Few can say they have been to the peaks of these mountains. They are some of the most extreme places on planet earth. Places where humans and animals can only survive for brief moments. These are places without trees or cities. They are desolate, yet magnificent in every way. Some, like Kilimanjaro won’t be the same for much longer. Others like K2 and Carstensz Pyramid are only beginning to be explored.
- Mount Everest, Nepal
Since the late Sir Edmund Hillary made this climb in 1953, adventurers the world over have made this their goal too. It’s the world’s highest peak, but don’t expect to be alone. This mountain is climbed frequently. Many are turned away. Many never return.
- Alpamayo, Peru
Often considered the most beautiful mountain in the world and the inspiration for the North Face logo. The steep and highly technical climb on this pyramid of rock and ice is for experienced climbers only.
- Carstensz Pyramid, Papua New Guinea
The snow covered, 16,025 foot Carstensz Pyramid is the highest peak in Oceania. You can get to the base camp, from where you will have a 12-15 hour ascent, by a 5-7 day trek or a short helicopter ride.
- K2, Pakistan
At 28,250 feet above sea level, K2 is the world’s second highest mountain and one of the most desired climbs.
- Mt. Kilamanjaro, Tanzania
The perfect snow capped cone of Kilimanjaro is receding fast, so climb Africa’s highest peak before it is gone.
- Mt. Elbrus, Russia/Georgia
In the Caucacus range of Russia and Georgia the 18,510 foot peak is surrounded by glaciated peaks and alpine valleys.
- Mount Mckinley, Alaska
Also known as Denali, this 20, 320 foot peak on the edge of the Arctic circle is the coldest outside of Antarctica due to its northerly position.
- Mount Vinson, Antarctica
It’s only 16,066 feet above sea level, but Mount Vinson is the highest peak on the entire Antarctic continent. The extreme cold and wind add to the technical element of the climb, making it just as tough as trip to Nepal.
- Aconcagua, Argentina/Chile
The highest peak in the Americas, standing at 22,841 feet, attracts thousands of climbers every year, although only about half reach the summit.
- Shishapagme, Tibet
With an altitude of 26,286 feet, Shishapagme is one of the world’s great peaks, although relatively unknown when compared to Everest or K2. It’s often considered the best "first" 26,000 foot ascent.