it would be a mistake to exclude K2 from the list. This Himalayan mountain, also known as Godwin Austen, attracts the most experienced — and most extreme — mountain climbers. It has a reputation for being the deadliest for mountain climbers: For every four who have made it to the top, another one has died trying. K2, which is located between Pakistan and China, has a peak elevation of 8,611 meters.

What you should know: 

Unless you are among the top mountain climbers in the world, don’t even think about climbing K2. And if you are among the top, you still may want to think twice about climbing K2. At least one expedition travel group requires that climbers have previous experience climbing a mountain at least 8,000 meters. And if you are thinking about any mountain climbing venture, up the K2 or another peak, invest in a short term health insurance policy designed for international travel and off-the-beaten-path activities like mountain climbing.

 

3. Ecologically diverse: Annapurna.

Nepal’s Annapurna region rewards visitors with beautiful views of the Himalayas, bamboo forests, flora, fauna and wildlife. Some people argue Annapurna Mountain, not K2, is the deadliest peak, because close to half of all climbers who attempted to scale Appurna died. If you prefer to stay on the safe side, consider a guided trek along the Annapurna Circuit. These tours, which can range from 14 to 20 days, afford you great views of the area without the risks of Annapurna.

What you should know: 

While navigating the Annapurna Circuit may be a vacation experience for you, keep in mind that it’s a regular route for the people living there. Stay out of the way of mule trains and yaks; stand close to the mountain until they pass. Avoid climbing from June to September, the monsoon season. The best months, October and November, are also the busiest. Expect clear, dry conditions during that period. Lastly, be prepared for the possibility of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or altitude sickness, which can include symptoms as mild as nausea and headaches to the more severe like vomiting, constant breathlessness and confusion. Drink plenty of water and consume adequate calories along the way.

 

4. Challenging but accessible: Kilimanjaro. 

If you want to enjoy a challenging mountain-climbing experience with a group of like-minded friends, consider Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro — the highest point in Africa as well as the continent’s most popular destination for a trek. Since it features half a dozen routes — all manageable for a physically fit group — Kilimanjaro is a great destination for a larger party looking for adventure. The mountain stands at 5,895 meters.

What you should know: 

Be prepared for varying weather conditions during your hike, which should take a minimum of five to six days. Dress in layers and bring along plenty of warmer clothing, including gloves, thermal socks, an outer jacket and a walking stick. Be prepared to combat AMS or altitude sickness; about 70 percent of all people making this climb will suffer from some form of this illness.

 

Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced climber, there are plenty of mountain adventures awaiting you around the world.

Whether it’s one of the four listed here or the tens of thousands mountains worldwide, you have plenty of options that will take your next vacation to a higher level. 

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