Just looking for some inspiration or ideas please!
I love high altitude trekking and in the last two years have climbed Kinabalu in Malaysia and Meru in Tanzania. These are great mountains for my level of expertise, as i've never used ropes and never climbed on ice, but they are high enough to be a physical challenge and have breathtaking views.
Sitting on these peaks at sunrise is awesome! I go for the visually inspiring, which is why I chose Meru over Kili, as in my opinion it was a more "interesting" option.... if that makes sense.
My question is - where next?? Living in the UK doesn't give me many local options for 4000m+ peaks. Any thoughts? Eg. in Europe has anyone tried peaks in Alps/Dolomites and are they suitable for a physically fit but technically novice trekker?
4000m, no, I think you'd need either a training or a guide to do that high, no? It would be in snow all year round in the Alps.
I did a jolly good hill in the Pyrenees last year - Mont Valier . Just under 3000m, but super views across Spain from the top and you can do a nice round trip from the base car park taking in a bit of scrambling and some very high little lakes. Saw some great wildlife too. I stayed in the manned hut halfway up and was provided with some great food, and a little homemade absinthe! Also, has the bonus of being do-able without gear or a guide, in September at least.
I've trolled up a few 3000m-ish peaks in the Pyrenees, and always enjoyed it.
I have been on the Etna in Sicily. It was a very lazy affair, I took the bus halfway up and then continued on in one of the jeeps. However there were a few hardy souls who hiked the trail and there is also a hut near the parking lot where you can stay for the night.
For longer treks across the lava fields high up to the summit and down the other side you'll need a guide, but apart from that it is a pretty easy affair. Not a lot of technical stuff.
Alps is possible too, but only if instead of climbing peaks you are happy with doing trails. You would be looking at hiking from hut to hut during July and August. There are some trails that are not very difficult to do technical-wise, a handful include some of the lower peaks. Just have some common sense and be prepared for bad weather (including snowstorms).
Another peak that I know is not very difficult technical-wise is the Ararat in Turkey, but I am not sure you want to go there. The political situation there is a bit unstable.
I've traveled to Bhutan around this time last year for a 2 week trekking adventure in the Himalayas. 4000m+ is not even a challenge in that country. You can wake up nearly anywhere and walk among the clouds (in the mornings, literally). The views are breathtaking and some of the trekking trails are notorious for their beauty and the challenges they provide. I got to around 5000m at the peak of the trek, and I didn't have to rope or climb on ice.
It was very expensive overall, and having a guide is compulsory as tourism is strictly controlled. But if you enjoy high altitude trekking I would strongly recommend it.
I think that one of the most convenient solutions for you might be going to the Pyrenees: you can start in the French side or in the Spanish side, depending on what mountain you want to hike. By the way, I'm from Pamplona and I've been hiking many times all over the Pyrenees. The eastern side has the highest peaks.
Here is a link (in English) about the Eastern side (Catalunya) with lots of info.
Hope that helps,
Thanks everyone, lots of options there! Agree biggest issue for me in Europe with height is the weather/snow etc. Pyrenees looks like an interesting option I hadn't considered and Bordeaux easly to fly to (presumably the closest airport) - thanks! I am planning the next trip already
Good weather and almost 4000 metres, and still Europe. Teide Vulcano on Tenerife. Should be possible to get there on one of the many cheap flights that go there all year round. From what I understand it´s not a very demanding climb (technically).
In the Alps you can go to about 2800 metres in summer, before you are hitting the glaciers. If you like a climb, but don´t mind to be on the highest peak of the region. You can make a trip in Austria (Salzburgerland), going from the Hollersbachtal to the Habachtal, crossing the Lärmkogelscharte. From this pass, you can make the climb to the Lärmkogel itself (just over 3000m) , which is still about 100 metres higher. (no ice, but it has lots of lose rocks!). The trip takes 2 days. (there are locals who can do it on one day.) With either a night at the Neue Thüringerhütte (Habachtal) or Neue Fürtherhütte (Hollersbachtal.) In the same region you can also make a guided tour to the top of the Grossvenediger (almost 3700), this is however a tour with includes crossing the glacier, and might not be your cup of tea.
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Oct-2010, at 06:15 by Herr Bert ]
As a Borneoan, I am very glad to know you have been on Mt.Kinabalu. I done it twice, still feeling like going again.
Talk about good view and >4000M, you should really go and perform the InKa Trail. A bit expensive, but more than worth it. The trail takes a full 4 days, 49km in length, going up to 4200M in height in the second day, is the most beautiful view I ever seen in my life. No rope, pure trekking but mainly on rock road. When you reach Machu Picchu on the 4th day, you may hike further to Huayna Picchu, give you a full view of the surrounding.
Take a look at the photo 124-289, you will understand what I mean.
Another option, try Nepal. Compared to Bhutan, it is cheaper but having a little bit of political situation.