8 Epic mountains to climb that don't have the long lines of Everest

2019-11-01 16:45
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Everest has been a dream of many, conquering the summit of the highest mountain in the world - but today it has succumbed to unsustainable overtourism and dangerous queues filled with inexperienced hikers. 

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This year has been their busiest yet, and if the photos of long queues at Everest has put it off your bucket list, there are other less crowded mountains you can replace it with. Africa alone has multiple summits besides Kilimanjaro to train for, and other great mountains around the world that will surely scratch your adventure itch. 

Drakensberg

The pride and joy of mountaineering in South Africa, Drakensberg offers various trails that will take you to the famed escarpment. 

The best time to hike it is during spring or autumn that will help you avoid downpours, and is a hike that any fit person can do.

READ: Isolated spots in SA's mountains for when you feel like being a hermit 

Gokyo Ri

It's part of Nepal's Himilayan mountains and a great alternative to the crowded Everest - which you can see from the top of Gokyo Peak.

It remains a difficult trek, stretching over 10 days walking six to seven hours a day, but at least you won't be dealing the lines at its more popular sibling.

Khüiten Peak

This is the highest peak in the Altai Range that creates the border between China and Mongolia, and is the highest point in the latter country.

You'll walk past people riding horses through its completely wild terrains where wildlife flourishes like lynx, foxes and falcons.

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Ojos Del Salado

Made up of two peaks straddling the border between Argentina and Chile, the Ojos Del Salado is an active stratovolcano, although it last erupted about 1 300 years ago. It's also the highest volcano in the world and has the highest altitude lake, 500 metres before the top.

A lonely monstrosity in the middle of a desert, the hike is not difficult for experienced climbers, however the summit can get tricky with the need for ropes. 

Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus in Russia is a dormant volcano and considered the highest mountain in Europe, as well as a major bucket-list item for any mountaineer.

It's an icy climb where the weather changes constantly, and you have to be very fit to climb with a minimum of eight weeks of training.

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Mount Meru

This is Kilimanjaro's lesser-known sibling in Tanzania's Arusha National Park, but also one of the highest mountains in Africa.

It's often used as a preparation climb for Kili, still very challenging but with way fewer crowds. Over several days you also experience various vegetation types, and less experienced hikers can still do a few trails, like hiking to the ash cone.

Ak-Suu Turkestan

Hiking this mountain range has only been open to the public for a short while, so it's still quite off the beaten track with its insane panoramas, gorges and Kyrgyzstan hospitality.

It's a 10-day trek and it's advised to book with a tour company who will provide all the lodging along the way, including local homestays.

Mount Ngaliema

Also known as Mount Stanley in the Rwenzori range straddling the DRC and Uganda, its highest summit is Margherita Peak which is the third-highest point on the continent.

The mountain range is very remote - which means no crowds - and requires a lot more skill to climb than Kilimanjaro.

READ: One of the world's longest hiking trails just opened in Chile - and it's breathtakingly beautiful 

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