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1 - Mount Everest, border of Nepal and China.


Elevation: 8,848 meters (29,029 feet)

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth and the highest point on the Earth’s continental crust. The mountain attracts both professional and novice climbers each year and serves as a major source of revenue for the nation of Nepal (a permit costing as much as $25,000 is necessary to climb the mountain). The first successful ascent of the mountain was in 1953 and Everest has since been summited over 4,000 times. Tragically, many have also died attempting to summit the mountain in what is called the “Death Zone,” the region over 8,000 meters until the summit.


2 - Mount Aconcagua, Argentina


Elevation: 6,962 meters (22,841 feet)

Mount Aconcagua is the highest mountain in South America and the highest mountain outside of Asia. It is part of the Andes mountain range and is part of a provincial park in its name. The mountain is known for having several glaciers and glacier systems on its peak. The mountain is considered a fairly easy one to climb because of its route. The first recorded ascent was in 1897.


3 - Mount McKinley, United States of America


Elevation: 6,194 meters (20,320 feet)

Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska sits at an elevation of 610 metres and has a vertical rise of 5,500 metres. This is actually greater than Mount Everest’s rise of 5,300 metres. Temperatures reach as low as -60 degrees Celsius and given the effects of wind chill, they can feel as low as -83 degrees Celsius. Lower barometric pressures at high latitudes means altitude sickness is a greater risk. The risk of avalanches and the difficulty in finding an adequate route prevented the first successful summit from occurring until 1963. The mountain’s Athabaskan name means “The Great One,” while it was officially named after presidential candidate William McKinley.


4 - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.


Elevation: 5,893 meters (19,334 feet)

Mt. Kilimanjaro, composed of three dormant volcanic cones, is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. Located between Tanzania and Kenya, it is technically an easy mountain to climb but the risk of high altitude sickness is still very present. The mountain is home to many forms of wildlife and vegetation, several of which are uniquely adapted to the rainforest, heath and moorland conditions on the mountain. At higher elevations, the alpine desert environment is characterized by drastic temperature changes from day to night and harsh conditions. At the summit, Kilimanjaro is capped by glaciers. The origin of the mountain’s name is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of words in several languages that together mean “white mountain.”


5 - Mount Elbrus, Russia


Elevation: 5,642 meters (18,510 feet)

Mount Elbrus is located in the Caucus region of Russia, near the border with Georgia. There is some disagreement over whether or not this location qualifies as part of Europe, but most sources agree that Mount Elbrus is the tallest peak on the continent. An inactive volcano, the Elbrus has a magma flow deep beneath it but the last eruption was estimated to have taken place between 0 and 100 AD. The mountain has a cable route that takes visitors to nearly 4,000 meters (over 12,000 feet) on the mountainside. In 1997, a Land Rover was famously driven to the summit of the mountain, snagging it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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