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If there is one thing that everybody should do on a regular basis, it’s to go on an adventure. It is the best way to remember why you are alive, and you get to know the real ‘you’ while being out there exploring and testing your limits. That adrenaline rush you get alone is worth the effort, and it doesn’t hurt that pretty much any adventure you go on will entail exploring nature in one way or another. There is much beauty around us, and the best way to experience it is to go on an adventure.
Of all the different things you could do, going on a hiking or mountaineering expedition is definitely one of the best options. The notion seems daunting to a lot of people because they picture all summits being Everest-like, but that is hardly the case. These are 11 summits that any novice hiker could reach, and the views alone would make the journey well worth it.
1.Mount St. Helens
This is another Washington mountain, and you can find it standing at 2,550 meters high in Skamania County. While this elevation isn’t very high, it is still a very rich experience to try and summit this mountain. It is an active stratovolcano, quite famous for its eruption in 1980. The views from the area are well worth the journey, with majestic landscapes of the Cascade Range that will simply blow your mind.
This Oregon Mountain is one of the coolest climbs you could try in the United States. It is a steep stratovolcano, and it is one of the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Volcanic Arc. What makes this climb a bit challenging is a fact that you will get to climb over large volcanic rocks, which is something you won’t get to experience in plenty of those other climbs. Rock climbing is a different kind of challenge that you need to experience sooner or later if you are serious about improving as a climber, and McLoughlin gives you the perfect chance to experience what that is like without being overly technical or dangerous. You don’t actually need technical gear or specialized equipment to reach the summit if you are climbing in warmer weather with no snow. In winter, though, things will be a bit different and you will probably need some climbing gear. McLoughlin is a little under 3,000 meters high, but it offers some beautiful scenery and quite the challenging and fulfilling experiences for novices.
3.Tofana di Rozes, Italy
While Tofana di Rozes is a little over 3,000 meters, the actual climb is a lot less than that, but this is a very interesting summit nonetheless and it will help improve your technical skills quite a bit. This journey entails some rock climbing and using ladders, cables, and rungs to get through to the finish line. It actually could be completed in about 6 hours, but you will greatly benefit from this short albeit tricky climb. The scenery is quite stunning, too, with rocky mountains and trails surrounding you from all directions, and it does make for quite the scenic expedition.
4.Mt. Baker, USA
This Washington mountain is one of the best choices for beginners in the USA, and it is engulfed by breathtaking scenery to make it even more worth it. Mt. Baker is 3286 meters high, and this is pretty much the perfect altitude for novices who want something that is both challenging yet accomplishable. This altitude will give you an idea of what it is like when the air gets thinner, and what cold trails up mountains look and feel like. Mt. Baker isn’t also that technical of a mountain, but it is covered in glaciers, so you need to be well prepared. Bring weather appropriate clothes and crampons as well as the rest of the necessary climbing gear. Climbing this one takes about one full day, which is a pretty good experience for any future climbing endeavors.
Just the mention of Nepal should be enough to encourage you to go explore this mountain. At 3,636 meters high, Sandakphu is also a perfect expedition for climbing aficionados who would like to get more experience, and it’s just the right introduction to the Himalayas, which you will probably see a lot more of in the future if you are serious about this climbing thing. Another great thing about this mountain is the fact that it is not a complex climb, so you won’t need much gear and you could do it without having prior experience in general. It even gets better; once you reach the summit of this mountain, you will get to see the peaks of some of the world’s tallest –– and most dangerous –– mountains and those are Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, and the highest known peak on planet earth, Everest.
6.Mount Fuji, Japan
When you first set eyes on Mount Fuji, you will see an icy peak surrounded by lush greenery and some bodies of water. It is one of the most aesthetically beautiful mountains in the world, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that it is in Japan. It is a country surrounded by so much beauty, and its people are known for their appreciation of aesthetics. Believe it or not, Mount Fuji is actually considered to be an active volcano, but that hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most popular mountains in Japan and the world. Every year’s, thousands of aspiring hikers and amateur mountaineers visit this gorgeous summit and attempt – and usually succeed in –– summiting.
Standing at 3,776 meters high, Mount Fuji is definitely one of the easiest mountains out there and you can quite easily submit it, even without much experience with climbing mountains. In fact, a physically capable person can climb up and down the mountain in just under 10 hours, but you are definitely under no obligation to do that unless you want to do it as a personal challenge. It also doesn’t have that technical terrain that requires expertise like other mountains. Did we mention that it overlooks the ever beautiful Tokyo? Talk about a view!
