Don’t be surprised to see that we haven’t added Mt. Everest in this list of 5 peaks every adventure aficionado must summit. There’s more to the buzz you get after climbing the highest of peaks in the world. It’s not only the height that makes a mountain mean and dangerous. The route to the mountain can make anyone flinch. Then there are weather and climatic conditions to consider before you pack your bag and are set to climb the trickiest ascents. However, nothing can stop adventure junkies from embarking on expeditions that make them feel on top of the world.
Call it thrill, or risk or buzz, but these glorious yet grim mountains give you a high like no other. If your adventurous soul is fighting to come out and indulge in one thing that gives it satisfaction, here are our recommendations for summits you should take once in this lifetime.
- Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro is located on Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya. Getting to the summit of this iconic peak is no less than true achievement. The mountain had three volcanic cones- Kibo, Shira and Mawenzi. Kibo is the only volcano that is dormant while the rest of the two is extinct. Reaching the edge of the crater to view the African plains at sunrise is something you won’t be able to forget. If that doesn’t pump adrenaline into you, then trekking to the summit alongside the only remaining glacier will surely do. Reaching the top of the mountain is not only exhilarating but soul-satisfying too. There are six different routes to climb Kilimanjaro but the most popular are the Marangu – a steady but extremely busy climb; Machame – tougher but very scenic; and Rongai – a less crowded, steady, scenic climb.
- The Andes, Peru
The land of iconic Macchu Picchu, Peru has the Andes Mountains in its coffers to offer adventurous souls an expedition worth experiencing in this lifetime. Stretching along the west coast of South America, the Andes mountain range gives a peek into the lost city of Inca that was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Walking the Incan trail allows you a view of ancient monuments, sites and natural beauty of Peru and everything enveloped in it. You’ll pass views of snow-clad mountains and gushing rivers. The highest peak is Mt. Aconcagua (6962 m). Interestingly, the world’s highest volcanoes are in the Andes. Climbing the longest continental mountain range in the world is a dream come true, right? Why spend your vacation normally when you can feel the blood flowing in your veins and thumping of your heart as you walk the trails on the Andes?
- Elbrus, Russia
Situated in the Caucasus Mountains between Europe and Asia, Mt. Elbrus stand as a watchtower between the two continents. A hike to Mt. Elbrus is demanding and exhilarating. You will be hiking all the way to the top and back climbing up 5,715 feet of ascent at high into extreme altitude above 18,000 feet. Then there are weather condition and oxygen level need to be considered before climbing the peak.
Deep cold and pure exhaustion will take a toll on you, but this will be forgotten beneath the joy and adrenaline of summiting Mt Elbrus. On your way, you will get to meet different ethnic groups such as Turkish, Azeri, Russian etc. There is no doubt that Mt. Elbrus is a strenuous climb, but the summit offers a very rewarding and exhilarating feeling, not to mention the panoramic vistas!
- Annapurna, Nepal
Would you want to miss an opportunity to circumnavigate the giant Himalaya that is known for its treacherous ascents and descends? Imagine climbing Himalayan Mountain that not only ignites passion in you but set your soul on a new mission. That’s what Annapurna in Nepal does to climbers. A trek along Annapurna circuit is filled with scenic views, dramatic landscapes, rough terrain and harsh weather that can make you think twice before summiting the mountain. However, don’t let this put a stop on your plan because the grass is greener on the other side. After completing the trek, you’ll feel as if you’ve achieved something great in life. The feeling of standing on top of the world is unbeatable. And Annapurna Mountain makes sure that you remember that feeling for years to come by.
- Denali, Alaska
Nestled in Denali National Park, Mount Denali is the highest mountain in North America that offers breathtaking views you have only seen on Instagram. There is no need for explanation why you should summit this mountain once in your life. The sheer beauty and size of the mountain draw climbers from across the world. The rush you will feel on climbing the mountain is something you have never experienced in your life. Call it the altitude or harsh weather or relative isolation, but that makes Denali all more alluring to climb. Despite having only a 50% summit success rate, Mount Denali in Alaska never ceases to tempt climbers. The view from the top of Mount McKinley gives you a glimpse of heaven.