So you want to climb one of the high-altitude trekking peaks?
I don’t blame you. Some of the best memories of my entire life have come whilst scaling mountains, and some pretty high ones at that. This is literally the peak of adventure travel.
But a word of warning: scaling a high-altitude peak isn’t like taking a stroll through the park.
It requires preparation, training and commitment, which is why my advice is to decide very carefully which peak you want to scale first – you don’t want to do all that work and then have an underwhelming experience.
With that in mind, I’ve put together my personal list of the top five high-altitude trekking peaks you must climb before it’s too late. Hope you enjoy…
1. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (5,895m)
Kili’s the big one, and probably one of my favourite trekking peaks to scale (in fact, I’ve scaled it 9 times now).
It might be a cliché to say Kilimanjaro, but that’s only because it’s such an incredible experience.
At nearly 6,000m, Kili is a pretty challenging climb. What makes it such a good choice is that it doesn’t require any real technical climbing skill – as long as you’re able to deal with the physical challenge and you’re fit, then you’ll be okay.
As an added challenge, because Kilimanjaro is so high, there’s a genuine risk of altitude sickness, which means acclimatisation is key.
Why do I love it so much?
Two main reasons:
- Firstly, the serious sense of accomplishment – it isn’t an easy climb, and you’ll definitely feel like you’ve earned that feeling of euphoria when you get to the top.
- Secondly, the views are incredible – you get to experience massively diverse and beautiful scenery, including forests and deserts.
Check out details of our next trip HERE.
2. Island Peak, Nepal (6,189m)
Island Peak is nearly 300m higher than Kili, and it’s a very different experience.
This has become very popular over the last few years. It is certainly on the Bucket List for many people wanting to tick one of their first 6000m+ trekking peaks.
Despite this, it’s not as technical a climb as you might expect. Consequently it’s a good introduction to mountaineering in high-altitude. It is still classed at a trekking peak and only requires basic snow skills which we teach during the climb.
The approach typically takes climbers through the Khumbu Valley giving you a taste of Himalayan villages and culture. On this climb you will also get the views the big ones – Everest, Lhotse and Makalu.
Check out details of our next trip to Island Peak HERE.
3. Aconcagua, Argentina (6,959m)
Now this is a seriously high trekking peak. At 6,959m, and as the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas, Aconcagua is a beast, and it’s one of the more challenging peaks on this list.
You certainly can’t just rock up and expect to scale Aconcagua. Having said that, if you come at the mountain from the north, you’ll probably be able to get up without having to use ropes or any other high maintenance equipment.
Serious training is key though. Do your research and some hard work before you turn up, otherwise the chances of you getting to the top are pretty limited. And when you do get to the top, you’ll be well rewarded with some insanely good views across the Andes.
4. Mount Toubkal, Morocco (4,167m)
There are a whole bunch of reasons why I like Toubkal, but here are a few:
- It’s highly accessible for those in the UK
- It’s high, without being incredibly daunting
- You can get affordable flights there, and the climb is relatively short, meaning you can get there and back in just a handful of days
Summer’s the best time to scale Toubkal, but if you choose to go in the winter, you’ll almost certainly need crampons. In the summer, you’ll need some good walking boots and some poles, as regardless of the weather, there’s a lot of scree on the ascent.
Fancy joining us on Mount Toubkal? Find out more info HERE.
5. The Breithorn, Switzerland (4,164m)
If – like me – you love the Alps and you want to scale a 4,000m+ peak, then the Breithorn could be the perfect trekking Peak option for you.
Here’s the small print though – most climbers cheat to scale it.
The Klein Matterhorn cable car takes you up to 3,883m, so your actual ascent is less than 300m.
However, it isn’t a Micky Mouse climb. You’ll need an ice axe and crampons to get over the glacier, but once you’ve arrived, you’ll get a fantastic view of the Alps
Hope you enjoyed this short blog – if you have any questions, please just email them straight through to me – [email protected]
Thanks for reading!