The idea of climbing a mountain is something I’ve always wanted to do. Actually, to be more accurate it is not something I always wanted to do but rather something I’ve always liked the idea of doing.
I remember going to the Royal Geographic Society in London and listening to a guy called Bear Grylls talking about his ascent of Mount Everest. At the time I believe he was the youngest person to reach the summit. Which needless to say is very impressive.
The thing that just rather shocked me is quite how much work it is, and the fact that a lot of it just seemed to be rather boring. You would have to climb up to base camp, and then you would climb back down again, and then you would go halfway to camp 1 and then back to base camp, and then to camp 1 and halfway back down again.
The whole acclimatization thing from memory seemed to take about 6 months – in reality is only 4-6 weeks… but still, if I am honest the acclimatisation sounds just a tiny bit boring!
I like the idea of being a rather daring chap who just decided to go off and climb the mountain. I want to fly out to Nepal, hire a sherpa and start climbing! Sadly however that would almost certainly be a bit of a recipe for coming a cropper! Fortunately however that would be impossible as you need climbing permits before you can even think of approaching Everest in the first place.
I suppose like any kind of endeavour, whether it be business, social or sporting, its just a question of breaking it down into baby steps.
So rather than being the idiot who just turns up, tries to hire a Sherpa who would end up probably dying you would start by learning how to climb, understand the knots, work on a climbing wall or a simple rock face and then over time work your way up to an actual mountain, starting with an easy one and then doing a slightly harder one and then an even harder one…
I think for me the pinnacle of my climbing life will be going up Mount Kilimajaro, which to all intents and purposes is just a trek, albeit one at altitude that is almost certainly to end in altitude sickness, not as I almost wrote morning sickness – apologies to any of my mom friends out there!
So which of the below would you rather reach the summit of?
For me, I think to see either of them from below would be pretty incredible, but to reach the summit of, I am not totally sure… There is a part of me that thinks that the magic of climbing either of these majestic mountains would be rather ruined by the sheer number of other tourists and climbers.
So I think I will find myself somewhere amazing in South America which doesn’t have quite so many tourists acting like ants all over and go up those instead…. but my bext hike of any kind will be a visit to Machu Picchu… I have been, but when I went the first time I took the train… I was far too unfit to want to be able to walk it, now I am really looking forward to the chance to climb it.
Love to hear of your favourite climbs and treks in the comments below.