7 Easy 4000m peaks to Climb
There are many experiences in this in this world, but few can compare to that of reaching the summit of a mountain. The feeling is indescribable, the view is fantastic, and the physical sensations really speak for themselves. The perception that mountaineering (mountain climbing) is a dangerous, difficult endeavor that pushes climbers to the very limits of their physical and mental abilities is not necessarily true. The fact is that, mountains come in different shapes and sizes, with peaks of up to 8,848m above sea level (Everest) and most are climbable depending on your skill level. But beginners may need to set their sights a little closer to earth and the easy 4000m peaks are reachable even for complete beginners.
You don’t necessarily need to have years of mountain climbing experience to summit some of the world’s highest peaks, you just have to be reasonably fit and able to adapt to the weather and snow conditions. You also need basic mountaineering knowledge in terms of rope work, glacier safety, using the ice axe, and crampons. Beginners can begin scaling easy 4000m peaks after just a few weeks or even days of training and acclimatization. The following seven easy 4000m peaks are by no means a walk in the park but they can be achieved with the help of a guide.
1. Mount Kilimanjaro — Tanzania, Africa
Elevation: 5,895m (19,341ft)
Mount Kilimanjaro is undoubtedly the highest peak in Africa and the one of the easiest to climb. It also has one of the most accessible moderate-altitude treks in the world with several easy-to-moderate routes up the summit. The mountain is a freestanding peak not attached to any mountain range as it was once a volcano, this makes adjusting to the thin air at altitude the biggest challenge in climbing it. Taking longer routes up the mountain guarantees a much higher rate of success since altitude is the biggest obstacle. Climbing the Kilimanjaro can take between five and nine days to complete depending on the route taken and speed of acclimatization. It is also the perfect place for aspiring mountaineers to see how their bodies react at high altitude without the technical risks of other higher mountains.
Paths up the mountain pass through five famously unique climate zones each different from the last. Climbers going up the mountain will first pass through cultivated lands at its base followed by rainforests, moorlands, alpine desert and, finally, arctic conditions near the summit. The mountain is accessible during most months of the year since it sits just off the equator and more than 37,000 people attempt climbing up Kilimanjaro each year. However, the raining season runs from March through May and this may make the trek a little uncomfortable during that time. There are several guide services take climbers from the start of the climb to the 5,895m summit over the course of five or six days, allowing climbers to acclimatize to the increasingly thin air.
2. Mount Fuji — Honshu Island, Japan
Elevation: 3,776m (12,388ft)
Japan’s Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and one of the most climbed mountain peaks in the entire world. It is one of the country’s three sacred peaks as it towers over the surrounding landscape making it a beautiful sight from above or below. Hiking up the mountain side doesn’t resent much technical difficulties making it a great introduction to the stamina needed for climbing even higher mountains. There are several well well-established trail that climbers can make use of, they generally start at about 2,000m and ends at the summit at 3,776m. This journey takes about eight hours round-trip for fit individuals if they set out early enough and more than 300,000 people trek to the summit each year.
If you want to experience one of the most beautiful sunrises possible, you can make the ascent at night so that you can reach the top in time before dawn. The main trails can get very crowded during the summer months as the official hiking season lasts for only two months from July 1 to August 31. Winter climbs are not advised for beginners as the weather can prove dangerous at times making the climb 4 to 5 times harder to accomplish. However, for the most part, this is an easy hike that only requires strong legs, stamina and bit of determination to complete.
3. Mont Blanc — Europe
Elevation: 4,808.7m (15,777ft)
You can wet your mountaineering appetite with this easy 4000m peak that is also the highest in Western Europe. Mont Blanc which translates to White Mountain is one of Europe’s most iconic climbing peaks and it straddles the French/Italian border. More than 30,000 people attempting climbing to the summit of Mont Blanc annually (as many as 200 people on a busy day) and reaching the summit is considered a rite of passage for most European climbers. The main problem for beginners will be getting used to the altitude as there are numerous routes to the summit from both the French and Italian sides, the level of challenge can vary greatly.
Typical it takes about two days to complete the climb to the summit, with several comfortable mountain huts located at notable points along the trail to the summit that climbers can stay in. Ascending the Mont Blanc may not be all that technically challenging, but it still requires a high level of physical fitness and experience using crampons and an ice axe. Climbers can choose one of the two most common routes to climb the Mont Blanc from Chamonix. The first route that starts from the Aiguille du Midi plains, over Mont Blanc du Tacul is easier and more popular while the Mont Maudit route is generally quieter but slightly more technical depending on the conditions.
