Six of the Best Climbs Not Far Off the Beaten Path

Most climbers’ favorite routes are hid­den away from pry­ing eyes; the kinds of places you can call your own. Whether you’ve nev­er even con­sid­ered sum­mit­ing a moun­tain before or are just look­ing for some new ter­rain, these are five eas­i­ly-acces­si­ble climbs any­one can enjoy.

mount fujiMount Fuji, Japan (3776 meters)
Not only is Mount Fuji one of the most rec­og­niz­able peaks in the world, but it’s also a great intro­duc­tion to climb­ing. The most pop­u­lar sum­mit route, Kawaguchiko, requires no tech­ni­cal ter­rain. The trail is well-estab­lished and well-peo­pled. This route gives you a taste of the sta­mi­na required for moun­taineer­ing with­out pre­sent­ing insur­mount­able chal­lenges to new climbers.

Mount KilimanjaroMount Kil­i­man­jaro, Tan­za­nia (5895 meters)
Kil­i­man­jaro is Africa’s high­est moun­tain, thrust­ing near­ly 6000 meters into the heav­ens. That’s right: the high­est moun­tain on a whole con­ti­nent can be tack­led by a moun­taineer still learn­ing the ropes. You’ll need to sign on with a guid­ed tour. This is a mul­ti-day adven­ture. The thin air is a big chal­lenge, but the ascent is tech­ni­cal­ly straight­for­ward and con­sists sim­ply of hik­ing. It’s dif­fi­cult and thrilling but cer­tain­ly achievable.

TofanaTofana di Rozes, Italy (3225 meters)
This stun­ning moun­tain hike in Italy’s sto­ried Dolomites offers a taste of exposed rock climb­ing made acces­si­ble by a sys­tem of lad­ders, rungs, and cables, to which the climber is teth­ered in case of fall. The ascent from the trail­head will gain you 1,200 meters of ele­va­tion. And the views from the sum­mit are among the most beau­ti­ful in the world.

mount BreithornBre­i­thorn, Switzer­land (4164 meters)
The nor­mal route tak­en to sum­mit this long ridge­line offers easy climb­ing con­di­tions on 35 degrees of snow or ice. It’s a good test of skills with­out being too tech­ni­cal­ly inac­ces­si­ble for new­er moun­taineers. As with any high alti­tude, you’ll need to be accli­mat­ed, take the climb slow­ly, and stay hydrat­ed to avoid alti­tude sick­ness of injury. After­ward, you’ll be able to brag that you’ve climbed in the Alps.

pikes peakPikes Peak, Col­orado, Unit­ed States (4302 meters)
The Barr Trail to Pikes Peak’s sum­mit gains 2289 meters in its 13 miles. This icon­ic Col­orado moun­tain gets hik­ers way up there, but the trail is well-defined and well-traf­ficked. After­noon show­ers can be a chal­lenge, so plan to begin your ascent before dawn. And if you reach the top and aren’t quite ready to trek the way back, you can hop on the cable car to rest your legs and rev­el in your accomplishment.

Guadalupe PeakGuadalupe Peak, Texas, Unit­ed States (2667 meters)
They say every­thing is big­ger in Texas, but the high­est peak in the state is a good chal­lenge for climbers of all lev­els and a pop­u­lar choice for vis­i­tors to Guadalupe Moun­tains Nation­al Park. In a state that has few moun­tains, you are guar­an­teed long-reach­ing panora­ma from the sum­mit. And giv­en the vast­ness and stark west­ern beau­ty Texas has to offer, that’s a panora­ma well worth surveying.