Snow and Ice Climbing



Climbing on snow and ice is a totally different sport to rock climbing, with a whole new set of challenges, rules – and equipment.

Ice Climbing

Techniques for snow and ice climbing vary depending on the conditions encountered. From 8000 metres up in the Himalayas, to an Alpine ridge or Scottish pitch in winter, experiences will be very different, and the equipment required more specialised.

Crampons and ice axes are a given, whether traversing a glacier or scrambling up a frozen ice cascade.

Footware

Scarpa – renowned for their rock climbing shoes like the Force and Vantage – are also specialists in tough, crampon-compatible mountain boots designed for the most difficult conditions underfoot.

Scarpa - Phantom Jorasses-Pro W-Mount-Blanc

At the top end of the scale, the Scarpa Phantom 8000 is one of the most practical, durable boots around, aimed at serious high altitude use and built specifically for the Himalayas.

Along with the Jorasses Pro and women’s Mount Blanc, the Phantom Guide is made on a shared technical last for what has been called the highest level of comfort ever achieved in high performance mountaineering boots.

With a toe shaped for rugged mountain climbing and an improved forefoot shape for a precise fit, the Phantom Guide is the crème-de-la-crème of mountaineering footwear.

Other Things to Consider

  • When climbing in winter, it must always be remembered that daylight hours are limited, and thought must be given to extra emergency equipment.
  • Always carry a head torch with charged batteries, a spare crampon strap, a good pair of UV-rated sun glasses to protect against the glare of sun on snow, and bivouac equipment in case the worst should happen and you become stranded overnight.
  • A thermal blanket rolled up tight and packed at the bottom of your rucksack could save your life in extreme temperatures.
  • A helmet should always be worn, whatever type of climbing is being undertaken. Falling rocks are an ever-present danger, not least from those kicked down by climbers above you, and in the case of a fall a helmet will help lessen the risk of serious head injury.

Helmets

On mountain cliffs and Alpine routes where stone fall is common, helmets are essential – and snow and ice routes should never be attempted without one. Lumps of broken-off blocks of ice can be just as dangerous to a climber as loose rock raining down from above.

Wild Country - Alpine Shield Climbing Helmet

Petzl, Grivel, Wild Country and many other manufacturers have ensured that the heavy, cumbersome climbing headwear of yesteryear has been replaced by low-profile, lightweight helmets with built-in impact liners and comfort padding.


Nicki Williams is a keen outdoor pursuits enthusiast who writes for Gear-Zone. She loves Scarpa, but is based as far from the mountains as possible – in Norfolk!


Citations: Images by schoeband; Gear-Zone/Scarpa

5 Most Dangerous Motocross Stunts



You don’t become a big name in Motocross unless you are prepared to try and do things that place you on the other side of ‘living on edge’, with stunts or tricks that seem impossible when explained, but result in dropped-jaws and delirious reactions in equal measure when you roll away unscathed and on two-wheels. The term ‘DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME’ couldn’t apply more to the stunts listed below, but then again how could you, as each superman, can-can and nac-nac requires a pair of ramps both higher and longer than most of the streets us mere-mortals live on.
With each X-Games or Dew Tour raising the bar for Freestyle and Best Trick motocross time and time again, this list will be bound to change in just a few years – but below are the current top 5 most dangerous motocross stunts you will be likely to see:

Motocross Superman

5. Superman

In almost any motocross event, you will probably see Superman after Superman as the professionals seem so comfortable performing this trick they could almost do it in their sleep – making it more of an Easyman than a Superman, but to any novice or spectator looking on, this trick still packs truckloads of amazement. Just imagine trying it for the first time – there is no other way than to throw all caution to the wind and then follow it by throwing your body back off the bike as if you were Superman himself flying to save Lois Lane from Lex Luther. Hold on to either the handlebars, back seat or if you’re even more of a hero/daredevil, use no hands at all.

4. The Kiss of Death

Taking the Superman to whole new levels of unprecedented danger, The Kiss of Death requires even more agility, strength, control and more than just a little bit of bravery. Instead of simply pushing your body out horizontally in line with your bike, The Kiss of Death instead means going vertical and pulling a handstand on your handlebars – while flying through the air – many many feet off the ground… it isn’t hard to see where the name came from.

