Tips to Challenging Mountains to Climb in the World

The word ‘mountain’ paints a very rosy picture in everyone’s mind. We envision a beautiful, tall, green, or snowy peak, cutting through the clouds, but these amazing structures can be very challenging and dangerous to climb. Factors like terrain, climate, location, etc., play a big role in setting the difficulty level for attempting the climb up a mountain.

Making an attempt to scale some of the world’s highest summits is not a feat for those who do not have the discipline and willpower to train for years on end. Climbing a mountain, especially one that has a reputation of being dangerous, takes endeavor, courage, and years of training. Given below is a list of some of the world’s deadliest and most challenging mountains to climb, along with the names of some notable mountaineers who conquered these high peaks.

The Deadly 13
1. Mount Everest
Location
Nepal Tingri County, Tibet Autonomous Region
Height
8,848 m

Risk Factors
Avalanches, ice collapsing, exposure to extreme cold and wind.Mount Everest is Earth’s highest peak. It has been regarded as one of the most dangerous and difficult peaks to climb, with the death toll of climbers at approximately 200 deaths. The causes of death include avalanches, injury from falling or ice collapsing, exposure, or health problems related to the conditions on Mount Everest. It is a challenge to climb this peak due to its height, the weather conditions, the terrain, and the route taken.

There are two routes used to climb the Everest – the southeast ridge from Nepal, and the north ridge from Tibet. Technically, the southeast ridge is considered the easier route, but avalanches, seracs, crevasses, and shifting blocks of ice make this route very dangerous and challenging. The first successful expedition of Mount Everest was done by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on 29th May, 1953.

2. Annapurna I
Location
North-central Nepal
Height
8,091 m

Risk Factors
Big ice cliffs and seracs.Annapurna I was the first peak over 8,000 m to be scaled, and this feat was accomplished on 3rd June, 1950, by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal. The first ascent of Annapurna I is of great historic significance in the world of mountaineering, as this climb was done in one season, without the use of oxygen cylinders.

According to recent statistics published by The Economist, Annapurna I is the deadliest summit in the world. The death ratio of the mountaineers who have tried climbing this peak is 34% as compared to Mount Everest, where the ratio dips to 4%. The main reason why Annapurna I is a very challenging climb is its glacial architecture. The routes to this peak have big ice cliffs and seracs, making it the most dangerous and challenging peak in the world to climb.

3. Baintha Brakk
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Height
7,285 m

Risk Factors
Granite tower-shaped peak,high altitude, steepness.Baintha Brakk, also known as ‘The Ogre’, is a monster of a mountain. It has a reputation for being one of the toughest mountains to ascend, as it is a lethal combination of high altitude, steepness, and its height above local terrain.

A striking feature about this mountain is its complex granite tower-shaped peak, which seems almost impossible to climb. The first ascent of this peak was made by Doug Scott and Chris Bonington on the 13th of July, 1977. 24 years later, the second ascent was made by Urs Stöcker, Iwan Wolf, and Thomas Huber, on 21st July, 2001. Recently, on September 7th, 2012, Kyle Dempster and Hayden Kennedy, from the US, successfully summited the peak’s south face. Owing to the difficulty in climbing this deadly peak, only skilled mountaineers with years of training and experience should make an attempt to climb it.

4. The Eiger
Location
Canton of Bern, Switzerland
Height
3,970 m

Risk Factors
Avalanches, crumbling rocks, diminishing ice fields.The Eiger is the most visible massif of the Bernese Alps. Scaling the north face of this mountain is the difficult part, because of the risk of avalanches, crumbling rocks, and diminishing ice fields. Climbers prefer climbing this mountain during the winters because the freezing of the ice strengthens the crumbling rock on the north face.

Since 1935, approximately 64 mountaineers have died attempting to climb the north face of the mountain. Due to this, the north face is called ‘Mordwand’ in German, which means ‘murderous wall’. The first ascent was made on 11th August, 1858, by Charles Barrington and his two guides, Christian Almer and Peter Bohren.

