Mountain climb wish list

From Benjaminhughes.net

This is my wish-list in Europe with a few notes I have collected on each.

Mount Elbrus, Russia (5642m)

Far from the glory-grabbing summits of the European Alps are the shy twin peaks of Mt Elbrus (5642m), Europe’s highest mountain. Straddling the Russia–Georgia border and bulging above the Caucasus Ridge, Elbrus looks a daunting prospect. It’s nearly 1000m higher than any peaks around it, and glaciers chew at its edges, yet it offers no real technical difficulties – there’s even a chairlift to 3800m, where most climbs begin. A short distance above the chairlift is Camp 11; from here it’s an eight-hour push to the summit. From the Azau cable-car station ride or walk to the Barrels Huts, where the climb begins. Don’t take the summit for granted – in 2004 the mountain claimed 48 climbers.


Mnt Blanc, France (4810m)

Some 20,000 people succeed in reaching the summit of Mont Blanc in the Alps each year. The closest towns to the mountain are Chamonix in France and Courmayeur in Italy. At 4,810.45 metres it was once thought as Europe’s highest mountain, but in fact it comes in second place to Mount Elbrus. However, whilst Elbrus is relatively straightforward to climb, Mont Blanc presents far more of a challenge. You’ll need a high level of fitness and stamina to take on this one and you should be prepared to spend time acclimatising to the altitude. A cable car takes you up high to l’Aiguille du Midi and plenty of non-mountaineering tourists will be making the trip with you. However, although it doesn’t look a great deal higher to reach the summit, which is only 1,000 metres above you, don’t be deceived! The route there is technically challenging and incorporates many ascents and descents on the way. There are other easier routes, which are more commonly used by mountaineers. But be warned – every year the mountain claims many lives and during the peak weekends in August, the local helicopter rescue service has to make multiple trips to recover those who’ve got themselves into trouble, usually on one of the regularly used routes.

Rysy (2,250 m) Poland / Gerlachovský štít (2655m) Sovakia, both in Tetra mountains

Rysy: is the highest peak in the Tatra Mountains that is accessible to individual tourists on foot without a mountain guide. It is possible to ascend the peak from the Slovak side, starting at Štrbské pleso and passing Chata pod Rysmi, a mountain chalet at an altitude of 2,250 m (7,380 ft), open during the summer season (May–October). The mountain can also be ascended from the Polish side coming from the Morskie Oko lake, which is a harder and steeper route. In the period November 1 - June 15, the trail on the Slovak side is closed.

Gerlachovský štít : Only members of a national UIAA club are allowed to climb the peak on their own. Other visitors have to take a certified mountain guide. The two easiest routes, usually up the Velická próba and down the Batizovská próba named after their respective valleys, are protected by chains. Because of an exposed section along the Velická próba and tricky orientation especially on the ridge, both are among the more difficult scrambling routes in the High Tatras.[17] With no snow, guidebooks grade the routes as a II or III climb (UIAA scale)[1] or lower.[18] The total elevation gain is about 1,000 m (3,300 ft) for those who spend the night at the Sliezsky Dom Hotel[19] or are driven there by a mountain guide, and about 1,665 m (5,460 ft) for those who hike from Tatranská Polianka. In winter, Gerlachovský štít offers a challenging alpine climb, with mixed climbing and a risk of avalanches.

Jebel Toubkal, Morocco (4167m)

North Africa’s highest mountain (4167m) is surprisingly kind on climbers. From the trailhead at the village of Imlil, a two-hour drive from Marrakesh, it’s a five-hour walk into Toubkal Refuge, at around 3200m, situated immediately below the western fl ank of this High Atlas giant. From here, trekkers usually scurry up and back and return to Imlil in a day. The climb’s greatest challenge is in Toubkal’s famously long scree slopes; be prepared for a walking experience like quicksand. Catch a taxi from Marrakesh to Imlil; it’s an easy half-day hike to the base camp. Scree jumping on the way down is awesome fun.

Mount Olympus, Greece (2918m)

Rub hiking boots with the gods as you ascend Greece’s highest mountain, the legendary home of the Olympian gods. Mt Olympus still draws worshippers of a sort, as trekkers make the two-day climb to its highest peak, Mytikas (2918m). The most popular trail up the mountain begins at the tiny settlement of Prionia, 18km from Litohoro. From here it’s a 2½-hour climb to Refuge A, with the summit of Mytikas about three hours further. At the summit don’t forget to sign the visitors’ register. It’s possible to climb and descend in two days; start from Refuge A near Prionia.

Gran Sasso, Abruzzo, Italy (2912m)

We have two nights stay in the refuge adjoining the Albergo Campo Imperatore, perhaps most famously known as the wartime prison of Mussollinin, 'il Duce', before he was freed by german paratroopers and whisked off to Berlin! Here we will enjoy an evening meal and prepare for the next days summit attempt.

The ascent to the summit of Corno Grande is a walking route following the 'via normale' up onto the western ridge to the summit. This is no light undertaking and includes some sections of steep ground with scree underfoot on the 'Sella del Brecciaio'. Emerging above After conquering this, the highest peak of the region, we descend back to the Albergo. Truly an arduous weekends trekking. Monday morning see's a further swift descent of 900m to meet our transport which will return us to Pescara airport in time for the evening flight home.

Monte Cinto (2706m), Corsica

With 2706m Monte Cinto is the highest mountain on Corsica. It is the main peak of the Massive de Cinto which separates the Golo valley in the south from the Asco valley in the north. There are three major hiking routes, one from the north, starting from Haut Asco, the other two starting from the south from the camppground near Lozzi. All routes require a little climbing experience since some of the scrambles are rated with a difficulty degree of II.

Weather conditions can be pretty harsh; temperatures and winds can be rather nasty. Though Corsica has a rather moderate climate the summits often are freezing cold with gusty winds. You'll encounter snow and ice through the end of June / beginning of July.

Almanzor (2,592m) Central Spain

It is the most elevated mountain of Sistema Central. Almanzor is a very visited granite peak, almost like Circo de Gredos. It's located to the south of Cuchillar (ridge) de Ballesteros. The first ascent was in September 1899 by M. González de Amezúa y José Ibrián and the first winter ascent in 1903 by that one, Espada, Ontañon and Abricarro. In 1918 a letterbox was placed on his summit and in 1960 the present iron cross 1 meter-tall. Two gaps, Portilla del Crampón (2.544 m) and Portilla de los Cobardes (2.534 m), are on the trails to the normal routes. Both routes requires 2.5 hours from Refugio Elola, placed at Laguna Grande, and 4.5 hours from the parking called Plataforma. Portilla de los Cobardes is the easiest route in winter because of the less steeper slopes.

Torrecerredo or Torre de Cerredo, Spain, (2,648m)

The highest one of the Picos de Europa and the Cantabrian Mountains. It is located on the central massif of the Picos de Europa, called Urrieles, on the limits of Asturias and the León provinces. Its summit towers 2,200 metres over the river Cares, and offers wide views over the western massif and the Cares' tributaries. The easiest ascent way starts at Jou de Cerredo, the last 200 meters are an easy rock climb that does not require special material. The most used approach ways use the refuges of Jou de los Cabrones and Vega de Urriellu.

Le Crêt de la Neige (1720m) is the highest peak in the Jura Mountains, France

Fairly easy climb, could be done in winter combined with skiing

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