The mountains are calling and I must go – John Muir
If you are yearning to escape your mundane routine and add some thrill to your life, consider mountaineering. The adventure will not only challenge you physically but also mentally. Even though we all know that the best view comes after the hardest climb, let’s not rush into mountaineering if you are new to it. It is best to be sure of what you are getting into.
Here, we will list the best mountains globally, which are perfect for newbies. So, get those hiking shoes and gear on, and be ready to make some lifelong memories.
Famous mountains around the world to kick start your climbing experience
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
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Elevation: 5,895m; approximate duration: 6-8 days
This volcano in Africa is many beginners’ top pick. It is the highest mountain in Africa, and there are around six main paths leading up to Mount Kilimanjaro. A few of them are crowded and easier while the others are more challenging. Overall, the routes are not technical as you will be walking up for the most part and never really climbing.
However, you need to be patient as it is a long walk up and will get tiring as the day progresses. So, patience is key here. Another thing to keep an eye out for here is altitude sickness. It is wise to consult your doctor and discuss this beforehand. Be prepared for low temperatures, high winds, and rain. You must carry malaria medication with you since there are chances of contracting it initially during the trek.
- Swiss-Ecuadorian mountain guide Karl Egloff is the proud record-holder of the fastest ascent-descent on Mount Kilimanjaro in a staggering 6 hours and 42 minutes!
- This mountain has been summited by a seven-year-old, an 86-year-old, and a person on a wheelchair.
Mount Whitney, U.S.
Elevation: 4421.0 m; approximate duration: 2 days
Mount Whitney in southern Sierra Nevada is the highest point in the contiguous U.S. It might appear intimidating visually but is sure a pleasurable climb for beginners. That is because there is an easy, well-maintained trail (Whitney Portal) that takes you up 11 miles to the summit. You could try the climb in one day, but it is better to spread it over two or three days to not overstrain yourself. That will also make sure your body deals with the altitude change just fine.
The mountain also has a steep eastern side that is challenging and ideal only for seasoned climbers. May to October is the quota season, and you will require a permit. So, if you are planning to travel that time, ensure you check out the National Forest Services website.
- Mount Whitney was first named Fisherman’s Peak since it was first climbed by a bunch of fishermen in 1873 (John Lucas, Charles Begole and A. H. Johnson).
Mera Peak, Nepal
Elevation: 6,461m; approximate duration: 20 days
Any mountaineering list without a Himalayan peak is incomplete. If you are looking to add a feather in your mountaineering experience or want to challenge yourself with a trek that requires basic technical knowledge, here is your ideal option.
Mera Peak, one of the most famous trekking locations in Kathmandu, is the perfect combination of a satisfying climb and pristine natural beauty – the view of other majestic Himalayan peaks from up there is simply amazing! Make sure you learn how to use crampons and ice axe since this will help you reach the summit securely. This longish climb, which requires basic mountaineering skills, will ensure you have enough time to acclimatise and rest. There are various travel companies that will ensure you have a pleasant time.
- From the summit, you can view five 8,000m peaks.
Mount Fuji, Japan
Elevation: 3,776m; approximate duration: 10 hours-2 days
Mount Fuji is the tallest peak in Japan and a pretty friendly one for beginners. They say even children can climb it easily. However, due to its elevation, one must be prepared to face harsh weather conditions. The best time to attempt it through one of the four trails is from late July to late August.
This active volcano is considered sacred by Japanese so be prepared for a crowded trail. There are facilities such as toilets and mountain huts on the way. Ensure that you plan your climb during the day and give your body enough time to get used to the thin air. Remember, there might be many overtaking you but it isn’t a race. Take your time and enjoy the climb.
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- Mount Fuji holds the record of being the most climbed mountain in the world! Over 100,000 people climb to the summit every year.
- There is a post office at the summit from where you can post a letter back home.
Breithorn, Switzerland, and Italy
Elevation: 4,164m; approximate duration: 10 hours
If you want your first climbing experience to be super scenic and super simple, take a flight to Switzerland right away. This Pennine Alps mountain range that lies on the border between Italy and Switzerland is considered to be the easiest Alpine peak to climb.
The path from the southwest, which is in Switzerland, is the most common and will get you to the glacier dome shaped summit easily. The best part is that you can take choose to take a lift on the Klein Matterhorn cable car and reach 3,800m straight away. Do carry a ski pole and climbing harness for the walk after the lift.
We hear that the view from up there is breathtaking!
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- Matterhorn is the peak you see on the cover of the famous chocolate brand Toblerone.
Here are a few general tips for your first mountaineering or trekking experience:
- Make sure you boost your fitness level by adding cardio exercises to your fitness regime.
- Be realistic and choose the right peak for your first official climb
- Take a few treks locally in Singapore, and in Malaysia or Indonesia before going for one listed here.
- Talk to your doctor regarding acclimatisation
- Find comfortable shoes and gear
- Dress appropriately
- Learn how to keep yourself hydrated at all times,
- Don’t forget to pack important items like compass, first aid kit, sun protection, maps, and a tool kit.
- Find the right company; it always helps.
- Always remember: willpower is everything!
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