4. Mount Elbrus — Russia, Europe
Elevation: 5,642m (18,510ft)
Mount Elbrus is the tallest mountain in all of Europe and its height makes for a most imposing sight. The summit is usually covered in snow all year long but accessible via a chairlift that takes most climbers up to the traditional starting point located at 12,500 feet. This greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to reach the top so that climbers can reach the mountain summit in one or two days. Most routes up the mountain are fortified with a string of huts, making it easy to plan for accommodation and acclimatization. Potential climbers may require several permits before they can attempt the Elbrus, so be sure to plan well in advance.
Climbing up Mount Elbrus is completely nontechnical if you are using the normal route, the only concerns you need to be worried about along the way are the weather and altitude. If you like to hike up the summit with a party then July and August are the best times for an attempt, as the mountain can be very crowded during those months. However, if you prefer fewer people around when attempting the climb, you can go in the months of June and September. The weather during this time can be more unpredictable, with possible high winds and heavier snow. Over 10,000 people attempt the mountain climb each year.
5. Mount Temple — Canada, North America
Elevation: 3,544m (11,627ft)
Mount Temple is one of the easiest 4000m peaks in the Canadian Rockies and also one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the area. The summit is an impressive one dominating the landscape around Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada. However, thanks to its relatively low elevation gain, climbers can reach the summit in a day with an early start. The climb does not require much technical knowledge as the summit is accessible by most fit hikers willing to work their way up the trail, which can be a bit of a scramble at times.
Although Mount Temple is relatively accessible, it should be noted that it is a giant and finding easy routes can be a particular challenge. However, this can easily be overcome with the use of an experienced mountain guide. Climbing Mount Temple provides all of the adventures of climbing a massive mountain, without requiring any advanced technical knowledge. The best part is that the views from the top are unbeatable and the trip is enjoyable throughout (despite the scrambling involved).
6. Mount Rainer — Washington, USA
Elevation: 4,392m (14,411ft)
Mount Rainier offers limitless mountaineering possibilities and is considered to be the most extensively glaciated mountain in the United States. The mountaineering experience is heightened by the combination of high altitude, a variety of routes, and unpredictable Northwest weather. This also makes the mountain a great place for beginner climbers to gain important skills that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Some basic rope skills are necessary when attempting to climb Mount Rainier’s slopes as the extra layers of ice and snow can make both the climb up and the descent a bit more treacherous.
This is why it is a common location for beginners to gain valuable experience not just with glacier trekking and crevasse avoidance, but also with ropes and scrambling techniques. It is also the perfect setting for beginner/mid-level climbers who are considering moving on to more challenging peaks. It is possible to attempt the mountain all year long, depending on weather conditions. However, the season between May and September is best for inexperienced climbers as the weather is less severe. About 13,000 people make the attempt each year and the climb takes about two to three days to complete.
7. Jbel Toubkal — Morocco, Africa
Elevation: 4167m (13,671ft)
Standing at 4,167m, Mount Jbel Toubkal is the highest peak in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It offers a non-technical and relatively easy trek to the summit, although poor weather conditions, high winds, and altitude sickness can still be of concern. The climb requires only a reasonable degree of fitness and determination as the mountain is easily reachable from Marrakech. There is also the presence of a network of trekking trails that offer striking high altitude lush valleys, mountain scenery, and relatively untouched Berber communities.
The Jbel Toubkal is accessible all year round, but the best time to take on this peak is between May and September. This is because snow settles above 3000m in winter, from Nov – May, and crampons and ice axes are required. Even with its considerable height, it only takes about two days to complete the hike to the summit and beginners are advised to stick to climbing during the warmer, drier season instead. The summit provides some outstanding views of the surrounding peaks and valleys and it is a perfect setting for those looking to dip their toe in the mountaineering waters for the first time.
These seven easy 4000m peaks are all possible for beginning mountaineers with the help of a guide. It also helps to be fit and to have some basic training regarding your equipment and the terrain you are attempting to climb. Although not every climb is a success, your drive and motivation can make your sojourn up these easy 4000m peaks an exciting experience.