Famous Annapurna is a section of the Himalaya mountain range, located in central Nepal. The name “Annapurna” is a Sanskrit name meaning “Goddess of the Harvests”. The massive 22,970+ foot (7,000+ meter) peaks of the Annapurna section are some of the most dangerous to climb in the world. The south face of Annapurna I has the highest fatality rate of all the world’s 8,000 meter or higher peaks. Though the peaks themselves are off-limits to most people, the surrounding scenery can be access by undertaking one of many popular multi-day treks, including the impressive Annapurna Circuit trek, the Kaligandaki River Valley trek, and the Annapurna Sanctuary trek which reaches the Annapurna Base Camp. Annapurna is located within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, and a permit is required to visit. Permits can be obtained in the Nepalese cities of Pokhara and Kathmandu. Bus service from Pokhara is available, as are many guided tours for trekking.
Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, standing an imposing 3,776.24 meters (12,389 feet) tall. It is considered an active volcano, with its last eruption in the early 1700s. Often depicted in Japanese art, the iconic mountain is well known as a symbol of Japan and is a prominent feature of Tokyo’s skyline. The well-formed cone of this stratovolcano is visually almost symmetrical. Climbing the mountain has become a popular excursion for tourists from around the world, with over 300,000 persons reaching the summit each year. Climbing between October and May is strongly discouraged due to the cold temperatures. Many climbers choose to make the climb at night in order to be at or near the summit for a breathtaking sunrise.
The Matterhorn is a large, jagged mountain standing 4,478 meters (14,692 ft) tall on the border of Switzerland and Italy. One of the highest peaks in the Pennine Alps, the Matterhorn is also known as Monte Cervino in Italian, or Mont Cervin in French. The mountain is famous for being one of the most deadly to summit, with over 500 climbers dying on it since it was first climbed in 1865. Today, many climbers summit the Matterhorn each year, and all the faces of the mountain have been ascended in all seasons, though even the easiest route to the top is considered a fairly difficult climb.
The stunning Wind River Range is a 100 mile long mountain range in Western Wyoming. It is part of the Rocky Mountains. Gannett Peak, the highest in Wyoming at 13,804 feet (4,207 m), is included in this mountain range. Gannett Peak can be climbed on a 4-6 day hike, and is not recommended for beginners. The Wind River Range is part of two National Forests: the Shoshone National Forest and the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The majestic Mount Roraima is the highest mountain in the Pacaraima Mountains. Roraima lies on the three borders of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. The mountain is part of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Angel Falls is also part of this beautiful park. Mount Roraima’s highest point is Maverick Rock at 2,810 meters (9,219 feet), and the whole of Mount Roraima’s fairly flat top surface area is surrounded by 400+ meter (1,312+ feet) high sheer cliffs. Mount Roraima can be climbed, though all routes besides the Paraitepui route require technical climbing gear. Visitors can get a stunning view of Mount Roraima and the greater Canaima National Park from a memorable helicopter ride.
The Dolomites are a section of the Alps mountain range in Italy. Besides the spectacular views, visitors to the Dolomites can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding in the winter months, and hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, base jumping, paragliding and hang-gliding in the summer. The Dolomites were recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August, 2009. Marmolada, the Dolomites’ largest peak, stands 3,344 meters (10,972 feet) tall. The Dolomites span three Northeastern Italian provinces: Belluno, Bolzano-Bozen and Trento. Accommodation can be found in any of the many cities and villages in the area.
The Mount Everest Base Camps are traditionally used by mountain climbers as a resting place before and after the Everest climb, but today they have become a popular destination for hikers and trekkers. Many tour groups and companies offer multi-day treks (usually 14 – 18 days) to both the South Everest Base Camp (5,360 meters or 17,600 ft) in Nepal, and the North Everest Base Camp (5,208 meters or 17,090 ft) in Tibet. The North Base Camp requires a permit from the Chinese government in addition to the permit one already needs to visit Tibet, so the South Base Camp in Nepal is a much more popular hiking destination. Those wishing to make the trek must be in good physical condition and be able to hike around 6 hours a day while carrying a small pack, but no previous mountaineering experience is required. For most treks the majority of the supplies and food are carried by porters and Sherpas. To visit during optimal weather conditions you should aim for the beginning of March to mid May or from the beginning of September to mid November. The Mount Everest peak is not visible from the base camp, so most treks also include a trip up Kala Patthar (5,643 meters or 18,514ft) which provides a view of Everest.