3. Suicide Can-Can

Notice a pattern developing here? After The Kiss of Death, we have the Suicide Can-Can and while a simple Can-Can is another staple of modern motocross, the Suicide Can-Can is the perfect descriptor of how the sport just gets crazier and crazier. Stick a leg out one side of the bike and then proceed to stick both out of the other (just like an average Can-Can) but do it all with no hands on the handlebars – easy right?

2. Front Flip

Remember everything you were taught when learning to ride a motorbike safely? Throw it all out of the window because you will need to go completely against it to pull off a Front Flip or even begin to attempt one. Still one of the rarest tricks to be performed, it was first landed (according to the good old guys at Guinness – so ‘officially landed’) by Jim Dechamp in 2008 and ever since very few have repeated it, mostly down to the skill involved and the fact that your head will be braking your fall if anything goes wrong.

1. Double Back Flip

So what could beat that? Enter Travis Pastrana and not just one backflip but two. Thought to be beyond impossible, the man from Nitro Circus again smashed the word in half and landed the ever-elusive double backflip – then vowed never to do it again – thus making it the most dangerous, impressive and awe-inspiring motorcycle stunt today: the fear-ridden Holy Grail of motocross.


Written by Richard Paul on behalf of J&S Accessories; suppliers of motorcycle helmets and other accessories for both motocross and conventional biking.


Citations: Images by Nelson D.

Tips on How to Get Back Into Running



Getting back into running after a long time out can be very difficult. You may have had to quit due to ill health, pregnancy, or simply not having enough time to commit to a regular schedule. However, the thought of getting back on the road or the track can be daunting, particularly when you consider how long it will take to reach your previous performance levels. At the same time, you might worry about an old injury that might resurface, as well as whether or not you will be able to find the time to train properly. The following list provides some tips on how to deal with some of these problems:

Runners

1 – Short Distances

Start with short distances, and gradually build up your stamina. Running or jogging for 20 minutes every day or every few days will gradually build up your stamina, and help you to move up to longer routes. The worst thing you can do is to try and do too much too soon. Easing your body back into a running routine will also help to prevent injuries and make the task seem more manageable.

2 – Invest in Equipment

Buying equipment like running clothes, trainers and other materials will help you to think seriously about running. This equipment will give you the motivation to start using it, and needn’t be too expensive when you start back into a running schedule.

3 – Find a Running Partner

A running partner that is in a similar position to you, or already has a regular routine, can make it easier to get back into running. You can support each other’s performance, and can also arrange to make regular appointments to run together. Alternatively, consider joining a local running club, which will be able to help you work out a training schedule.

4 – Run at the Gym or at Home at First

If the thought of trudging around your local roads in the rain doesn’t appeal yet, try starting to run at the gym or at home. A running machine in the gym can allow you to build up your stamina, while the same equipment at home may be costly, but can save you some time.

5 – Set Reasonable Goals

Don’t expect too much in the first few weeks, or even the first month of running. Focus on getting into good habits first, and worry about improving performance goals and beating records later.

6 – Register for a Race

Registering for a race, even if it is a year away, will give you the motivation to train. You will also have to organise your time to accommodate training.

7 – Reward Yourself

Set yourself achievable goals, and then reward yourself when you beat them. Try to get a partner, family member or friend involved as well, and set goals that can result in a monthly prize.

8 – Work on Stretches

Get back into the habit of stretching and building up flexibility if you haven’t run for some time. Poor flexibility is the most likely way that you will suffer an injury, so think about extensive stretches before every run, and consider joining a Pilates or Yoga class.

9 – Keep Records

Keeping track of your runs will give you targets to beat, and will also help you to monitor your progress over time.

10 – Use Apps

Different apps can be used while running to keep you motivated, and to record your performance. As well as playing music through a portable player, you can use a smart phone app as a pedometer, or as a route finder.


Guest Post by Martin Roche – Sports enthusiast and blogger about running gear


Citations: Image by cuegalos

What is an Urban Survival Kit?



Survival kit isn’t a catch-all phrase anymore like it used to be. These days, there are any number of different types of survival situations a person could find themselves in, and each requires a separate set of tools, equipment, and skills. There’s cold weather survival, desert survival, general outdoor survival, and urban survival, to name a few. What is different about urban survival? There are a lot of things that are required for urban survival that you might not necessarily need in the great outdoor wilderness.

