Mountain climbing vacations combine training with breathtaking scenery from all around the world.

Since the commencement of the global coronavirus pandemic, outdoor activity has been increasingly popular due to gym closures and the weariness of being indoors. Sports like biking, kayaking, and fishing saw a sharp increase in kit sales and increased participation, but few saw as great a rise as climbing. This is because, at the very least for day mountaineering (as opposed to backpacking with only one day of tenting), all you really need is the right clothing, a few essentials, and the ability to walk well. You don’t need much equipment or specialized skills. I recently wrote a feature for Forbes on getting started in climbing and covering all the essentials as well as some pretty helpful extras.

Hopefully, mountaineering’s recent surge in popularity will continue because it’s a fun and excellent kind of physical activity long after the pandemic has passed. But it’s also a great reason to travel; just as people go on ski trips or golf vacations, so do those who enjoy mountaineering, who hunt for the most breathtaking routes on Earth during their holidays. These are the kinds of bucket list adventures that you should start thinking about and investigating right away, but for the most part, you probably won’t be traveling until the travel industry somewhat returns to normal. When it occurs, be ready!

Day hikes, when you leave in the morning and return in the afternoon with whatever you need to carry, are at one extreme of the mountaineering range. The other is long-distance routes like the Pacific Crest Path and the Appalachian Trail, which are portrayed in the highly successful movies A Stroll in the Woods and Wild, respectively. For several months, those who complete these carry all of their own equipment, camping and cooking every night.

There are multi-day trips in between, which often take a few days to a week to complete. While the majority can be completed on your own with the help of knowledgeable backpackers, almost all popular ones—from the Inca Trail in Peru to the various routes up Mount Kilimanjaro—must be completed under the guidance of a guide. Your extra gear, food, and accommodation are typically transported for you, making the experience essentially a series of day hikes. Some even provide full-service motels next to the route without any kind of tenting. For the majority of people, these are the kinds of trips that make excellent vacations because you don’t need the necessary equipment, experience, or physical fitness to do everything on your own. Additionally, there is a lot of pressure on advance reservations for many of those routes, so you might not be able to book it yourself if you don’t have at least a year in advance. Furthermore, some of us enjoy hot baths and bedding. Generally speaking, it is far more difficult to become lost with information!

Owing to the growing popularity of mountaineering and strenuous travel, several popular routes—including the Inca Path, Kilimanjaro, and Milford Monitor in New Zealand—have become so popular that reservations are difficult to come by, permits are needed well in advance, and the paths themselves are congested, which eliminates part of the enjoyment of being in nature. To be honest, despite all of its notoriety, the Kilimanjaro summit push is really much more of a forced line march than a climb. These are 5 of the greatest routes available where you may experience the breathtaking landscapes and mountaineering knowledge without feeling like you’re stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work.

A young lady strolling along a mountainside route
The classic mountaineering adventure in the Alps is the Tour de Mont Blanc.

Tour de Mont Blanc, Switzerland, France, and Italy: I’ve completed this one myself, and it’s the best! Unlike many of these hikes, there are optional legs that allow for travels of eight to twelve days (the longest model of the route is 112 miles). The route passes through some of the best alpine scenery, including mountain ridges, steep hillsides, glaciers, and great ski towns like Chamonix and Courmayeur. Sleeping in lodgings, enjoying delicious meals like fondue and raclette, and stopping for gelato along the road are all possible while taking in day after day of breathtaking scenery. Although the TMB route has been around for a while, it has become much more fashionable recently, in part because of an annual ultra-marathon trail working race that attracts elite runners from all over the world. The round trip starts and finishes in Chamonix, France, just over an hour’s drive from Geneva airport. It circumnavigates the best mountain in the Alps and traverses three international borders. It’s wonderful, easy to use, and turnkey. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The trip is provided by several renowned tour companies, including REI Adventures, Mountain Journey Sobek, Wilderness Journey, and Alpenwild.

View from the Coast Path of the coastal cliffs in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, United Kingdom
The first country to build a mountaineering route the whole length of its coastline was Wales.

Wales Coastal Path, United Kingdom: This trail receives far less attention than the many more well-known and traditional hikes in Scotland and Ireland, but it’s noteworthy because, upon completion in 2012, Wales became the first country in the world to offer a mountaineering path that stretches the entire length of its national shoreline—870 miles from border to frame. It would take three to four months to do the entire thing in one go, but most people pick one of the eight themed sections and spend a few weeks exploring ancient castles, fishing villages, ruins, and stunning cliff climbs while learning about millennia of history. But the real beauty of this walk is that it keeps you walking past cities full of quaint bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and bars; that way, a cold one and a hot dish of fish and chips are never far away.

Many organizations offer assistance services, and they can arrange for your accommodation and transport your belongings, cutting it down to a series of day walks where you may not be far from civilization. If necessary, you can eat all of your meals at restaurants. The government has gone to great pains to make this trip accessible, including free GPS data downloads for each leg. Companies like as Celtic Trails Strolling Holidays offer trips for every leg, ranging in duration from 6 to 14 days (or the full trip). Along with a directory of companies offering luggage transfer services and information assistance, the official WCP website contains a plethora of information.

Patagonia’s Torres del Paine Mountains in Chile
One of the best places in the world for mountaineering is without a doubt Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park.

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile: There’s a good chance you were looking at this location on the southern tip of South America if you’ve ever seen amazing, epic mountaineering photos online and thought, “I have to go see that.” Unlike the other hikes on this list, the best multi-day options are typically not circuits but rather a series of day hikes based mostly out of one of the many magnificent all-inclusive journey lodges in the area. These allow you to combine hikes with other activities like mountain biking or horseback rides (yes, there are some very long mountaineering circuits in the area, but they all require extensive backcountry knowledge). The most popular hike is the day excursion along the extended W Trek path, which leads to Glacier Gray. Along the way, you’ll see the Three Towers, which are the park’s most famous rock formations. Up to forty distinct daily excursions are offered by one of the best lodges here, all of which come with skilled local guides. The top three companies, which I have personally used and heartily recommend, are Awasi, Tierra, and Explora.

A female hiker traversing the Grand Canyon
There isn’t a 2-day hike that is more fundamental than the rim to rim of the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon Rim to Rim: Although it only takes two days (of mountaineering) to complete, it passes through some of the most famous geological features in the United States. The days are long and challenging in a way that attracts experienced hikers and fitness enthusiasts. The basic route is 10 miles in return and 14 miles in descent. The way to do it in style is to stay at Phantom Ranch on the backside for one day (or at least one!) and stay below the rim in a basic National Park Service lodge that has both cabins and dorms. That is the most amazing trip to take alone (though bookings for Phantom Ranch are difficult), or you can travel with a reputable clothes retailer like OARS.

Road Route, Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania
Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain National Park Overland Monitor

Australia’s Overland Monitor, Tasmania: There are a lot of popular multi-day mountaineering routes in Australia, but if you Google the subject, almost every result will mention this one on the island of Tasmania as the top route. The two main options are a 40-mile route that typically takes six days, or a 55-mile route that takes seven to nine days. In any case, it passes through the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, which is home to glaciers, waterfalls, and the deepest lake in the country. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s possible to do it independently by booking shelters through Australia’s Parks & Wildlife Service, but guided operators make it easier. One such operator is the highly regarded Tasmania Strolling Firm, whose Cradle Mountain Huts tour utilizes the path’s exclusive accommodations, which are eco-friendly huts with beds and showers, every evening.

Satisfied climbing!

By linh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *