Where to Start – High Altitude
So, you’ve done plenty of UK peaks and maybe even done a few lower level summits in Europe? What’s next and where can you go to get a real taste of high altitude?
If you want to climb peaks in Europe then eventually you’ll want to go above 2500m, the threshold at which people start to feel the effects of being at high altitude.
The best places in Europe for High Altitude
Europe has lots of accessible peaks to get your first taste of altitude with most being accessible by ski lifts or cable car, making it really easy to get to the snowline and reach peaks. Good places to visit include the Alps, easily accessible in France from Chamonix, or Italy from Courmayeur, the Dolomites – from Cortina. With lots of cheap flights from the UK to Italy, the Pyrenees and France, high altitude mountaineering is increasingly accessible.
Make sure you have Alpine skills in using crampons and walking axe, as well as crevasse rescue skills and walking on a safety rope together as a group.
Fancy something more exotic?
Kilimanjaro is often people’s first taste of altitude with loads of trekking companies offering trips on the various routes to the summit. It’s a very accessible mountain and a good trip for a first experience, as you don’t need to worry about winter skills.
Nepal is another top destination, and it’s possible to get high without even bagging summits with Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit being at a high altitude. There’s also easier peaks such as Mera Peak or Island Peak if you fancy a summit and have Alpine skills.