Scaling a mountain is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise someone can endure. The skill, the endurance needed to conquer the unfamiliar elevation, and the sense of accomplishment one achieves by reaching the top all make mountain climbing a sought after and coveted form of exercise.
But it’s not just the exercise that makes scaling a mountain such a breathtaking and potentially mindset-changing experience—it’s the lessons learned and moments experienced. So, now that I’ve instilled within you the desire to scale every hill you see, below are three popular mountains that, believe it or not, are not outside the skill range of a novice climber.
Yes, you read it correctly. While Mount Fuji certainly lives up to its name regarding its sheer beauty, it’s not all that difficult to scale. Mount Fuji is a singular peak rising approximately 13,000 feet above Tokyo.
The most popular route up the mountain is Kawaguchiko, which provides a great introduction for novice climbers without the more difficult terrain associated with other hikes. The hike – all on well-established trails – starts at 7,545 feet and ends at 12,388 feet. The estimated scaling time is about 8 hours for those in peak performance. The official hiking season runs from July 1 to Aug. 31.
Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, Africa. It’s Africa’s tallest mountain with a freestanding peak of nearly 20,000 feet. While all of this may sound quite daunting, the biggest trial when climbing it is adjusting to the altitude’s incredibly thin-air. All of the hiking routes require a guide with trips typically starting at 6,000 feet and ending at the 19,340-foot summit. The trip takes about five to six days, allowing climbers the time to adjust to the thin altitude.
The trip is an excellent option for novice mountaineers who wish to see how their bodies react to the drastic change in altitude.
The Pacific Northwest of the United States is a great training ground for aspiring mountaineers. Considered the “easiest 10,000-foot climb”, Mount Hood is an excellent choice for people looking to get experience with snow climbs. Guided regularly from late April to June, it’s about a half-day climb from the Timberline Lodge.
Mountain climbing is a wonderful way to get out and experience nature while also developing mental toughness and character. The truth is, there are many fulfilling and challenging mountains to climb that don’t require years and years of practice. Get out, be safe, and never stop climbing!