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Thursday
Aug312017

5 Must-See Mountains 

Natural landscapes are popular sites of interest so we have rounded up our 5 favourite mountains from across the world! The tallest, oldest and most culturally captivating mountains span across the continents and we’ve covered the very best – read on!

Mount Kilimanjaro

Flickr | Travelling PoohSituated in Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania’s most popular park amongst visitors, is not frequented for the abundant wildlife, but for one of Africa’s most striking sights: Mount Kilimanjaro! A staggering 19,341ft, Uhuru Peak covers an area of 6500 square kilometres and is the highest free-standing mountain in the world (not part of a mountain range). The summit can be reached within 5 days although Kilimanjaro’s rapid ascent makes it a dangerous climb due to altitude sickness, falls and hypothermia. Africa’s highest mountain is also one of the world’s highest volcanoes across a lunar landscape that boasts twin summits, Kibo and Mawenzi.  The saddle area between these two volcanic cones, is home to buffaloes, elephants and leopards that dwell in the lush, green rainforest below!

Mount Fuji

Flickr | junaidraoJapan’s highest mountain is located west of Tokyo on the main island, Honshu and at 12,389ft is the centrepiece of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Mount Fuji or ‘Fuji-san’ gained World Heritage status in 2013 as it remains a popular climb amongst admirers but be warned – the official climbing season lasts for 2 months as alpine weather is highly unpredictable outside of July and August, making it extremely dangerous! As Mount Fuji is a sacred mountain and connected to God, visitors are obliged to visit the Murayama Sengen Jinja temple that was built over 1000 years ago. The cherry blossoms in the temple garden are a quintessential sight and most visitors travel to the surrounding five lakes at the foot of the mountain!

 The Matterhorn

Flickr | Jan-Christof TelfordThe astounding Matterhorn is the ‘unfathomable monolith’ that straddles the border of Switzerland and Italy, making it one of Europe’s most unique peaks! The first to reach the summit was British climber, Edward Whymper in 1865 and succeeding climbers included President Roosevelt in 1881 and a young Prime Minister Churchill in 1894! The Matterhorn has steep, snow patched faces that form a pyramidal shape and is one of the tallest mountains in the Alps. The village of Zermatt in Switzerland is a popular platform for skiing and mountaineering as it offers fantastic views of the Matterhorn. This isolated mountain is exposed to rapid weather changes but nevertheless, numerous visitors and climbers are attracted to this ‘iconic emblem’ of the Swiss Alps!

Aoraki/Mount Cook

Flickr | Nathanael CoyneThis mountain, a staggering 12,218ft is the highest in New Zealand and is famous for being the ‘training’ mountain for Sir Edmund Hillary before climbing Mount Everest. Located in the Southern Alps in the Canterbury region, this mountain is based in the eponymously titled Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park that contains 140 other peaks and 72 glaciers (accounting for only 40% of the park!) According to Maori legend, Aoraki and his 3 brothers were the sons of the Sky Father and Earth Mother. Stranded during their voyages, the south wind froze Aoraki and his brothers, turning them to stone and creating Aoraki, the tallest peak and his brothers, the Southern Alps. Aoraki is considered the most sacred amongst the tribes of southern New Zealand, a favourite tourist destination and a popular challenge amongst mountaineers.
 
Mount Everest

Flickr | TorstenDietrichA name known by all would hardly be exempt from our list! Shared by China and Nepal, Mount Everest remains the world’s tallest mountain at a stunning 29,028ft and generates mass attraction amongst climbers who dream to ascend the world’s highest peak! The mild, steady weather is between March and May and September and October making these months the best climbing seasons in the Himalayan mountain range. Everest Base Camp is a popular trekking destination in Tibet that offers unbelievable views of mountain’s majestic north face. The name ‘Everest’ was given by the serving Surveyor-General of India who (backed by the Royal Geographical Society) rejected the local names but in the 1960s, the Nepali government uniquely named the tallest mountain, ‘Sagarmatha’ meaning ‘head of the sky’.

That concludes our top 5 mountains across the world! From Mount Fuji in Japan to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, where will you visit first? Let us know in the comments!

By Anaka Nair - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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