Image source: Marchi Patrick
Jutting out from the skyline and towering above all else - the largest and most imposing mountains have always drawn men and women to climb them. So whether it's the need to conquer nature or to test technique and mental strength, summiting these goliaths is proving as popular as ever.
Here are 5 summits that are more than worth investing your time, skill and passion into this summer.
Grand Teton Peak
Image source: Don Graham
Grand Teton is one of the most famous mountains in the Rockies – proving so influential in the area (Wyoming) that it had a national park named after it. The mountain looks even more impressive than others in the Rockies, rising straight up from the valley floor with no surrounding foothills.
A Class 3 scramble leads you to either a Sport Grade 3 or 3+ route to the top of the summit. Even with a relatively easy grade rating, the climb can quickly become arduous as thunderstorms are prevalent in the area. It’s best to attempt the climb in July, historically the driest month, but still plan for potential wet weather.
Eiger, The North Face
Image source: Alistar Sutton
- Summit: 3,970m
The most famous mountain in Switzerland, The Eiger's North Face immediately catches the eye - the largest in the Alps. This dangerous route is only viable for seasoned, elite climbers who are ready to accept and mitigate the risks. Almost void of all snow and ice the face itself an intimidating 1,800m tall with limestone rock crumbling off and the ever present chance of an avalanche (in winter).
Image source: Christian Stangl
- Summit: 4,892m
Mount Vinson doesn't provide the most technically challenging routes however it brings its own test, being located in Antarctica. The desolate and harsh conditions require plenty of prep and planning before starting the climb, and as the tallest peak on the continent, it should not be underestimated.
Image source: Marchi Patrick
- Summit: 4,478m
This stunning pyramid-like mountain and its four steep faces are one of Europe’s most elusive climbs, only being topped out in 1865, long after much of Europe’s other 4,000m peaks. Avalanches, thin snow/ice cover and challenging climbing make this a dangerous mountain to summit whichever route you take. The reward for your tenacity and fearlessness is to put your name next to the pioneers of the climbing world who have conquered this iconic slab of alpine climbing history.
Image source: Tony Rogers
- Summit: 4,808m
The highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc sits on the French/Italian border as the pinnacle of the Mont Blanc Massif. The summit itself is a rather underwhelming bulge of snow, but the spectacular 360-degree views from the top more than make-up for this. To get to the top, there are several routes with most of them not particularly technical but still requiring alpine equipment, a reasonable level of fitness and climbing experience.