Summiting Mount Everest and standing atop the roof of the world is the dream of many an aspiring adventurer. And it’s easy to see why of course, the allure of “conquering” the biggest hill on earth and standing where relatively few have ever stood before would make a good dinner anecdote…
But the thing is, Everest really isn’t for everybody. It’s harsh, tough and downright dangerous and even the best prepared, most experienced mountaineers risk losing a few fingers if not there life. Then, of course, there is the price tag, yep, climbing Everest is a rich man’s game for those with $60k to chuck around.
But fear not. There are plenty of other mountains out there for you. And guess what? Whilst Everest is the biggest, plenty of others are more beautiful, more dangerous and frankly a whole lot cooler and because they don’t have the title of being “biggest on the world, relatively few people try to climb them meaning you can have the whole adventure more o less to yourself!
Top 5 Epic Mountains that Anybody Can Climb!
Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is the biggest mountain in Africa, the biggest most adventure-packed continent on earth. Kilimanjaro rises nearly 6000 meters out of Tanzania’s plains like an apparition and is conspicuous as the only mountain in the region. Climbing Kilimanjaro requires no climbing experience as its essentially a long walk around, and up, the mountain but there is some hair-raising moments for those not fond of heights!
You can book tours internationally, online or inside Tanzania itself. To ensure that your money is actually going to help the poor local economy, you may wish to book inside the country. Most trips provide plenty of porters and helpers so all you need to concentrate on is putting one foot in front of the other. Poor Explorers very own Broke Backpacker Will Hatton celebrated his 19th birthday by scaling the mountain – the first of many adventures.
2. Roraima -Venezuela
The 2,800 meter Mount Roraima is situated deep inside Venezuela’s “Gran Savannah” and is the largest tabletop mountain on earth – it is literally shaped like a flat table! Roraima was famously the inspiration of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World” as the mountaintop boasts an unearthly moonscape (rich in Quartz) and a unique and barmy bio-diversity. Many people are currently put off from visiting Venezuela because of the counties socio-economic problems but we spent 3 months there is 2015 and absolutely loved the country.
To summit Roraima, you need to join an organised, licensed tour which can be arranged from the cool, mountain and student center of Merida or in the edgier Santa Elena. The summit takes around 5 days round trip and is tough but totally manageable. Just bring plenty of mozzy-repellent and be ready for some serious humidity. Because of the lack of international tourism, you will also have much of the Savannah to yourself and because of Venezuela’s “Mercado Negro”, the trip may cost you as little as $100….
3. Ben Nevis – United Kingdom
Bonny Scotlands mighty Ben Nevis is the largest mountain in the UK. Whilst a relatively humble 1,345 meters, it is still a challenge as its steep incline and all year round winter conditions at the top have caught many a climber off guard.
As long as you are relatively fit, bring the right gear and set off early enough, more or less anybody can get up and down Ben Nevis in a day making it a perfect beginners mountain. The views over the Scottish Highlands are sublime with mysterious lochs and green mountains as far as the eye can see. Once you’re done with the mountain, you can head down to Fort William to take in a Whisky Tour.
As no expertise, permits or guides are needed, this is definitely a cheap mountain to climb – just please do spend some money on good gear.
4. Chimborazo Peak – Ecuador
…So Everest is the highest point on earth right? Well yes but also no because whilst Chimborazo Peak stands at only 5000 meters, it is actually nearer to our earth’s orbit, closer to space and therefore debatably higher than Mount Everest. This is because of the quirk that is our spherical earth (also some still maintain its actually flat), as Ecuador (meaning the Equator) sits right at the midpoint of the planet.
Ecuador is full of amazing mountains to climb but this one takes the prize as it’s the only way to climb higher than Everest and out-do those millionaires!
Because there have been some fatalities, a pre-requisite of climbing the mountain is to do a two preparation course and join a licensed tour. Nevertheless, the whole thing still takes between 10 – 15 days and even expensive packages are still around $2.5k (cheaper if you have time to organize them inside Ecuador).
5. Mount Fuji – Japan
Situated 60 miles south of Tokyo, Mt Fuji is Japan’s contribution to the worlds great mountains. In true Japanese style, it is also very user-friendly.
Basically, you can drive all the way to the bottom, park your car and then head up the 3,776-meter mountain, in sneakers, all in one long day. I once met a guy who literally ran up the mountain in one afternoon sandwiched between a business meeting in Tokyo and his return flight home to the UK.
There are actually loads of great mountains that anybody can climb but this list has to end somewhere. So you see, you don’t need to be a half-crazed, rich athlete to get high and mighty, just savvy and suitably determined.
In case you are desperately craving a Himalayan fix, well there are loads of national treks you can do in India, Nepal, and Pakistan that don’t involve any actual mountaineering, danger and these are extremely affordable. But that’s a different post for a different day…
See you at the top.