5. K2
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, China
Height
8,611 m

Risk Factors
Glaciers, steep sections of rocks, seracs.K2 also goes by the name Mt. Godwin-Austin, and is regarded as one of the most technically difficult peaks to scale. It is the world’s second-highest peak, and is deathly dangerous, as even the simplest route taken requires crossing a glacier, steep sections of rocks, and seracs (which have a tendency to collapse any time).

Apart from its frozen composition, unpredictable weather also poses a great threat to mountaineers ascending this mountain. The mortality rate of this peak is similar to that of Annapurna. The first ascent was made by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli on the 31st July, 1954.

6. Monte Fitz Roy
Location
Argentina-Chile Border
Height
3,359 m

Risk Factors
Granite faces, unpredictable weather, isolated location.Monte Fitz Roy is also called Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy, and Mount Fitz Roy. Even though this mountain is nearly one-third the height of Everest, it is very hard to climb because of its technical difficulties, like granite faces, isolated location, and unpredictable weather.

Even the most skillful mountaineers find this mountain challenging. Climbing this summit requires a great deal of experience and training. The route that is used the most for ascending this deadly mountain is the Franco-Argentina route. Its first ascent was made in 1952, by Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone. On an average, this mountain sees a successful ascent only once a year.

7. Kanchenjunga
Location
International border between India and Nepal
Height
8,586 m

Risk Factors
Mudslides, avalanches, almost vertical peak.Kanchenjunga is the highest peak in India, and is worshiped as a holy mountain by the people in Sikkim and Darjeeling. It poses to be a challenging climb due to its almost vertical peak. Descending the summit is difficult, and this feat has claimed many lives.

Other factors, such as the risk of avalanches and mudslides, are also to be considered while talking about the dangers regarding the climbing of this peak. The fatality ratio has gone up to approximately 22% in recent years. The first ascent of Kanchenjunga was by Joe Brown and George Band on 25th May, 1955.

8. Lhotse
Location
Nepal (Khumbu), China (Tibet Autonomous Region)
Height
8,516 m

Risk Factors
Tremendous south face, uneven terrain,snow, steep slopes.Lhotse, compared to the other eight-thousanders, has the smallest topographic prominence value. It’s rise is only 610 m above the South Col. Even though the prominence of this peak is small, it has a tremendous south face. In fact, the south face of this mountain is the steepest mountain face of its size in the world.

Climbing this peak is a challenge on account of steep slopes, uneven terrain, snow, altitude level, etc. Mountaineers have to usually traverse through snow, ice, and glaciers to get to the top. The first ascent of this peak was done by Fritz Luchsinger and Ernst Reiss, on May 18th, 1956.

9. Matterhorn
Location
Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy
Height
4,478 m

Risk Factors
Shape of peak, steep faces, no landing area, unpredictable weather.Matterhorn is a pyramid-shaped peak, that has four faces, facing the four compass points. It is a great tourist spot, due to its location in the Alps on the border of Switzerland and Italy. The number of deaths recorded on this peak is as high as 500. What makes this mountain a very challenging climb is that its faces are very steep.

Skilled rock climbers can scale the nearly vertical faces, but the danger levels increase if bad weather hits, as this mountain has no escape hatch or landing area to wait out unforeseen bad weather. The first ascent was made on July 14th, 1865, by Edward Whymper, Charles Hudson, Francis Douglas, Douglas Robert Hadow, Michel Croz, Peter Taugwalder (father), and Peter Taugwalder (son).

10. Mount McKinley
Location
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, Alaska, US
Height
6,194 m

Risk Factors
Altitude, glaciers, climate, avalanches.Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in North America, and is a favorite among aspiring high altitude mountaineers. The mountain is said to be dangerous due to its location, its elevation, and also the fact that it has the greatest relief, rising approximately 18,000 ft above its surrounding plain.

This mountain has five glaciers – the Peters Glacier, Muldrow Glacier, Traleika Glacier, Ruth Glacier, and the Kahiltna Glacier, that flow off the slopes of this mountain, making this mountain difficult to climb. Adding to the glaciers are avalanches, and extremely cold weather which makes Mount McKinley a truly challenging peak to summit. The West Buttress Route is the one that is mostly used while climbing this mountain. Its first ascent was made on June 7th, 1913, by Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum.

