A climbing and hiking trip is one of the very best ways to see as much of a country as possible. The exertion of the climb is immediately worth it when you reach your summit and experience the most incredible possible views of your destination. You don’t have to be an expert rock climber to experience the joy and exhilaration of a unique climbing trip. Here are five of the most interesting climbing experiences in the world, all of which are completely accessible to novices. Just remember not to look down!
Climb the Villarrica Volcano
Standing at an altitude of 9,440 feet , the Villarrica volcano is one of the only active volcanoes in the world that you can climb in a day trip, making it an essential excursion for anyone visiting Chile and a truly unique and interesting experience. Volcano Live report that Villarrica is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, although it hasn’t experienced a full eruption since 1971 so it’s perfectly safe to climb. You’ll experience a full range of climatic conditions during your hike to the mountains peak, passing through ice and snow before ultimately arriving at the steaming hot bubbling surface of the volcano: a view that you’ll never forget! Villarrica is one of the world’s most climbed stratovolcanoes, and a day trip to its peak generally last between 7-11 hours (with 4-5 of those being the physical activity of the climb itself). An excursion to climb the mountain is accessible for climbers of all ability levels, but the trip isn’t recommended for children under the age of 12 years old.
Climb and Rapel in the Andes
The Andes are famous for the unique and interesting climbing opportunities they afford. In fact, The Andes have been selected as one of the world’s top ten climbs by National Geographic magazine, making a day trip here the perfect taster of a journey so many people travel to experience again and again. Enjoy a trek in “Cerro Manos” with stunning views of Cordon del Plata then spend your afternoon climbing and repelling in the foothills of the mountain for a full-blown adrenaline hit. The landscape you’ll see during this trip is truly breath taking, and if you’re considering a more intensive trip through The Andes to travel to higher peaks of this mountain range then this beginner-level day trip is a fantastic way to dip your toe in the water and put your climbing skills to the test.
Climb the Great White Pass
By complete contrast to the heat and humidity of climbing through the Andes, the Great White Pass is a cold climb in the heart of Skagway, where you’ll climb against a smooth granite surface whilst being framed by glaciers and truly breathtaking views. As Iglu Cruise point out, there are many stunning views on your climb including Skagway River, the White Pass Route Railway and the beautiful surrounding areas. The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway website reports that this is one of the most popular excursions in the area, with around 900,000 tourists visiting the area each year, and it’s easy to see why.
Trek Along The Cocoa Route
If you’re looking for a gentler trip with lower altitudes and very little traditional climbing involved then a trek along the cocoa route in the heart of Venezuela could be the perfect trip for you. This historically important route passes through the Henri Pittier National Park, an area renowned for the natural beauty of its flora and fauna. Due to the changes of altitude levels throughout this route you’ll experience a wide and varied range of different fauna during your trip. You’ll also pass through the incredibly remote Chuao coastal town, safe in the knowledge that you’re following a path used by the by merchants of cocoa beans of yesteryear: a must see for those chocolate addicts among you!
Climb The Matterhorn
Finally, you can’t talk about the best climbing experiences in the world without mentioning The Matterhorn, the rugged mountain in Switzerland considered to be the birthplace of modern mountaineering. The Matterhorn is considered to be a very difficult climb, and one that is generally attempted by professional and experiences climbers. However, according to Alpine Ascents, there are several trails on the mountain that are accessible to novice climbers. Both novice and experienced climbers can also receive training at the base of the mountain to prepare for technical ascents. Climb this peak if you want to secure your place in the mountaineering hall of fame, and dramatically improve your climbing skills.
Contributor: Susie Higgins