Urban Survival

Let’s define the situation first: Urban survival is a situation in which you must survive for an unspecified length of time within an urban environment, such as a city. The specifics of the situation could be any number of things. Sometimes the buildings will be torn down or reduced to rubble, sometimes most people have evacuated but the buildings have been left standing, and other times the city is just as filled with people as it was before, but all water, electricity, and public services have been shut off – the most dangerous situation of all.

Survival Kit

Your Kit Depends on Your Situation

If you’re able to reach your home and shut yourself in after a disaster, that’s the most desirable situation to be in. But what if you are caught outside your house and have no way of getting back for at least a few days? An urban survival kit is specifically designed to facilitate travel, defense, and nourishment in an urban environment.

For one thing, food is usually plentiful in the city, although you may not always have immediate access to it. Grocery stores are a good example of this. They have all the food you need, but likely you will either have to force your way in or contend with other people who want the exact same thing. A crowbar is an excellent tool for forcing entry, and can be used as a defense weapon in a pinch as well.

Besides a crowbar, some of the tools you might want in an urban survival kit include:

  • Multi-tool or multi function knife
  • Approx. 50 feet of good nylon rope
  • A sewing kit
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust masks/gas masks (urban cities are prime targets for terrorist attacks, which could involve airborne nerve agents)
  • Leather work gloves

These tools will let you get over, around, into, or through just about anything in your path. A small tent works as far as shelter is concerned, but depending on the situation, you may have a choice of buildings in which to pass the nights.

Other Necessities for a Survival Kit

One thing you always want to be sure you have enough of is water and medical supplies. Standing water in the city is extremely likely to be contaminated and should never be drunk. Likewise, there are plenty of opportunities all around you to cut, scrape, bruise, break, or otherwise hurt yourself when you’re working your way through concrete, asphalt, and steel.


Lala Johnson encourages the application of survival kits during emergency situations and has years of expereince in this field.If you are interested in Lala’s survival kit articles or if you would like to find out more on her survival kits blogs, visit her website.

Three Adventure Holidays With a Kick



There are adventure holidays where you can swing from things and jump off stuff and then there are adventure holidays where you can learn something new, such as: how to kick the living bejesus out of someone. Below are three options that will turn your next adventure holiday into a kick-ass experience to be remembered for years to come.

Muay Thai

Learn the Secret Skills of the Ninja

Few trips could be as exciting as a journey into the psyche of the beguiling Ninja. This group of people is shrouded in mystery as no one knows for sure who was a Ninja and who wasn’t. One of the most fanciful tales you might hear when on your trip is the tale of Ishikawa Goemon. Legend has it that Goemon hid in the ceiling and tried to drip poison from a thread into his rival’s mouth.

Supposedly, the discipline was born from disgraced Samurais who, when offered the option of Harakiri (honourable suicide), picked the other, dark choice: to become a masterless rogue. One thing we do know though: the Ninja M.O. was unorthodox warfare. Espionage, assassination, sabotage… You name it, the Ninja were doing it.

On the few adventure holidays on which you can discover the secret ways of a Ninja, you will learn martial arts from Japan’s most venerable sensei – masters of karate. One of them is famous for taking on 13 yakuza (the Japanese mafia) at once, coming out merely with a few broken fingers. If this sounds like real life Kill Bill to you, you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

Flirt with the Cowboy Lifestyle in Argentina

For a romantic soul, a trip to Argentina to work with the gauchos can’t be beaten. Back in the 19th century, gauchos made up the majority of the rural population, using their horse skills to herd cattle on the sprawling estancias. For generations, the gaucho (thought to have come from the Mapuche word cauchu – ‘vagabond’) has captured the imagination of people around the world, much like the North American cowboy.

The life of a gaucho is a simple one, involving daily rides to tend to cows, lunches of beef grilled simply over an open fire and mastering the lasso. The latter is harder than it looks: do you reckon you can tame it?

Train with Muay Thai Kickboxing Champions in Thailand

Of all the boxing styles that exist around the world, Muay Thai is by far the most impressive. While traditional English boxing makes use of only two contact points (the fists), Muay Thai uses no less than eight, and is called ‘The Art of Eight Limbs”. Eight? Don’t we only have four limbs? Yes, but Muay Thai also allows the use of elbows and knees in a stunning clash of wills.

Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport and as such, much folklore surrounds it. The most famous legend is that of Nai Khanomthom who was a prisoner of war of the Burmese King Hsinbyushin. During a festival, Nai was invited to combat a champion of the Burmese sport Lethwei. Nai beat the Burmese heavy-weight and beat nine others without a break. Thanks to his prowess, all the other Thai prisoners were released.

You can discover this awe-inspiring sport through watching the greats at fight nights in Bangkok’s finest stadiums. The excitement on these nights is increased ten-fold by the delicate Thai music playing in the background and the ceremonial dance of respect that each combatant has to complete at the start of the match. After that, it’s an aggressive fight for survival. Once you’ve watched, you can learn with some of the city’s greatest champions. After all that, the only thing left to do is to delve into Bangkok’s chaotic nightlife.


Lalage used all the Ninja skills she could muster to seek out these adventure holidays for you.


Citations: Image by Idirectori

Adventure Options: Travel to The Alps This Summer



Most people associate the Alps with winter holidays and ski breaks. Certainly, the region boasts hundreds of ski resorts, some of which are among the world’s best, but aside from that it is also a fantastic summer holiday destination. If a summer holiday in the Alps does not make you jump with enthusiasm, read on. Perhaps you will change your mind!

Six activities you can do in the Alps this summer:

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking - Alps

Miles of trails await the cyclist in the Alps. Cycling holidays are a good option for both beginners looking to do leisurely rides, and for expert riders wanting a challenge. Many ski stations open their lift system to cyclists, so apart from getting into shape you get to see some spectacular views over some of Europe’s highest peaks.

Pony Trekking

Pony Trekking

How about a horse-riding holiday in Austria? Some companies now offer week-long holidays which include riding lessons, routes across the stunning alpine scenery and stays in luxury accommodation venues, such as a medieval castle.

Paragliding

Paragliding

Flying over some of Europe’s most ancient geological features on a warm summer day surely makes for an unforgettable experience. Paragliding is available at many locations throughout the alpine region, but we must highlight the locations of M and Chamonix in France, and Innsbruck, in Austria, where vast green fields guarantee a soft and uneventful landing. Additionally, the towns mentioned above are charming enough on their own, so there will be no shortage of things to do after your daily flight.

Rafting & White Water Kayaking

Kayaking

These are exhilarating activities not for the faint of heart. If you are a good swimmer and are not afraid of being spun around by powerful currents, this could be a great choice for a summer holiday. The fresh waters of the alpine rivers will relieve you from the summer heat, and after a day of paddling you can take a rest at the accommodation of your choice, which can range from self-catering apartments to luxury chalets.

Walking

Austrian Sign

Whether you are a fit walker or just a beginner, the Alps are the perfect location for a walking holiday. European transalpine routes cross France, Switzerland, and Italy, so there are plenty of trails to suit your level of fitness and your interests. Typical holidays last seven days, during which you are taken across some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes by expert tour guides. For those who are avid gardeners and nature lovers, the Dolomite region offers wildflower walking holidays. There are even “watercolour strolls” for those with an artistic penchant.

Relaxation at its best

Alps View

For many, that’s exactly what a holiday should be about. The good news is that you do not need a beach in order to relax, and in fact the alpine region is home to some of Europe’s best hotels. Some of them even specialise in wellness and rejuvenation, offering the latest spa treatments, which can be personalised to include your partner or friends. Head to the Austrian Tyrol for the best 5-star luxury hotels.

This summer your holidays can be different. Options to suit all tastes and budgets are just a couple of hours away from the UK by plane. Visit the Alps this summer, and you will be soon recommending them too.


This article was brought to you by VIP SKI – visit their website to view their porftfolio of luxury chalets in French Alps


Citations: Images by Hans Fransen; Aphexlee; Tim*A; s.schmitz; Jeroen Fossaert; Artur Staszewski

Is a Fixed Gear Bike the Right Bike for Me?



You’ve seen them at stop lights, weaving in and out of traffic, and likely cruising through the park… they look like any other ten speed or mountain style bike, at least at a glance, but you’ve probably noticed many of them don’t have gears or a derailleur and they appear to have no hand brakes either. They’re called fixed gear bikes – fixies, singles speeds, track bikes are all known aliases as well – and they’re all the rage. They were once almost the exclusive domain of bicycle messengers, but in the last decade or so they have come to be a staple of urban culture and lifestyles. Thinking about getting yourself one? Be aware, these aren’t quite like any other bike you’ve ridden and it takes some adjustment to get used to the challenges of these unique two wheelers.

