Climbing Mount Everest ranks as one of the world’s most impressive climbing feats, but surprisingly this climb is not the world’s most difficult. Like Everest, the world’s highest peaks are becoming more accessible, with those willing to pay for organized expeditions to the summits now able to make these amazing climbs.
For rock climbing, the globe has some excellent terrain, including the gorges and crags of the Blue Mountains in Australia as well as the up-and-coming rock climbing site of Suesca in Colombia. South Africa’s Table Mountain is a firm favorite for its outstanding views over Cape Town.
Mount Everest, Nepal / Tibet Climbing the world’s highest mountain is every mountain climber’s dream, and today organized expeditions to the summit are open to those fit and wealthy enough to make the climb. The climb doesn’t rank as the globe’s most difficult, yet unpredictable weather conditions make it dangerous.
K2, Pakistan Ranking as the second highest mountain in the world after Everest, K2 lures climbers with its lofty altitudes of 8,611m. Part of the Karakoram range in the Himalayas, K2 is challenging to climb, with the climb best suited to experienced climbers.
Annapurna I, Nepal Nepal’s Annapurna I, the 10th highest peak in the world, is park of the range of the same name. At 8,000m, this mountain is no easy feat to scale, even for the most experienced of climbers. Organized expeditions leave from Pokhara.
Table Mountain, South Africa A suitable climb for all levels of climbers, Table Mountain is best known for its table-like shape and outstanding views over Cape Town. The mountain also offers some challenges for rock climbers.
Blue Mountains, Australia Named after the blue-colored haze that occurs in the valleys, the Blue Mountains are one of Australia’s highlights and are conveniently situated just 50 miles from Sydney. The rock climbing here is superb and suited to all abilities, with the sandstone plateau featuring hundreds of gorges and crags that have been formed over millions of years.
Joshua Tree National Park - California, US Ranking as one of the world’s best-loved rock climbing spots, Joshua Tree provides great variety for climbers, with 4,500-plus routes of varying difficulty. Climbing is at its best here during spring and fall, but the park is open throughout the year.
Sierra Nevada de Merida, Venezuela The tallest peak in the Sierra Nevada de Merida range, the 4,979m high Pico Bolivar, is a moderate to difficult climb. The range forms part of the Andes and is protected as a national park.
Red Rocks - Nevada, US A popular rock climbing spot for more than a decade, Red Rocks sits in a protected national conservation area of outstanding natural beauty. The sandstone rock formations here provide climbing options suited to all levels of rock climbers.
Suesca, Colombia A one-hour drive north of the Colombian capital of Bogotá, Suesca is the country’s best site for rock climbing. To complement the rock climbing is breathtaking scenery, making this a popular spot among climbing fanatics.
Mount Vesuvius, Italy Perhaps best known for destroying the Roman city of Pompeii during an eruption in 79 AD, Vesuvius is still an active volcano. Between eruptions (the last eruption was in 1944) climbers can scale the volcano. There is a road to the top, but the last 200m must be walked.