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Mountaineering and Climbing

Mountaineering really defines adventure, in order to reach a major summit you must push yourself mentally, conquer fear, and overcome gravity. This is why climbing has always appealed to those who want the ultimate challenge.

Reaching a goal by climbing there under your own physical abilities is one of the greatest challenges and rewards you can achieve. Reaching the top of an ice or rock climb, gaining your first mountain peak, or achieving a major summit after many years of climbing mountains, all lead to an incredible sense of self fulfilment and accomplishment.

Every continent (and most countries) have climbing opportunities, from the Himalayas to the Rockies, the European Alps to Antarctica, the volcanoes of South and Central America to the highest mountain in Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro. The seven summits (the highest peak on every continent, including Mount Everest) is a major drawcard for mountaineers, as are climbing courses run in every major mountain area by qualified mountain guides. In addition to major mountaineering expeditions and climbs, there are rock climbing adventures throughout the globe that can be the focus for an adventure trip through to an experience day while on another adventure goal. Guide services are available across the world to help safely and knowledgeably get you to your climbing goal – whether it be snow, glacier, water ice or rock. Let us show you some of the best climbing adventures to be had anywhere you choose to travel!

Ability

Climbing requires stamina, skill and strength. By completing a training regime prior to your trip you give yourself the best chance to reach your goal. Walking uphill with a 20kg+ pack for 4-6 hrs is pretty standard in terms of a fitness requirement. Rock climbing is more about flexibility, upper arm strength training, and mental preparedness.  

Gear Required

If you are going with a guided operation or school, generally most technical equipment will be provided. It is expected you have all your own clothing, pack, and sleeping gear. Specialist expedition climbs often require the purchase of boots, down gear, harness, helmet, ice axe and crampons. Check with your outfitter for a complete gear list

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exploreGO Top Destinations

  • The Alps Trilogy: Mt. Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Eiger
  • The 7 Summits: Everest, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Vinson Massif, Elbrus, Carstensz Pyramid/Mount Kosciuszko  
  • Rock climb at the iconic El Capitan, Yosemite
  • Climb limestone cliffs at Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand
  • Alberta - Canada for amazing mountain, rock and ice experiences
  • Climbing and trekking expedition in the Nepal Himalayas
  • Alpamayo. Peru or Ama Dablam, Nepal – two of the world’s most beautiful mountains   
  • Patagonia & San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
  • Aoraki Mt Cook or Mt Aspiring in New Zealand
  • 3 peaks challenge in Iceland
  • Summit an 8000m peak in the Himalayas
  • Combine multiple destinations into a rock climbing tour and link in with other adventures in each country
  • Ice climb at the Ouray Ice Festival

Best time to travel

The dates below are generalities, and each season is very different in terms of weather, snow cover and route access.  

The Alps – peak time is July/August but can be very crowded. Possible from May to September in the summer season.

Himalayas – Pre and post-monsoon (March to early June, and September to late November) are generally the main time to climb, especially if going high.  

Alaska – late April to late July

New Zealand – Peak time is mid-November to mid-February, but possible from October to March.

Canada – late November to March for ice climbing; rock climbing May to October; mountaineering can be year round, but June to September is best.

Peru – June to September is driest.

Patagonia – November to early March, but heavily crowded transport and access trails in December and January.

Iceland – June through to August

Europe - peak time is July/August but can be very crowded. Possible from May to September in the summer season.

Africa – January to March (generally colder) and June to October (higher chance of summit snow) for Kilimanjaro.

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exploreGO Top Tips:

  • Because mountaineering in particular is seasonal and very weather dependant, spend considerable time doing research into where to go when, and talk with guiding companies or outdoor organisations to find out about local conditions in the time you want to climb. For rock climbing, think about how hot the season might be (e.g. Thailand) for the time of year you want to go, or how cold it might be (e.g. Canada) and plan for maximum time on rock given the season and local conditions.
  • Sort the logistics of gear, equipment, food and access well before arrival. Some destinations you would think have gear and lightweight food for climbing. Often this can be limited, or very expensive – particularly in less well known climbing areas.
  • Take enough cash to buy what you need, pay porters/local guides, transport etc. Often access to ATM’s is very limited, and cash still talks to get the things you need.

Related Experiences

Interested in Mountaineering and Climbing but seeking a different experience right now? Check out some suggested experiences below or click the link to browse our full suite of activities.

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