Everyone has one’s particular imagery of the perfect landscape and the best destination for a vacation. However, when asked to think of what would be amongst the most awe-inspiring and breath-taking topography, we believe most people would say mountains / hilltops. There is something alluring and enigmatic about mountains – they have a humbling effect on a person and calm the mind in an inexplicable manner. Is it surprising then that so many people constantly venture to scale mountains – some of them being extremely treacherous and tough to scale? Mountaineers describe the experience of reaching a mountain summit as ‘life-changing’. We understand that most people would not have the chance or the desire to scale a mountain, which is why we have brought you a list of some of the most stunning mountains in the world, to leave you awe-struck, and ignite the traveller in you to explore these destinations and wondrous sights.
- The Matterhorn, Switzerland
You would probably find this mountain at the ‘peak’ of most lists that talk about the beauty and allure of mountains. Matterhorn is striking (4478 meters above sea level) and instantly recognizable – even if you may have only seen photographs of this mighty, natural creation. The climb, even for the most adventurous, can prove to be both exhilarating and dangerous, and the erratic weather on the mountain makes the climb even more challenging. However, the dramatic and intense weather variations on The Matterhorn, add to its allure and appeal. Visitors must first reach Zermatt – a quaint and charming town situated at the foot of the majestic Alps, and the starting point for exploring The Matterhorn.
- Denali, Alaska
Dominating the skyline of Alaska is Denali Mountain (translated as “The Great One”) – a majestic and striking mountain that has a towering summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. It is the highest mountain peak in North America, and its dramatic ‘rise’ from the base to the top most point, makes it alluring, imposing, and stately. The upper half of Denali is covered in snow permanently, with numerous glaciers (of which some are more than 30 miles in length). The temperature is extremely cold – minus 60 degrees Celsius, with chilly winds that lower the temperature further (down to minus 83 degrees Celsius) – capable of freezing a human being almost instantly. At least 32000 people have attempted to scale this great mountain – only about half of them succeeded in doing so. The climbs are led by guides, who warn of the climb being extremely challenging and dangerous given the weather conditions, and the difficulty in becoming acclimatized. Over 400,000 people annually visit the surrounding Denali National Park and preserve. Now imagine yourself standing at the base, looking up yet unable to see the summit, while the mountain appears to be touching the sky! It sure is a humbling and mesmerizing feeling.
- Kirkjufell, Iceland
The orderly and sculpted look of this mountain is what adds to its appeal. The Kirkjufell Mountain (Church Mountain) is more horizontal than vertical, and the sedimentation lines create a rather symmetrical appearance. The base of this mountain looks rather smooth, hence what it lacks in height (463m) it makes up with its unique, and seemingly handcrafted beauty. It is these natural features that make it one of the most alluring, attractive, and recognizable natural sights in Iceland, drawing innumerable tourists each year.
- Ama Dablam, Nepal
Ama Dablam stands at 6,812 metres above sea level, and its allure lies in its rather distinctive appearance. The rocks seemed to form contrasting and unique angles, which look even more unusual when snow settles on these peaks. It is regarded as one of the most impressive and aesthetically pleasing mountains in the world. Ama Dablam gets its name from two different words – Ama meaning mother or grandmother and Dablam meaning a box of charms. Dablam is a pendant worn by the older Sherpa women, and holds precious items. The reason for naming this mountain Ama Dablam is that it has a hanging glacier that resembles a ‘dablam’, while there are two outstretched ridges that resemble the outstretched arms of a mother, for an embrace. Interesting right – so when are you visiting?
- Mount Eiger, Switzerland
This imposing and majestic mountain is 3,970-metre (13,020ft) and part of the Bernese Alps. Mount Eiger, is striking also because it is blessed with natural beauty, especially its north face – amongst the most famous and written about peaks in the world today. The challenge of the climb from this ‘face’ has proved enticing for several climbers. Mount Eiger has several climbing routes from all sides, but each of them is challenging and hard. Temperatures fall to minus 40 degrees here, making the climbs even tougher.
Beauty in any form depends on the person looking at the object, but in the case of these stunning mountains there is no doubt that they are amongst the most beautiful natural creations on this planet. Every continent on earth has a contender for the top spot in the list of the most stunning mountains in the world – but each of them is so varied, distinct, and awe-inspiring that it is impossible to decide which one should be numero uno! Maybe you can decide for yourself – take a trip with us to ‘the top of the world’.