11. Nanga Parbat
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Height
8,126 m

Risk Factors
Tremendous vertical relief.Nanga Parbat has been given various cognomens, like Killer Mountain, Murder Mountain, the Maneater, and Mountain of the Devil, as the death toll of this mountain is very high. The most notable feature of this mountain, that also makes it so difficult to climb, is that it has a tremendous vertical relief in all directions.

The Rupal face of Nanga Parbat is referred to as the highest mountain face in the world. Scaling this mountain is difficult because Nanga Parbat is an enormous ridge made up of ice and rocks. The first successful ascent of this mountain was made by Hermann Buhl on 3rd July, 1953.

12. Mont Blanc
Location
The Alps on the Italy-France border
Height
4,810 m

Risk Factors
Frequent rock-falls, altitude sickness, glaciers, ice.Mont Blanc is western Europe’s highest mountain, and is considered as one of the most dangerous mountains in Europe. With up to 40% of its total area being covered by glaciers, this mountain is one of its kind in the world. Mont Blanc earned its notoriety as one of the deadliest mountains to climb because it has the highest fatality rate in Europe.

Even though it is a challenging climb due to factors like glaciers, ice, altitude sickness, rough terrain, etc., over 20,000 tourists attempt to climb this peak every year. The most popular route taken for ascending this mountain is Voie Des Cristalliers, which is also known as Voie Royale, and it is considered to be dangerous because of frequent rock-falls. The first ascent was made on 8th August, 1786, by Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard.

13. Ultar Sar
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Height
7,388 m

Risk Factors
Avalanche risks, strong winds, unpredictable weather.Ultar Sar is considered as one of the most unclimbable peaks in the world. It is a challenging climb due to the mountain’s technical difficulties like avalanche risks, strong winds, and unpredictable weather.

Over 15 expeditions have been made to conquer this peak, but all have been unsuccessful. The easiest route used to climb this mountain is via Bathbakor Base Camp. There are only two successful summits to this peak recorded. The first was in 1996, by Akito Yamazaki and Kiyoshi Matsuoka from Japan, where Yamazaki died during their decent from the peak. The notable feature of their achievement was they ascended the peak in alpine style, which is carrying all the food, shelter, and other equipment along with them. Most of the climbing was done at night to avoid the risk of getting injured from falling ice or rock. The second was also in 1996, by Ken Takahashi, Masayuki Ando, Ryushi Hoshino, Wataru Saito, and Nobuo Tsutsumi. Since then there has been no record of anyone successfully summiting this peak.

Bouldering Tips at Your Own Risk

Bouldering, a standout amongst the most widely recognized recreation exercises the vast majority of us like, has turned out to be extremely famous today particularly among the more youthful era. Here, we give you some bouldering tips for apprentices which you can use to take in a couple of things about how to go about shake climbing.

Most people like bouldering, which is also called rock climbing, and it is pretty natural that people have a fair idea of what’s involved. However, if you are a beginner and don’t know what to do, here is an attempt to explain to you some bouldering tips so that you get the basics right, besides identifying your strengths and weaknesses which are required during the process of climbing.

Go Through the Route
The first and the most important techniques is going through the route which you wish to climb. You should be skilled at reading routes as it’s an important part of improving your climbing technique. Before you start climbing, take a look at the route you would traverse. Follow and visualize the steps which you would need to take besides the sequence you would follow. Try to predict the balance you would need for each move. The key is finding the most important places through the route which you can use to balance yourself. Take notes mentally where your hands and feet should be.

Intensity of Your Grasp
Another important bouldering tip is your grip. While holding the boulder, just relax, don’t over grip. If you over grip, your forearms would wear and you would not be able to climb in the proper order. Even though some climbers believe that relaxing the grip is not that important, but it is. Many a time there is a tendency to unconsciously tighten the grip, thereby making the body tense, which in turn effects the smoothness and fluidity while climbing. The shoulders and back should be relaxed and loose.

