7 Majestic Peaks You Have To Conquer In Your Lifetime
Reach for the stars through these stunning summits around the world and be mesmerised by their unique shapes and challenging trails.
1. Mount Stetind, Norway
Let all your inhibitions go like Elsa from Disney's Frozen when you climb Norway's national mountain that inspired the location of Arendelle's ice castle. Mount Stetind is 1390 metres above sea level and has a majestic anvil-shaped peak rising from the sweeping ridges. It is a popular destination for hikers with its trail requiring occasional scrambling and rappelling.
2. The Table Mountain, South Africa
It is the most prominent landmark with a view overlooking Cape Town city in South Africa and reachable via cable car or hiking. Summitting the Table Mountain may require rock climbing (without bolting) but it's not something to be really scared of. Contrary to what one would expect from sandstone the quartzitic rock is in fact very hard and offers good friction.
3. Matterhorn, Switzerland
Matterhorn's fame is credited to its unique tall rocky fang peak with a summit that appears to overhang the sheer north face. Its breathtaking to look at from Zermatt and if you want to goof around, you can juxtapose it with a box of Toblerone chocolate on which it is imprinted. This sharp summit of the Swiss-Italian border that may look difficult and impossible to climb is relatively easy and a very popular ascent for tourists. However, it is the site of perhaps the most celebrated mountain climb and accident in history.
4. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The highest and most famous mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is a massive dormant volcano unique for being the only mountain in the world to rise so high with no range of other peaks around it. With the atmosphere very thin as you level, it is not an easy five-to-ten day hike to the summit. There is also a big contrast of climate between the savannah below and the snowcapped slopes above. With the global warming heavily affecting the Earth nowadays, the ice fields are already depleting.
5. Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia
Another popular destination for hikers is Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. Rising 12,000 feet out of the steamy Borneo jungles, its great climactic variation between base and summit supports a huge diversity in eco-systems, from cloud shrouded tropical rain forests to cloud-shrouded sub-alpine meadows. The mountain is composed of glacier-scoured granite, and was formed from an uplift of magma millions of years ago. The glacier carved pinnacles, rising from the smooth granite dome, are a distinctive and unique feature of the peak. The highest summit is non-technical, but all other summits require rock climbing skills. For climbers, the routes on the peak range from the standard walk-up trail to a huge and largely unexplored big wall. As noted above the highest point is a walk up, but there are many intersting sub-peaks and spires that require techical climbing.
6. Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador
It is the highest point in Ecuador and with the Earth's unique shape that bulges in the equator, it is the farthest point from the centre of the Earth beating Mt. Everest. It has five summits, the highest culminating at 6,262 metres above sea level and takes about 6-9 hours climb to summit from either of the two refuges.
7. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
Mount Everest is still the highest peak in the world but it is not the tallest mountain if measured from its base. Mauna Kea in Hawaii stands 4,207 metres above sea level but when measured from its base, which is the ocean floor, it's measured as 10,203 metres. The summit can be easily reached via car and is a dry, windswept collection of little lava rock hills, without any vegetation. There are also a lot of astronomical observatories in it because of its dry climate, high elevation, and moderate slopes.