Mountain climbing is a great exercise and is a popular activity around the world. Here in Europe, we have some of the top mountain climbing destinations, drawing travelers from around the globe to make the trek. No matter what your current skill level is, there is a mountain somewhere that you can climb, from novices looking for a new way to get physical activity to seasoned climbers looking for a challenge. Read on for some of our favourite climbing destinations here in our backyard and around the world.
Beginner: Mont Blanc – France
Mont Blanc is a great starting point for inexperienced climbers, offering beginner treks with guides to help you along the way. You can find a variety of courses that teach novices the basics of mountain climbing on a few low-altitude treks. For those who have done some climbing but are not yet experts, there are some intermediate climbs as well. This popular destination is complete with excellent accommodation and dining options.
Beginner: Swinica – Poland
Swinica is another excellent option for beginners. It offers a steep climb, but there are chains installed on the side of the mountain to help you pull yourself up. Nestled in the Tatra Mountains along the Polish-Slovak border, the peak delivers spectacular views across the countryside of both countries. Because the area is a haven for skiers in the winter, there is a broad range of accommodation and dining nearby to suit any preference and budget.
Advanced: Matterhorn – Switzerland
The Matterhorn is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable sights in Europe, at least among the mountain climbing set. Getting to the top is definitely not easy, so climbers must be in peak physical condition to accomplish this feat. However, there are a few climbs on the lower portion of the mountain that can accommodate beginners. The area offers year-round skiing, so be sure to dress for the snowy conditions.
Advanced: Piz Roseg – Switzerland/Italy
Despite its difficulty, Piz Roseg is a popular destination for mountain climbers. However, this mountain is for experienced climbers only, and a few have even died attempting to make the climb or while skiing back down. It can get busy sometimes, creating wait times to ascend certain faces, but the waiting gives you a great opportunity to take some time to soak in the natural beauty all around you.
Beginner: Jebel Toubkal – Morocco
Jebel Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Although challenging, the trek is suitable for beginners. It combines hiking with some climbing over rocks and large boulders. However, the high altitude makes the climb seem more difficult than it would be at a lower altitude, so be sure to give yourself time to acclimate to the limited oxygen in the air. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well.
Advanced: Colorado National Monument – United States
The Colorado National Monument offers over 150 mountain climbing routes for you to choose from, and the majority of them are extremely difficult. The cliffs here are made of sandstone, so it is important to be careful of loose pieces and smooth surfaces. There are some easier routes in the area, but most of the offerings are for advanced climbers only. Take care during the summer months to stay hydrated, as the climate is dry and hot.
These are just a few of the many spectacular mountain climbing destinations in Europe and abroad. As you start getting into mountain climbing, you’ll likely meet other climbers who each have their own recommendations. While climbing, you can forge friendships that will last a lifetime.