Trekking, hiking and mountaineering have all seen a worldwide increase in popularity in recent years. New safety measures -- coupled with the rise of extreme sports -- has led many to try their hand at scaling some of the world’s most iconic mountains, or trekking through Nepal’s stunning landscapes. An Active People Survey concluded that in 2015 around 211,000 people living in England go climbing or hill walking at least once a month. While in theU.S., the number of people who went hiking in 2008 reached 29.23 million, with those numbers continuing to rise each year since. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most beautiful, dangerous treks -- that will take your breath away, one way or another!
1. Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Climbing Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth, is
fraught with peril and has claimed the lives of over 250 mountaineers.
Avalanches, ice collapses, and exacerbating preexisting health problems are the biggest cause of
casualties on the infamous mountain, and only the most experienced climbers are
encouraged to take it on. The Everest Base Camp Trek is the popular, and
infinitely safer, alternative to trekking up the 29,029-foot mountain. With
incredible views of Everest and other Himalayan peaks, the Base Camp Trek takes
you through Sherpa country to the Everest Base Camp, as well as Kala Pattar.
Good fitness is required for this trek which will include 12 days of
point-to-point walking for roughly seven hours a day. The scenic trek will allow
you to take is the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar as well as Kathmandu.
2. The Chadar Trek, India
Whilst this trek has seen a few casualties, it is becoming increasingly
popular due to its unique nature. The Chadar Trek in India is unlike any other; it takes
you across the frozen Zanskar River, which connects the Zanskar villages with
the outside world. Before it became a
trek challenge, the route had been used for centuries as a means to trade and
transport. The Chadar Trek has secured its reputation as one of the more
challenging treks in the world due to the sub-zero temperatures, high altitude, and long walks on thin ice. The trek is only advisable for those with high
fitness levels and proficient trekkers; this is to avoid casualties as the
maximum elevation reaches 3390 meters. With
its incredible scenery and heart-stopping moments, this trek, which takes you
across frozen river ice with a large rucksack on your back, is not for the fainthearted.
3. Aonach Eagach Scramble, Scotland
Scotland is the undisputed home of mountainous craggy vistas
and Aonack Eagach boasts the narrowest ridge on the British mainland. The
mountain is definitely not for novices and those attempting to take it on
should be confident moving on Grade 1 ground without a rope. The hard and
exposed ridge is not for those adverse to heights. What makes the mountain
particularly fearsome is that there are only two convenient ways off — the beginning and the end! So those who take on Scotland’s most difficult
scrambling ridge will have to be committed to completing it once they start.
4. Maroon Bells, Colorado
The most iconic mountains in Colorado, the Maroon Bells are
also one of the most photographed mountains in North America. Whilst their
beauty brings tourists from all over the world to take a look, and some photos,
of the mountains’ pyramid shape and Maroon Lake valley, only the bravest climb the
famous mountains. The Bells are comprised of Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak,
with a distance between the two of about a third of a mile. Maroon Peak
measures an impressive 14,163 feet tall, while North Maroon Peak reaches 14,019
feet. The Bells are located in the White River National Forest and signs in the
forest warn of “the Deadly Bells” and the “down slopping and rotten” rock. The mudstone that the Bells are made of sets them apart from other mountains in the Rockies, which are usually composed of
granite and limestone. This difference is critical, and mudstone is
significantly weaker than granite and limestone and makes the route underfoot
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5. Grand Canyon Hike, Arizona
By far one of the most popular treks in the world, the Grand
Canyon has become a huge tourist attraction, with people from all over the
world wanting to view the Canyon’s stunning natural architecture. Getting up
close with the rims and rivers, the trails around the Grand Canyon will take
you through the multi-coloured Colorado Plateau to the Vishnu River. The trek
will last four to six days and the best time to go is around March or November, when
there will be fewer tourists and a less busy route. There are lots of different
operators offering guides to these hikes, as well as resources online for trail
tips. One of the good things about the Grand Canyon Trek is that is can be
tailored to your abilities, with many different routes and trails, so all levels are welcome.