Get Your Balance Right
Getting your balance right is one of the most important bouldering tips. The center of balance should always be on the body mass while you should ensure that the center of gravity is in the region of your belly. The key to become a good climber is to have an excellent sense of balance and move smoothly and effortlessly.

Be as Close as Possible to the Rock
While climbing, you should always ensure that you balance yourself in the proper order with your arms and feet. The center of gravity should always be in a forward-backward direction, which means you should not tilt too much on either your left or right. Be as close as possible to the rock.

Static Climbing
In a static climbing move, the body is controlled by the movement of muscles instead of the body’s momentum. You can control the movement of your body by shifting the body weight either left, right, up or down. You should move your body when both feet and hands are properly planted on the rock. A good technique to remember is a two step process – moving limbs and then shifting body weight. You should never move your limbs and shift your weight at the same time. Your arms should be used for balance and legs for holding body weight. A good indicator or whether you have got the right static climbing technique right is taking a note whether your feet makes noise while climbing. If they do, you need to improve on your static climbing technique.

Speed
There are climbers who climb up slowly and deliberate, while others climb fast. Whatever the speed of climbing, both are considered good bouldering techniques. If you climb fast, you would need to use a lot of your upper body, especially your arms, besides you should have a proper grip and your arms should be strong enough. If you are looking to move up fast, you should use the momentum of your body, especially the legs to move up fast. On the other hand, if your hands are not that strong, you should not try to move up fast. You should try and balance your body mass using your legs as a support for your weight and arms for keeping you in place.

Even though people may think climbing to be tough, it’s not, if you use the proper bouldering tips and techniques. So the next time you go out climbing, use the tips mentioned above and have a smooth ride to the zenith.

Tips to Easily Make Liquid Chalk for Rock Climbing By Yourself

What is Gym Chalk
Magnesium carbonate, a white mineral, is known as Gym Chalk or Climbing Chalk, due to its use in activities like weightlifting, rock climbing, athletics, and gymnastics.
Rock climbing is one enthralling adventure activity that requires immense strength and endurance. Climbers often have to rely on their grip and arm strength to overcome a difficult climb. Subsequently, a climber wouldn’t want sweaty palms, which might weaken his/her grip. Here, chalk comes to the rescue and acts as a drying agent to prevent hands from getting sweaty and slipping off the rock surface. Moreover, application of chalk provides a stronger grip to hold on to a crack or crevice.

The use of normal chalk creates a lot of dust and requires frequent re-chalking. Thus, the necessity of using liquid chalk was born. Buying liquid chalk every time can prove costly. So, here is a better and cheaper option of making it at home, whenever and in whatever quantities you may require.

How to Make Liquid Chalk

Ingredients:
Chalk powder or gym chalk (blocks)
Rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol)
A bowl
A stirrer
An airtight bottle
A cup (or any measuring unit)

Procedure:

– Take a bowl or a container and add the fine chalk powder into the bowl.
– Pour some alcohol into the powder and start stirring it.
– Keep stirring the mixture with a stirrer and keep adding alcohol until all the powder becomes one with the liquid.
– Make sure it becomes really smooth, like the consistency of yogurt. (you can add another splash of alcohol, if needed)
– Now, once it is ready, fill it in an airtight container or bottle.

The proportion of chalk and spirit should be 2:1. So, if you take 2 cups of chalk powder, it would need around 1 cup of alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is basically used as an antiseptic. It is denatured alcohol that can be perfumed too. The purpose behind using alcohol in making liquid chalk is that it evaporates fast. Thus, while choosing rubbing alcohol, get a 70% (by volume) Isopropyl alcohol. Lesser than that will dry up the mix fast.

It is easier to use ready-made powdered chalk, but if you have blocks of chalk, then you need to crush them neatly. Ensure that the powder is very fine, almost dust-like; you can strain it carefully using a fine screen or filter.
You may use a squirt bottle or a small squeeze bottle for storage. Also, avoid preparing large quantities of liquid chalk as it may dry up eventually.

