This is our wish-list of mountains to climb if weather and mountain conditions, volcanic activity, permits, timing etc is right! Let’s see how many of them we can make.
CANADA: Mount Columbia (3747 m) with the skiis. Failed! We arrived there out of the climbing season and watched the conditions and the climbing reports for a couple of weeks. Noone made ascents of Mt Columbia in that period and conditions were very bad. Instead we did Wedge Mountain with our skis, 2892 m, in Garibaldi National Park in British Columbia. We learned that high mountain conditions in Canada are often very severe. Many peaks are incredibly steep and quite inaccessible requiring a long approach with heavy rugsacks. And the weather can be very bad even in high summer.
USA: Washington: Mt. Rainier (4392 m) – Done! Fantastic experience and a beautiful peak to climb. California: Mt Whitney (4418 m, highest point in USA) – Failed! In hindsight, we made the wrong decision to try and do it in one day along the Mountaineering Route…we lost too much time searching for the path and had to turn around and go down as an afternoon thunderstorm was building up and we were still too far from the peak. A shame, since it is a very easy mountain to climb along the normal routes, but we decided not to spend any more time there (we had to get new permits etc). It should be a very nice peak to climb in two days from the Mountaineering Route, beautiful scenery and great places to camp below the summit. Colorado: Mt Elbert (4399 m) or Capitol Peak (4309 m) since Mt Elbert seems to be very busy during the summer. We didn’t go to Colorado. As a substitute, we climbed beautiful Mt Shasta in northern California, 4322 m high.
MEXICO: Pico de Orizaba (5636 m, highest point in Mexico). We climbed none of the volcanoes in Mexico. It was not the climbing season and the weather reports showed heavy snow on the high peaks.
GUATEMALA: Volcán Tajumulco (4220 m, highest point in Guatemala) – Done! In addition we climbed Volcán Acatenango, 3976 m high, neighbor to the erupting Volcán de Fuego and a very nice volcano to climb.
COSTA RICA: Cerro Chirripó (3820 m, highest point in Costa Rica) – Done!
PANAMA: Volcán Barú (3474 m, highest point in Panama) – Done!
ECUADOR*: Chimborazo (6267 m, highest point in Ecuador) – we climbed Illiniza Norte 5126 m and Cotopaxi 5897 m. Fantastic climbs! Chimborazo we will save till next time. But it was definitely the season for climbing (November), very stable weather for summiting in the mornings.
PERU*: Huascarán Sur (6369 m, highest point in Peru) – we climbed Nevado Pisco 5752 m under Peruvian winter conditions. It was fantastic, we never saw such beautiful panoramas in our lives! It is not the season to climb Huascaran Sur but we are seriously thinking about coming back to Peru after Argentina…
BOLIVIA*: Nevado Sajama (6542 m, highest point in Bolivia), alternatively Illimani (6438 m) – we skipped Bolivia and went straight through the northern part of Chile to Argentina, we were running out of time and had to be ready to climb Aconcagua in mid January.
ARGENTINA: Aconcagua (6962 m, highest point in the Americas) – Done! Summit on 30 January 2013.
CHILE: Ojos del Salado (6893 m, highest point in Chile, highest volcano on earth) – no, we did not get to climb the Ojos del Salado.
JAPAN: The 3 holy mountains of Japan: Mount Fuji (3776 m, highest point in Japan) – Done!, Mount Tate (3015 m) – nope, Mount Hakusan (2703 m) – Done! In addition we climbed in Hokkaido Mt Asahidake two times (2290 m), Mt Meakan (1499 m) and Mt Yotei (1898 m) and in Kyushu island we climbed twice the two neighboring peaks of Mt Nakadake (1506) and Mt Takadake (1592). It is a great pleasure to go hiking in Japan. The peaks are not very high but often steep and with the trail starting low so you can have a good 1200-1500 altitude meters to the top.
RUSSIA: In Altai: Belukha (4506) and/or Ak-Oyuk (3860 m) if we can get permits. Alternatively in Caucasus: Mount Elbrus (5642 m, highest point in Europe) but we should try to be there already in August… We skipped the Altai Mountains and headed straight for the Caucasus. A fantastic mountain region! On 29 August we summited Mt Elbrus in brilliant weather.*Weather dependent, climbing to be confirmed depending on weather and mountain conditions Recommended site for routes and mountain conditions around the world: http://www.summitpost.org