Top 10 Peaks to Summit
This is a guest post by Paul Daigneault from PexPed
For those who watch and keep up to date with our YouTube channel (PEXPED), last year we made a short Top Ten Video counting down the top ten peaks to summit around the world. Based off response from that video, we decided to make a written version for those you don't feel like watching the video. If you are interested in watching the video, here it is!
10. Khüiten Peak, Mongolia - Elevation 14,250 Feet
Sitting over 700 miles west of the capital of Mongolia, Ulaannaatar; Khüiten Peak resides at an elevation of 14,250 feet. The peak is the highest point in all Mongolia and sits on the Altai Mountain Range, which is known as the "Five Holy Peaks" to the locals. Bordering both Mongolia, Russia and China, the peak is considered one of the most remote climbing destinations in the world. The mountain is not steep compared to others that will be on this list, it is still very difficult and more technical due to traveling through area's such as the Potanin Glacier. If climbing to the top is not your thing, camels travel daily helping visitors reach the peak easily for a price.
9. Mont Blanc, France - Elevation 15,777 Feet
Mont Blanc, or "The White Mountain", is one of France's most popular tourist destinations for backpacking, skiing, and snowboarding. Sitting in the Graian Alps Range, this is easier hike for the 20,000 well-trained and experienced climbers that reach it's peak each year. Mont Blanc is the 11th highest mountain in the world, so reaching the peak will require some altitude training and adjustment. A popular route for climbing is that of "Voie De Cristalliers" or "The Voie Royale". To start the climb, one must start in Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains where a tram will take you to the trail head in Gare Du Nid D'Aigle. To get a close look at the peak without the climbing, a tram travels across the mountain range starting in Italy and ending in France.
8. The Matterhorn, Switzerland - Elevation 14,693 Feet
One of the most recognizable mountains in the world, The Matterhorn sits on the Pennine Mountain Range in both Switzerland and Italy. Also known as "The Mountain of Mountains", this four-sided, near symmetrical pyramid shape peak rises to elevation of 14,693 feet. After most of the summits in the Alps were reached, the Matterhorn remained the last peak to reach in the area. This led to an international competition to reach the top. In 1865, Edward Whymper finally reached the summit but had to abruptly end his expedition after four members of his crew fell from a cliff and died. To this day, The Matterhorn still remains a difficult and dangerous summit to climb, which is due to it's steep ascent and rapid weather changes.
7. Puncak Jaya, Indonesia - Elevation 16,024 Feet
Starting with the first of the Seven Summits, Puncak Jaya sits on Mount Carstensz on the Sudirman Range in the western central highlands of Indonesia. The Peak is considered the highest point in Oceania. Not reached until recently in 1962 by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, this summit remains dangerous and miserable. Before starting your climb, backpackers must obtain a permit provided by the government, then trek through the jungle for five days just to reach base camp. Once reach, there is almost no ability for rescue teams to reach you due to the jagged and steep incline of the mountain. Even though this is the lowest of the Seven Summits, this by far, is not the easiest.
6. Mount Vinson Massif, Antarctica - Elevation 16,050 Feet
Mount Vinson Massif is the second of the Seven Summits. Being the highest peak in the continent of Antarctica, this summit lays on the Sentinel Range in the Ellsworth Mountains. The mountain was named after United States Congressman Carl G. Vinson, who strongly supported the exploration and research of Antarctica. The summit was first reach by the American Alpine Club in 1966. Since this mountain is located far from civilization, expeditions and climbs can range around $30,000. Most will travel here during Antarctica's Summer months, between November and January. During this time daylight can last around 24 hours and temperatures drop to -20 F.
5. Mount Elbrus, Russia - Elevation 18,510 Feet
Being the highest peak in both Russia and mainly Europe, Mount Elbrus rises at an elevation of 18,510 Feet. Sitting in Caucasus Mountains, the peak was not reached until 1874 by a British expeditions led by F. Crawford Grove. Mount Elbrus is also a dormant volcano with two separate summits. The last eruption is thought to have occurred in 50 B.C. Myth has it that Zues held captive a Titan named Prometheus chained up at the summit. Prometheus is told to have stole fire from the gods and gave the fire to an old man living on the mountain. In turn, this is how the Mount Elbrus got it's volcanic properties. The mountain is the third in the Seven Summits and also part of a separate challenge called the Volcanic Seven Summits. This hike usually takes about 6.7 hours starting from the south side of the mountain.
4. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania - Elevation 19,341 Feet
Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most well known mountains. Sitting in the Northeastern section of Tanzania in Kilimanjaro National Park, this peak rises to an amazing 19,341 feet. This is the fourth of the "Seven Summits" and one of the most popular. Yearly travelers from all over the world come and hike to the peak for breathtaking views. Being the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano with two volcanic cones called Kibo and Shira. The hike itself can take up to six or seven days depending on your adjustments to the altitude. In 1889, Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller were the first to reach the summit. Kilimanjaro is also very popular in pop culture appearing in things such as Disney's "The Lion King" and Toto's song "Africa".
3. Denali, United States - Elevation 20,322 Feet
Denali is the highest mountain in North America and the third of the "Seven Summits". This 20,322 foot mountain sits on the Alaska Mountain Range and is part of Denali National Park and Preserve. The first to reach the summit was an expedition crew in 1913 consisting of Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum. Formally, Denali was known as Mt. Mckinley, named after the United States President at the time. It wasn't until recently in 2015 that the name was changed to the what the locals have been calling it for many years, Denali. This is a very dangerous climb due to the extreme altitude and the base can only be reach by following one road the the park.
2. Aconcague, Argentina - Elevation 22,838 Feet
The second of the "Seven Summits" is Aconcague. This peak lays on the Andes Mountain Range and is one of the tallest mountains outside of Asia. One of the first attempts to summit was by Paul Güssfedlt in 1883. Paul is told to have bribed porters to help in travel by telling them treasures lay at the mountains peak. In the end, he didn't make it , but the legends of the treasure still call travelers to the mountain today. In 1897, the peak was finally reached by Edward FitzGerald. For most experienced hikers, this mountain can be somewhat easy if climbed from the North or the Normal Route.
1. Mount Everest, Nepal - Elevation 29,029 Feet
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world and the final goal in the "Seven Summits". Laying in the Mahalangur Mountain Range, this giant has claimed the lives of many travelers and locals and has been the subject of mystery since the day it was discovered. It is unsure who reached the summit first, but speculation believes that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine reached it in 1924 but never made the decent down. Most travelers will begin their trek in the mountain town of Lukla and the travel to base camp. Once hikers reach 26,000 feet, or the Danger Zone, the hike becomes extremely dangerous due to lack of oxygen and the frostbiting temperatures. This is the point where hikers will often back out or need medical attention.