Whenever I am on the road, I always stumble on this question from locals or other travelers whom I’ve met along the way. My answer is simple, I TRAVEL TO CLIMB.
It’s true that climbing a mountain is tiring, it’s unknown; it can be very lonely, it’s dangerous and you sometimes have to travel very far, just to get to your destination. However, being in the mountains is the purest form of my exploration. I feel like in every climb, it is a new challenge for me to overcome and new memories to make. Whenever I reach the top, there is no such words to express my feelings, that feeling like you are on top of the world is priceless.
When I was a kid, I always dreamed of climbing a mountain but haven’t had this opportunity to do so, that’s why I promised to myself that once I finished my school, I will travel the world to climb highest and famous mountains and believe it or not, I am proud standing on my ground to say that I am doing it now.
Here are the mountains I have climbed so far that you might consider adding on your bucket list:
- Mount Sinai, Egypt, 2285m
My first taste of climbing was the biblical mountain in Egypt, the Mount Sinai. I’m not sure if you guys familiar with this mountain but this is where the 10 commandments were given to Moses by God. It is the popular pilgrimage site and home to the Monastery of St. Catherine, a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in the 6th Century and one of the longest-running monasteries in the world.
We left Sharm El Sheikh around 9pm to hit the road and reached the base camp in about 3 hours. We took a rest for an hour and after briefing from a local guide, we started hiking the mountain. Climbing the mountain considered as steps of penitence, the steep path has been literally carved out of the rocks by Monks. There is no mountain-climbing equipment required, just wear a rubber shoes and comfortable shirts and pants. Of course, you need to bring water, flashlights and most importantly, you should have a strong thigh. We reach the summit around 5 in the morning and we were all amazed to see the view and found a small chapel built dedicated to the Holy Trinity. While we are all waiting for the sun to rise, everyone is busy taking pictures from every angle and I was lucky to witness a guy proposed to his girlfriend. I guess this is one of the highlights knowing that the place is holy and biblical.
- Mount Fuji, Japan, 3776m
As Japan’s highest mountain, the legendary Mt. Fuji stands 12,388 feet (3,776 meters) tall. Climbing this mountain is very popular not only among Japanese but also foreign travelers. It is divided into 10 stations with the first station of the foot of the mountain and the tenth station being the summit.
How to get here? There are trains and buses available from Tokyo with different schedules that suits your itinerary. I took the bullet train as it’s easier and less hassle compare to bus. It’s about 2 hours from Shinjuku station to reach the base camp.
Hiking this mountain is not technically difficult, and there are many other hikers, so it won’t be necessary to get a guide. The ascent to the summit does not pose any major difficulties, although at some points the terrain is rather steep and rocky. Once you reach the summit, you will have a chance to see the 360-degree views of Lake Ashi, the Hakone mountains, and the Owakudani Valley.
- Table Mountain, South Africa 1085m
Cape Town in South Africa is one of the top tourist’s destinations around the world because of Table Mountain. It’s the city’s biggest icon towering 1085 meters over Cape Town and over 300 million years old. This is the first thing you’ll notice as you drive or fly into Cape Town and offers excellent trad climbing with incredible views to go with it.
It will take you around two hours to reach the top. The climbing is stunning to say the least. The rock type is sandstone and of excellent quality with great friction. Grades vary from easy to hard. The two main climbing areas emanate from Africa Ledge and the climbs are situated on 80m high cliffs below the cable car station that over-looks the city, and the Fountain ledge which faces over the Atlantic Ocean and Camps Bay.
- Lions Head, South Africa 669m
Compare to Table Mountain, the elevation is smaller yet more difficult to climb. It is located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill. It’s about an hour up to reach the summit. Along the path, you will find a series of chains and ladders to assist you as you scramble up particularly steep section of rocky faces.
The best time to climb this mountain is between 4 to 5 pm, after an hour hike you will be able to enjoy and love the stunning sunset, see the view over Cape Town, experience the beauty of Table Mountain, Atlantic and Camps Bay.
Whenever I climb a mountain and reach the peak, I always remember the saying “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Indeed, by reaching your goal and conquering the mountain, you have let go of all the fears and reservations you had to attempt such an enormous feat. The fact that you faced your fears and challenges and overcame them bodes well for you as a person now and in the long term. When there will be other mountains and challenges in life to conquer, you will be up and ready for the task.Google+