Using Liquid Chalk
Squeeze out only a little coin-shaped liquid chalk on your palm, because, if you squeeze out extra, it cannot be applied elsewhere like a lotion. Rub the chalk in your palms. Your hands will start feeling cold as the liquid chalk forms a layer over your skin, and the alcohol in the chalk begins to evaporate. You hands would then appear white, with a nice layer of chalk filling in all the cracks on your skin. You are now good to begin your ascent!

Advantages of Liquid Chalk
– It provides a better and longer grip than chalk powder or blocks.

– Liquid chalk is beneficial during difficult climbs where it may not be possible to dip the hands in the chalk bag frequently.

– Using it also proves advantageous in competitions where frequent re-chalking may affect your scores.

– The residue that is left behind due to liquid chalk on rocks or indoor climbing walls is lesser than chalk powder. Thus, it is more environment friendly.

– Besides being easy-to-use, it does not form any dust, like chalk powder, which is harmful for the lungs.
Therefore, keeping a homemade bottle of liquid chalk handy can prove beneficial to any rock climber. Liquid chalk is available in lotion as well as liquid spray form. This, however, is mostly used at gyms.

Guide to Prepare for a Trek in the Himalayas

Trekking is an addiction. Every year, thousands of people from across the world leave their homes for days together, in order to go trekking and explore the lesser-known and difficult terrains of our planet. People are so enthusiastic about their treks that they tend to prepare for them several months in advance, and more often than not, their journeys, indeed, exceed their expectations. One such destination, which is undoubtedly a haven for trekking enthusiasts worldwide, is the Himalayas. The sheer mention of the name gets trekkers on their toes, and soon, they are on to an expedition to explore the forbidden peaks of the mighty mountains.

Preparing for a Himalayan Trek
If you wish to go on a trek to the Himalayas, it’s important to ensure you are thoroughly prepared. The most handsome mountain ranges in the world can also be most unpredictable and at times, ruthless for an unsuspecting trekker. Here is a rough guide that will help you make adequate and proper preparations for your ‘trek of a lifetime’.

Stay Fit
If you are attracted to the beauty and serenity of the Himalayas and decide to trek the mountains, it is very essential to stay extremely fit. Only the fitness of your body will help you climb the tough terrain of the Himalayan ranges, and complete the mission.

Increase Your Stamina
You can begin by doing simple things, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, climbing steep hills, preferably with a loaded backpack, walking faster than usual, and also covering long distances. These exercises will enable you to increase your stamina, and this will help you a lot during your actual trek. Other cardiovascular exercises can also help you to a great extent.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

This becomes very essential, especially when you are climbing steep terrains and/or camping at very high altitudes. As you climb higher and higher, the oxygen levels in the atmosphere tend to diminish, leading to breathlessness and extensive fluid loss from your body. This can be dealt with if you focus on optimizing your sleep. Make it a point to sleep for at least eight hours a day. Moreover, drink lots of water. This will not only keep you hydrated, but will also make you less susceptible to altitude sickness during your trek.

At the end, do not forget to do regular muscle exercises so that they are conditioned for the difficult ascents and descents in the trek.

Be Absolutely Sure About Your Health

If you are planning to go trekking, you need to be absolutely sure that you are not suffering from any kind of illness. Before starting your trek, if you have any kind of uneasiness or there is an onset of a mental or physical problem, it is more advisable to postpone your plan.
This is simply because the mountains can be hostile at times, and medical facilities may not be available in the most remote passes. It is, therefore, not advisable to ignore even a slightest hint of an illness, as it may become really troublesome later on.

Eat a Wholesome Diet

For trekking in the Himalayas, it is essential to stay in good physical and mental shape, and one of the basic factors promoting this is the consumption of good food. As you go deeper and deeper into the Himalayas, freshly cooked food remains your only option, as canned food loses its taste and nutrition after some days. So, while you are in the process of grooming yourself for the tedious trek, focus more on eating freshly cooked, simple but wholesome food so that it won’t be very difficult for you during your trip.

