Add These Mountaineering Expeditions to Your List of Must-Do Treks
Move over, Everest - here are four (other) high altitude mountaineering adventures around the world to add to your bucket list.
Mount Rainier may be the more well-known peak, and it certainly deserves a spot on any mountaineer’s bucket list, but Mount Baker is worth its own trip. This peak makes for a great training route for beginner mountaineers, with an elevation that’s high-but-not-too-crazy (the summit is 10,781 feet above sea level, and the hike includes 7,260 feet of elevation gain in 11.8 miles).
Another perk to hiking Mount Baker is the solitude — while Mount Rainier tends to be jam-packed, Baker is far less crowded. The stunning climb will take you through peaceful forests and vibrant wildflowers, with lots of glaciated peaks to gawk at in the distance.
To make the summit, you’ll need some technical hiking/climbing skills and the proper gear. You can also join a guided trip with a local outfitter, which is a great way to learn more and see how much you enjoy mountaineering.
Alaska is a dream destination for mountain lovers around the world. There’s a seemingly endless array of peaks to climb and remote slices of wilderness to explore, like Mount Bona’s 16,421-foot summit. This trip has everything you’d expect to find on an iconic mountain adventure, including unpredictable arctic weather, lofty elevations, glaciers to navigate and much more.
It’s a perfect precursor to taller peaks, like Denali, and the nearly two-week trip will provide plenty of opportunities to learn the ins-and-outs of glacier mountaineering. Experienced climbers will feel comfortable on their own, though you can also join a guided trek for extra support.
Mexico is an underrated trekking destination, but the snow-capped volcanic peak of Pico de Orizaba will have you looking at the country’s impressive landscapes in a whole new way. This is the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America, but it’s not a technical route and you can get up to the summit and back down in a single (long) day.
When you stand on Orizaba’s (approximately) 18,500-foot summit at sunrise, you’ll see something dramatic and memorable: the mountain’s inky shadow creeping across the flat plains surrounding the peak. It’s quite a sight to behold, and the perfect introduction to international mountaineering.
Since we’re on the topic of international mountaineering, this is the perfect time to introduce the next big peak you’ll want to add to your mountaineering bucket list: Aconcagua in the Andes of Argentina.
At 22,840 feet above sea level, this is the world’s tallest mountain outside of the Himalayas. You’ll want lots of experience backpacking and climbing in high-altitude environments before tackling this epic journey — the trailhead is at 9,000 feet, and it’s a long journey to the top.
It can take up to three weeks to summit Aconcagua, so be mindful of your pack weight. Depending on your preferences, this could be one of those scenarios where ultralight backpacking gear is worth the price. Lightweight, freeze-dried meals are another must-have on this type of mountaineering adventure, and you can browse some of our favorite freeze-dried mountaineering meals here.
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