Big Shot - lodo2

At a Glance

A fixed gear bike looks like a ten speed, but look closer and notice that the rear hub only has one sprocket, and not the multiple sizes set-up most ten speeds and mountain bikes have. This means that the bike will always move in the direction the pedals are going – no coasting. Stopping on a fixed gear bike is a bit tricky too – initially, you have to learn to slow the bike momentum by applying force to the pedals. And since you only have one chainwheel and one sprocket, the chain tension is absolutely vital to the correct operation of the crank.

The Ease of Maintenance

Now, not having a derailleur with multiple sprockets on the rear hub means changes in how you ride, and how riding feels, but it also means a cleaner look for the bike and a mechanical advantage of sorts too – without the shifters and multiple chain rings there is a lot less to maintain and fix, making a fixed gear a great economical choice for those looking to avoid having to spend time working on their bike, or spend additional money to replace extra parts. Generally, fixies are brakeless too – this is another area where a track bike can save you some time spent on maintenance as well as save you some money (although you may find your back tire needs replacing a bit more than usual). Less time spent on maintenance, save money by using fewer parts and get a great workout for your legs in the process!

Starting Out

It would generally be recommended that riders who are new to fixed gear bikes should begin with a low gear ratio as this will make learning to ride up and down hills a bit easier during the transition to your new bike. Also, it is highly recommended that newbies have a front brake while learning; much the same way you required training wheels when you first learned to ride a two wheeled bike as a child, a brake can be removed once you’ve mastered the bike and feel comfortable. Having a brake lever to pull will also ease you into brakeless riding a little more smoothly – you may find yourself instinctively grabbing for it if you immediately jump to riding brakeless (note – some bylaws require a brake for all bikes, so check your local bylaws regarding bike safety standards and regulations first).

Big Shot Fixed Gear Bike

Because of the way a fixed gear bike must be ridden – with much more attention paid to the actual riding experience – you may find after a while that it feels far more natural to you, and more natural than a freewheel driven bike. Having to remain more focused and aware during the ride and adapting to the brakeless and gear-less experience will feel like you’re learning to ride a bike all over again, but once you’ve adapted to it, you may never ride a standard freewheel bike again.

Build your own single speed bike at BigShotBikes.com! Create unique fixed gear bikes for an affordable price. With Big Shot Bikes you can design and customize your own fixie just the way you want it!


Citations: Images by Big Shot Bikes

CHICKENHEADS & COW’S TAILS – Rock Climbing Terminology


CHICKENHEADS AND COW’S TAILS

Chickenheads, cow’s tails, Camalots, slugs and Flexible Friends – and not those of the credit card variety – are all part of the lexicon of climbing, as confusing to the uninitiated as attack points, arm locks, sprags, rock-overs and flakes.

As climbing began to become more popular in the 1930s, and dedicated equipment started to appear, so too did the technical terms develop into a language almost of its own – a literal A to Z of terminology from Alpenstock to Z-Pulleys, Arête to Zdarsky sacks.

Along with helmets, harnesses, chockstones and crampons, one of the more universally-known entries in any climbing dictionary is ‘climbing shoe,’ aka rock shoe, a fundamental part of any enthusiast’s equipment.

Scarpa Vantage

Lightweight, Flexible and Grippy

Where heavy, hob-nailed mountain boots were the norm in the early days of climbing, today’s equivalents are lightweight, flexible and grippy – as personified by Scarpa with their high-tech Force, Vantage, Helix and Vapour Lace rock shoes, amongst others, designed for multi-purpose routes.

When you’re living life on the edge, whether jamming in a straight-in crack or pitching a horizontal flange, the shoes on your feet are as important as any climbing equipment you use.

Today, Scarpa are at the forefront of the outdoor footwear industry, with not only their world-renowned climbing shoes, but also with a highly-technical range of mountaineering boots including the Phantom 8000 designed for high altitude expeditions to the Himalayas, and – for those who prefer to say closer to sea level – approach shoes like the Vortex GTX, Enigma GTX and Scarpa Crux.