Do Basic Research

If you are going on a Himalayan trek for the first time, it is very important that you know the region. This is simply because it will help you prepare yourself mentally for the trek. You can get help from the Internet, regarding the mountains themselves, people, culture, food, climate, geography, and also the various tour operators in the area.
If you know someone who had been to a Himalayan trek in the past, then it is a good idea to speak to that person about his/her experiences. This will help you decide whether you actually want to embark on the journey or not. Also, see if any sort of permits or licenses are required to go trekking in certain areas of the Himalayas. Generally, the agents take care of these, but if you are traveling on your own, you need to get information on the various authorities that issue these licenses and permits, and get in touch with them as soon as possible.

Plan Your Trip

The Himalayan ranges are a beautiful blend of natural treasures and cultural heritage. See where your interest lies, and chalk out an itinerary for your trek. For instance, if natural beauty is what impresses you, you may choose to trek through the lush, luxuriant Himalayan forests, in which case, Sikkim would be a good place to go.
On the other hand, if you are a history freak and wish to explore some of the ancient Buddhist monasteries, Little Tibet may be a good option. It should be noted that it is impossible to capture the Himalayas in one, single trek. So, plan properly as to exactly what you want to achieve through your trek.

Proper Timing is Vital

Once you have decided where in the Himalayas you want to go, the next step is to determine when you should go there. The best time to go trekking into the Himalayas is generally from March to June. However, you should not be overconfident about the weather, which may change drastically all of a sudden.

The Indian Himalayas experience heavy rains during the months of July and August. So, it is better not to head towards them during this period. Moreover, they also experience an extreme winter from the middle of November till March. So, if you want to trek the mountains during this period, you can head to Nepal instead of India.

Consider the Unforeseen Expenses

Setting a budget is important, especially if you decide to trek independently. Remember that you are about to head towards an absolutely unpredictable place on earth, and therefore, apart from the obvious expenses such as those incurred on food, accommodation, porters, and transportation, there may also be numerous unforeseen expenses. Hence, it is advisable to keep some extra cash with you.
On the other hand, if an agent is organizing your trip, it is recommended to carry some extra money to be given as tip. Hanging on to a tight budget while on a Himalayan trek might not help in certain contingent situations.

Assemble a Proper Trekking Gear

Trekking certain remote locations in the Himalayas can tend to be more difficult than those in the other mountain ranges in the world. So, you have to be absolutely sure that your trekking gear is of a good quality, and sturdy enough to withstand the brutalities of mountain weather. If your agent is arranging a gear for you, do not sit back and relax. Double-check the contents arranged by your agent. If in doubt, at least carry your own sleeping bag and tent.

Things to Remember
◆ Do not forget to carry enough warm clothes, as the Himalayan climate remains cold throughout the year.

◆ Carry a medical kit, containing, apart from your basic medications, things such as wound disinfectants, band aids, mosquito repellents, a thermometer, and some analgesics and antibiotics, as prescribed by your physician.
◆ If you are trekking independently, be sure that you carry adequate camping and cooking equipment. This should include a sturdy, but lightweight tent, sleeping mats, a kerosene stove, and some lightweight utensils.

◆ Before hiring a trekking company, check properly about their reputation. Ensure that your guide is experienced and knows the routes properly. It is also advisable that you purchase a map of the region before you embark on
No matter how long or difficult your Himalayan trek may be, the mountains will always make you happy, so much so that you will want to return to them again and again. All you need to do is to consider the tips given above, before you decide to embark on your journey. It is also advisable that you carry some basic medicines with you so that they can come handy whenever you need them during the trek. You can also carry certain foodstuff, such as dry fruits, chocolates, or packets of instant noodles so that you can have quick bites on high altitudes. Carry only those items which are absolutely necessary, and see to it that your backpack is as light as possible. Remember to be polite and respectful towards the local people. Eventually, it will be nothing but your positive attitude that will help you successfully complete the trek, and return home with an unparalleled experience that you will cherish all through your life.