While mountain climbing might sound like an insurmountable task to most, there are actually many beginner-friendly climbs. Some mountains are not only safe and manageable but also only require a couple of hours of trekking before you reach the peak to soak in unbelievably beautiful views.
Of course, there are numerous mountains that do challenge the physical and mental capabilities of the climber. Embark on one such difficult journey and you shall be rewarded with stunning sights at the summit.
Here are 8 mountains to attempt mountaineering from the easiest to the hardest.
1. Cradle Mountain (Australia)
Nestled in the wilderness of Tasmania, the Lake St Clair National Park is home to the iconic Cradle Mountain. Reserve half a day to explore this mountain and its surrounding wilderness. Since it is one of the principal tourist sites of this Australian state, it is recommended that you head there early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The trek is relatively simple and even kids can join in the fun.
2. Mount Bromo (Indonesia)
Arguably the most iconic mountain in Asia, Mount Bromo is the most popular volcano in Indonesia for hikers that flock from all over the world. Located in the state of Java, the peak offers breathtaking views of unearthly barren hills and the white sulphurous plumes of smoke that erupts from the active volcano. Mount Bromo also has a religious significance. The name Bromo derives from the Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god, a nod to the volcano's raw, elemental power.
3. Mount Fuji (Japan)
Located on Honshu Island, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. The mountain can be seen on the train ride between Tokyo and Osaka. It is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707! The hike up the most popular route, Kawaguchiko, is a great introduction to the stamina needed for climbing mountains without technical terrain. You can also take a day trip to trek over the mountains of Hakone and cruise through the cool water of Lake Ashi.
4. Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, and one of the world’s highest free-standing peaks, a volcano almost 6,000m high. The biggest challenge in climbing it is getting acclimated to the thin air at high altitudes. The climb can take 5 to 9 days depending on the route and speed. However, all of the routes on Kilimanjaro require a local guide. Avoid the rainy season from March to May and you should have a comfortable climb throughout the rest of the year.
5. Mount Elbrus (Russia)
Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe. A dormant volcano, Elbrus is in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, near the border with Georgia and Abkhazia. Despite its formidable stature, Europe’s highest peak can be climbed by most, but it does require training which should include climbing conditioning, cardiovascular training and strength building. Just beware of the unpredictable weather which can reach icy temperatures. The best time to climb is in July and August.
6. Mount McKinley (Alaska)
Also known as Denali, Mount McKinley is the highest peak in North America. Tha man challenge in climbing this mountain is tackling the extremely cold temperatures which can down to minus 60 degrees Celsius. The upper half of Denali is permanently covered with snow and many glaciers. Nonetheless, almost half a million people visit Denali National Park and Preserve each year, primarily between May and September to register as mountain climbers.
7. Mount Cook (New Zealand)
Climbing New Zealand’s highest peak is physically demanding and a long venture even for experienced climbers. The Aoraki Mount Cook expedition takes an average of 6 days to complete and requires a high level of aerobic fitness as well as the experience of travelling on glaciated terrain. The climbing season is from late October to late February. Alternatively, if you just want to visit the mountain as a tourist, take a helicopter ride around the mountain.
8. Mount Everest (Nepal)
Yes, we know it’s no easy feat scaling the tallest mountain in the world. But even if you don’t make it to the peak, the views from the Everest base camps are gorgeous enough. Some climbers claim that the South Base Camp on the side of Tibet has a prettier view than the North Base Camp in Nepal. Mount Everest represents the ultimate challenge for climbers and adventurers. If you decide to embark on this journey, consider the months of training required, the risks involved, and the heavy financial investment.