Chimborazo, Ecuador

          Chimborazo is an inactive stratovolcano, the highest summit in the country of Ecuador. Its last eruption is thought to have occurred some time in the first millennium AD. Although it is not the tallest peak on Earth, it is as a result of the Earth’s 42.72 kilometres (26.5 mi) equatorial bulge that its summit is the point farthest from the centre of the Earth, with a peak distance of 6,384.4 kilometres (3,967.1 mi). Still, it’s easy to forget the numbers when you’re standing in its snowcapped presence. In the heart of the Andes, Chimborazo and the surrounding lands are home to alpacas, llamas and vicunas.


Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

            Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo,Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano inTanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level (theUhuru Peak/Kibo Peak). While the legendary Snows of Kilimanjaro have melted — some say up to 82% since 1912 — the highest peak on the African continent maintains its alluring beauty. Kili rises 19,341 feet in dramatic isolation above the Serengeti plains and lures visitors from all around the world to attempt the nontechnical, but still extremely difficult, hike to Uhuru Peak, the mountain’s highest point. Most climbers struggle with this while en route.

Alpamayo, Peru

             The sheer icy face of Alpamayo, tilting at about 60 degrees, makes this peak in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Peruvian Andes one of the most stunning mountains in the world. (In fact, in 1966 an international survey officially designated it the world’s most beautiful mountain.) The peak is part of Huascarán National Park, home to jaguars, tapirs and endangered spectacled bears. 

Mount Ararat, Turkey

       Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat (the tallest peak in Turkey, and the entire Armenian plateau with an elevation of 5,137 m/16,854 ft) and Lesser Ararat (with an elevation of 3,896 m/12,782 ft). The Ararat massif is about 40 km (25 mi) in diameter. The Iran-Turkey boundary skirts east of Lesser Ararat, the lower peak of the Ararat massif. It was in this area that by the Tehran Convention of 1932 a border change was made in Turkey’s favor, permitting her to occupy the eastern flank of the massif.

Piz Bernina, Switzerland

       Piz Bernina (4,049 m) is the highest mountain of the Eastern Alps and the highest point of theBernina Range the highest peak in south Rhetic Alps. It is also the farthest easterly mountain higher than 4,000 m in the Alps, the highest point of the Swiss canton of Graubünden, and the fifth-most prominent peak in the Alps. Piz Bernina is located near St. Moritz, one of the best known resorts in the Swiss Alps. The mountain takes its name from the Bernina Pass and was given in 1850 by Johann Coaz, who also made the first ascent.

Mount Rainier, Washington

                 Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcanolocated 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in thecontiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 feet (4,392 m). Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list.[8] Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.

Mount Cook, New Zealand

             Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain inNew Zealand, reaching 3,754 metres (12,316 ft). It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of theSouth Island. A popular tourist destination, it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers. Aoraki / Mount Cook consists of three summits lying slightly south and east of the main divide, the Low Peak, Middle Peak and High Peak, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the Hooker Glacier to the west.

Mount Fuji, Japan

           A rite of passage for many Japanese — and ambitious visitors — is to climb this sacred mountain through the night to witness the sunrise from the 12,389-foot summit. The hike takes eight hours, but there are 10 resting stations along the way. A Shinto shrine to the goddess Sengen-Sama can be found at the top of this dormant volcano, which last erupted in 1707. The mountain’s nearly perfect conical shape is just west of Tokyo, and has been featured in poems and paintings for centuries.

Mount Everest, Nepal-Tibet

                 Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain, with a peak at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas on the Nepal side of Nepal-China(Tibet) border. Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse (8516 m), Nuptse (7855 m) andChangtse (7580 m). In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft (8,840 m). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Societyupon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh, theBritish Surveyor General of India. 

Mount Ngauruhoe, New Zealand

               Mount Ngauruhoe is an active stratovolcano or composite cone in New Zealand, made from layers of lava and tephra. It is the youngest vent in the Tongariro volcanic complex on the Central Plateau of the North Island, and first erupted about 2,500 years ago. Although seen by most as a volcano in its own right, it is technically a secondary cone of Mount Tongariro. The volcano lies between the active volcanoes of Mount Tongariro to the north and Mount Ruapehuto the south, to the west of the Rangipo Desert25 kilometres to the south of the southern shore of Lake Taupo.

Nanga Parbat, Pakistan

            Nanga Parbat has tremendous vertical relief over local terrain in all directions. To the south, Nanga Parbat boasts what is often referred to as the highest mountain face in the world: the Rupal Face rises 4,600 m (15,000 ft) above its base. To the north, the complex, somewhat more gently sloped Rakhiot Flank rises 7,000 m (23,000 ft) from the Indus River valley to the summit in just 27 km (17 mi), one of the 10 greatest elevation gains in so short a distance on Earth. Nanga Parbat is one of only two peaks on Earth that rank in the top twenty of both the highest mountains in the world, and the most prominent peaks in the world, ranking ninth and fourteenth respectively. The other being Mount Everest, which is first on both lists.

