To conquer each continent’s highest mountain is the greatest challenge of each climber, yet not even 300 mountaineers have claimed this prize yet.
In this first part of Adventure Compass’ guide to the Seven Summits for those who are looking for more than an average adventure trip, let us introduce you to the highest peaks in Africa and Antarctica. And who knows, maybe this will inspire your next adventure travel destination!
Africa: Climb the White Peak of Kilimanjaro
The iconic Kilimanjaro in Tanzania stands tall at 5895 m over jungle and savannah. This is the highest mountain at the African continent. German geologist Hans Meyer eventually triumphed in his third effort to reach the peak of Kilimanjaro in 1889, this time pairing efforts with the Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller. Previously, he failed to climb the mountain due to the lack of proper gear during his first effort climbing on the ice, and the second time he had been caught up in the local unrest. Now a large part of Tanzania's tourism facilities focus on Kilimanjaro and there's a whole climbing business to be discovered at its foot. So if you're searching for a lone wolf experience, this may not be the right destination for you. Many try alone but less than 50% of them succeed. Most of those who quit are not experienced and do not take enough time to acclimatize to the high elevation, leading to acute mountain sickness.
The climb is normally very well arranged and climbers have a proper support with aircraft carriers, a guide and a cook with them. You can find seven well-planned paths to the top, all with distinct degrees of difficulty and diverse scenic value. Naturally, easier courses are busier than the harder ones.
Theoretically it can take between 5 and 9 days to achieve the top, but you need to take at least 7, ensuring to have ample time to properly acclimatize to the elevation, so you will not be compelled to return early. The last part of the trip is generally started around midnight, so that you can see the sun rise atop of the mountain. But additionally there's the chance to camp in the crater after which to see the dawn being more relaxed next morning.
Antarctica: Fight your path to the peak of Mount Vinson
Mount Vinson in Antarctica got his name already before his official discovery, when he wasn't more than an assumption. First climbing efforts weren't short in arriving. In 1966, an American Antarctic Mountaineering Excursion 1966/67 consisting of 10 scientists and mountaineers set off to be the first people to ever set foot on Mount Vinson. The group was to honour the participants’ accomplishment and was a complete success, with sub peaks of the mountain being named after them.
Mount Vinson is not challenging summit to climb. However, the climbers must face the Antarctic climate with excessive temperatures, powerful winds, and frigid air. While throughout the Antarctic summer from November until January the sun never sets, the conditions continue to be only around -30°C. Additionally because of its place a rise is a fairly complex and expensive venture and it is not possible for everyone.
Several adventure travel companies offer adventure trips at a price of about $30,000 per person. No wonder that around 1500 individuals have tried to reach the summit of Mount Vinson. If you're seeking that particular destination where not many will go and where not many have been, should begin saving right now.
Have you seen the movie Gladiator? If not, go and watch right now. Those who have seen in will be glad to know that Sahara is the location where the most prominent scenes of the movie were shot. You can start with capturing the velvet dunes and taking photos of the snake charmers and mighty camels proudly swaying as they carry bedouins on their back. Once in a province, you will get a chance to capture and even participate in the traditional tea ceremony as well as to see the locals playing gnawa music performed on goatskin drums. The beauty of the sunset in Sahara is just a cherry on the top of a cake you cannot miss out on.