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You can’t really talk summits and climbing without bringing up the Alps. Breithorn lies within the Pennine Alps, and it is a great hike/climb for beginners with its 4,164 meters altitude. While there are different routes to go up the mountain, what happens is most climbers take a cable car that drops them roughly 300 meters below the summit. It is then up to the climbers to make climb up until they reach the summit, but that is much easier said than done. As you can see, it is a very short climb, but it requires some experience and skill with ice climbing gear because you will go up some glaciers and tricky cornices. It is definitely a worthy challenge, but you should have some experienced climbers with you to give you some guidance. In any case, Breithorn will leave you with some great snow climbing experience and the ability to deal with higher altitudes.
8.Pico de Orizaba, Mexico
This is Mexico’s highest peak –– and third highest in North America –– and it is quite the remarkable climb, coming in at 5,636 meters. This mountain has it all basically, from snow and ice to rocky trails. It is also a volcano, which ensures that you will find some pretty awesome scenery. The great thing about this climb/trek is the fact that it will offer you some great technical experience in a relatively easy route. It is both challenging and quite doable, so it should definitely be on your list when you feel like you are ready for a little challenge. Believe it or not, most expeditions up the mountain only take 2 or 3 days to successfully make it, but you should expect a few days to be spent earlier in a base camp for acclimatization as your body will need to get used to the low temperatures. Once you do reach the summit, you will get to enjoy some of the best views you could find in North America.
9.Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
A lot of people have Mt. Kilimanjaro on their bucket lists, and they dream of one time making it to the highest summit in Africa. The problem is many fear the 5,895-meter altitude and dread the difficult weather along the trek up the mountain. Believe it or not, while Kilimanjaro does have a pretty high altitude, it is actually one of the easier summits out there. The climb doesn’t require any technical abilities and you don’t need to have climbed any mountains before that, but you do need some physical endurance and a little perseverance, too. ‘Kili’ will challenge you with its snow and thin air, but it will also teach you much about yourself and you will have experienced a climb that any professional or amateur climber should try at least once in their lifetime.
Kilimanjaro is also great because it will give you a taste of what the more difficult climbs look like, as you spend days in tents for acclimatization, and the climb itself takes anything between 5 and 7 days. This will help you learn how to carry yourself throughout the days and what practices you need to do in such conditions. There are actually 7 different paths to the summit of Kilimanjaro, and each offers a unique experience and a different challenge. In any case, it is always best to go in the climbing season with experts so they could guide you through this journey, which will probably change your life. The views alone are unlike anything you will ever see, and you get to see the true beauty of Africa while going up to the summit of Kilimanjaro.
If you want to try your luck with a more technical climb, Cotopaxi is definitely a good place to start. This mountain is 5897 meters high, and reaching the summit will entail going through a lot of snow, not to mention the thinning air. So, it is definitely a good summit to attempt as it is considered to be a bit more difficult than the previous ones we have mentioned so far. As you would expect from a South American mountain, the landscape is breathtaking, with plenty of natural scenery and gorgeous views to admire –– the mountain itself is an active stratovolcano! This climb usually takes up to 3 or 4 days, and it is a great practice for bigger climbs to come.
11.Island Peak, Nepal
This is another Nepalese beauty –– only this one stands at a height of 6,189 meters. While that might seem quite daunting, this is actually one of the easier treks in the area over 6,000 meters and it is also one of the most popular treks in all of Nepal. It actually climbs that can be done in just one day. As you can see on outdoorcommand.com, though, there are some things that you will need to pack along to make your trek a bit easier. Your gear should include hiking glasses for the wind, raincoats, sleeping bags, heated gloves, and a host of other items –– remember the specialized gear like crampons and ice axes. It is crucial that you pack these things along because it can get quite cold up there and the weather needs to be taken into consideration.
There are plenty of different mountains and summits around the world that you can climb, and each will be unique and different from the next. The important thing is getting started. You will find a million reasons to back down, but you just need to put those fears aside and get started. Mountain climbing and hiking are extremely personal and spiritual experiences that will help you learn much about yourself, and after you are done with each climb, you will want to get to the next one as soon as possible.
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