Pumori, Nepal

         Pumori lies just eight kilometres west of Mount Everest. Pumori, which means “Unmarried Daughter” in the Sherpa language, was named by George Mallory. Climbers sometimes refer to Pumori as “Everest’s Daughter”. Pumori is a popular climbing peak and the easiest route is graded class 3, although with significant avalanche danger. Pumori was first climbed in 1962 by Gerhard Lenser of aGerman-Swiss expedition. 

The Rockies, Canada

        The Rocky Mountains (or the Rockies) are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,830 km) from the northernmost part ofBritish Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range andSierra Nevada which all lie further to the west. The Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago by the Laramide orogeny. Since then, erosion by water and glaciers have sculpted the mountain range into dramatic valleys and peaks. At the end of the last ice age, humans started to inhabit the mountain range. 

Sajama, Bolivia

                  Sajama (and Lagunas) sit in a vast plane at an elevation of about 4,200 m (hence altiplano). The area is covered in scrubby grasses that are happily devoured by herds of llamas. Definitely more llamas than people out here. The plane is dotted with a number of volcanoes that roughly form the border with Chile. Included amongst these is Nevada Sajama, Bolivia’s highest peak at 6,542 m. Sajama for some reason seemed a little different than the rest of the Bolivian towns. The buildings still featured plenty of adobe and grass roofs, but the people seemed slightly different. Everyone was riding bikes around. And folks were predominantly dressed in western styles.

Fitz Roy, Argentina/Chile

              Monte Fitz Roy (also known as Cerro Chaltén,Cerro Fitz Roy, or simply Mount Fitz Roy) is amountain located near El Chaltén village, in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. First climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terrayand Guido Magnone, it remains among the most technically challenging mountains on Earth formountaineers. Monte Fitz Roy is the basis for the Patagonia clothing logo following Yvon Chouinard’s ascent and subsequent film in 1968.

Matterhorn, Italy/Switzerland

          The Matterhorn (German), Monte Cervino(Italian) or Mont Cervin (French), is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border betweenSwitzerland and Italy. Its summit is 4,478 metres (14,690 ft) high, making it one of the highest peaks in the Alps. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points. The mountain overlooks the town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais to the north-east and Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valleyto the south. The Theodul Pass, located at the eastern base of the peak, is the lowest passage between its north and south side.

K-2 Godwin Austin, Pakistan

          The Godwin-Austen Glacier is located near K2 in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Its confluence with the Baltoro Glacier is called Concordia and is one of the most favorite spots for trekking in Pakistansince it provides excellent views of four of the fiveeight-thousanders in Pakistan. The glacier can be approached via the important Balti town of Skardu.The Karakoram peak K2 in the Himalayas was originally named Mount Goodwin-Austin in his honour.

Machapuchare, North-Central Nepal

Machapuchare or Machhapuchhre (माछापुछ्रे) Lit. “Fish Tail” in  English, is a mountain in theAnnapurna Himal of north central Nepal. It is revered by the local population as particularly sacred to the god Shiva, and hence is off limits to climbing. Machhapuchhre is at the end of a long spur ridge, coming south out of the main backbone of the Annapurna Himal, that forms the eastern boundary of the Annapurna  Sanctuary. (The Sanctuary is a favorite trekking destination, and the site of the base camps for the South Face of Annapurna and for numerous smaller objectives.) The peak is about 25 km north of Pokhara, the main town of the region. 

Shivling, Uttarakhand, India

                 Shivling is a mountain in the Gangotri Group of peaks in the western Garhwal Himalaya, near the snout of the Gangotri Glacier. It lies in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, 6 kilometres (4 mi) south of the Hindu holy site of Gaumukh(the source of the Bhagirathi River). Its name refers to its status as a sacred symbol of the God – Lord Shiva’s Shiva Linga. It was called “Matterhorn Peak” by early European visitors because of its similarity in appearance to thatAlpine peak. While not of locally great elevation, it is a dramatic rock peak, and most visually striking peak seen from Gaumukh; that and the difficulty of the climb make it a famed prize for mountaineers

Ama Dablam, Eastern Nepal

              Ama Dablam is a mountain in the Himalaya range of eastern Nepal. Literally meaning ‘Mother and Pearl Necklace’. This stunning mountain is crowned by two different peaks. The higher or ‘main peak’ is 6 812 m (22 349 ft) high while the lower peak is 5 563 m (18 251 ft) high. Because of the mountain’s beauty it receives a lot of attention from visitors who often consider it to be the most beautiful mountain in the region. Appropriately the name ‘Ama Dablam’ means ‘Mother of Pearl Necklace’ which is not only a reference to the two peaks and the mountain’s beauty, but also to the perennial hanging glacier which can be found on this breath-taking mountain.

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