Climbing - Pulling the Lip

Glossary of Terms

Alpenstock – Forerunner of the ice axe

Arête – Narrow, almost knife-life ridge

Arm Lock – Hold in a wide crack formed by the arm bent at the elbow and locked in place by outward pressure

Attack Point – Easily located feature used as a point from which to navigate

Camalot – Similar to a Friend, with flexible wire frames and double axle

Chickenheads – Rounded, protruding lumps found on igneous rocks used for holds

Cow’s Tail – Short sling used during resting

Flake – Thin slab of rock which is detached or partially detached from the main face

Friend – Trade name for original spring-loaded camming device

Rock-over – A very high step onto a foothold

Slug – Device with spring which holds nut in place until loaded

Sprag – Hold in a crack where the thumb pushes one way while the fingers pull in the opposite direction on an edge

Zdarsky Sack – Bivouac bag

Z-Pulley – 3-in-1 hoist


Neil Park is buyer and blogger for Gear-zone. He has over 20 experience climbing and in the outdoor industry.


Citations: Image by mariachily

Top Tips for Buying a Helmet for Motocross



Motorsports can be very dangerous especially bike related activities such as motocross as the riders are more exposed to the elements. As a consequence it is vital that riders ensure they have the best protection possible in order to safeguard and reduce the chances of serious injury in the event of an accident. One of the most important piece of protective equipment is of course the helmet because protecting your head is not only important, but also a basic criterion while racing. There are various types of helmets available in the market, and choosing the right one can make a world of a difference. Here are some guidelines to ensure that you buy the right helmet.

Suomy Monster 2012

Size Matters

It is very important to know the exact size of the helmet you need before buying it, especially when doing so online. Major manufacturers usually have charts that list helmet sizes in inches. Apart from the right size, the front to back and ear to ear measurements are as important as the helmet helps protect your ear in a case of a crash. Your head is best protected with a helmet that fits snugly.

Certification is Important

Since you are going to use the helmet during races, it is extremely important to make sure that it is certified by an authentic organization. If it is certified by a body that regulates transport, for instance the Department of Transport, in the event of a crash you will be helped by the department. It is advisable to opt for a helmet that complies with all safety standards. Although certified helmets are a little more costly, they ensure complete protection.

Material of the Shell

Helmets are available in a variety of sizes and materials. Find one that fits your head properly and is lightweight. Heavy helmets can cause a strain on the neck with prolonged use. Make sure the shell size varies across sizes and one size isn’t used across all by padding it. Also, ensure that the shell is durable and offers the required protection to your head.

The Face Shield

Look for a helmet with a removable visor. A helmet with a face shield that facilitates the use of glasses or riding eye ware is best. The material and size of the face shield should also be taken into consideration.

Warranty

Most helmets come with a users’ manual, at least the good ones do. They also have a warranty that takes care of damages within a certain time period.


POA Racing are Motocross specialists who sells a wide range of Motocross sports equipment like Suomy motocross Helmets, boots, clothing and accessories like Fox motocross goggles.

Mountain Climbing Holiday for Beginners – Mustagata



The sheer exhilaration of tackling a mountain is often reward enough to make this successful feat a complete holiday in itself. Spending time mountain climbing is becoming a more popular choice for those who want to get out and let off steam. Many also enjoy refuelling their bodies with the spiritual invigoration that mountain climbing can provide.

Climbers

It is no secret that successful mountain climbing takes practice and a great deal of physical endurance, amongst other things. It is for this reason that seizing Mother Nature’s natural obstacles may not be for everyone; however, there are mountains that are a little less challenging for those who wish to give the sport a try.

Mustagata Mountain

If travel is on your list for the upcoming holiday season and you were hoping to try something a little different this year, you may want to consider booking a flight that will get you to Western China’s Parmir Mountains. At the junction of Kunlun, Himalaya, Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Tian Shan mountain ranges sits Mustagata.

Mt Mustagata - Karakul (Black Water) Lake

Mustagata, with its 7,500m peak, is known to be one of the easiest mountains to climb, anywhere in the world. The entire mountain towers to a whopping 24,757 feet, but its peak is what climbers come to challenge. This mountainous region is often associated with the world’s second highest peak, K2, but Mustagata offers its challengers a much less dangerous option.

The trail to the top is not hard to follow and is non-technical. It is also one of the safest high-altitude mountains to climb and for these reasons it is on the less experienced climber’s list of places to visit. Once you reach the peak you will be surround by spectacular panoramic views of nearby Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tien Shan and K2. To descend you can climb, ski or snowboard.


Citations: Images by allanv; joshuatintner