Todd Hey Alice/Lee, we've also done Kili and were looking to do Aconcagua. From all reports, Elbrus is much less technical than Aconcagua and Denali, but it's in Russia and it's only a short expedition. I believe a ski lift (or cable car) takes you most of the way up.
Aconcagua is also less technical than the easiest route on Denali. So while it's much higher, I think it's not as challenging. We planned on doing Aconcagua last January, but the required gear stopped us. We are travelling long-term with very small bags, so we basically need to hire and purchase lots of gear. In particular, climbers need plastic boots (or equivalent) for Aconcagua. They're good for nothing else.
I had pretty serious boots for Kili but at least I could use them on other tough treks and in the snow. The boots needed for Aconcagua are only useful for high-altitude climbs or in Arctic conditions. So without anywhere to store all the gear (and the cost of hiring gear), we postponed Aconcagua.
All that said, we may be moving to Chile in December (for other reasons), so that would put us a couple of hours from Aconcagua for much of 2012. Would love to hear how you guys progress with plans.
As an in between climb, there's also Mont Blanc, which is the tallest peak in Europe. It's not included in the 7summits because Elbrus is on the European side of the tectonic plate that divides Russia. I wrote all about the 7summits here: http://globetrooper.com/notes/secretly-enamoured-with-the-seven-summits/
Lee_Y Hmm like this forum seems to be a lot of helpful people.
I can understand peoples concerns on Elbrus, but Russia is not too far from the UK and would be good a experience of climbing in snow without the technical requirements that are needed of Mt Blanc before I attempt anything like Denali. Of course I wouldn’t use the cable car if it is possible.
I’m trying ice climbing this year for the first time in Scotland and will probably practice each year, along with the bouldering I already do. Eventually I’ll have built up enough skill on confidence to do Mt Blanc on other more technical climbs.
The way I see it these things aren't meant to be rushed unless your are a millionaire that is also a super athlete and I happen to be neither.
After I did the Everest base camp trek 3 years ago I always knew I would come back to Nepal several times in my life and if at one point I had gathered enough experience and fitness to climb the worlds tallest mountain I’d go for it. In the meantime, I’m still young and I’ve decided to climb a mountain and run a marathon each year of my life and work my way towards going higher and faster but there's no rush.
I reached the summit of Kili in 3 days and was back in my hotel on the 4th day so I know I’m fit but I know how much harder and colder those extra 1000m are going to be. Just read this blog which I enjoyed: http://7summits.com/aconcagua/tripreportsth1.php that is worth a look. If anyone knows of any mountains worth looking at that would be around 6400-6700m I love to hear of them. If I speak to someone who has a lot of experience who thinks I could do it, I’d give it a go next year. Otherwise its unlikely.
Todd good luck with your future possible moves, hope everything works out.
Andy Sparks Lee_Y, for 6400 to 6700m peaks, I'd suggest looking in Bolivia and Peru. I have a friend who climbed Sajama and Huascaran this summer and Chopicalqui last summer. He had great experiences on both trips. There seem to be a lot of great objectives in the Cordillera Blanca (http://www.summitpost.org/cordillera-blanca-range/mountains-rocks/p-152467) and the Cordillera Real (http://www.summitpost.org/cordillera-real-bolivia/mountains-rocks/p-319611). If it has to be over 6400m, then some in Peru and Bolivia that qualify are: Huascaran (over 6700m), Sajama, Illimani, and Ancohuma. If you are willing to extend the search down to 6300m, then Chopicalqui, Illampu, Parinacota, and Chimborazo in Ecuador may be good options. I climbed Chimborazo last January it was a good experience but not my favourite mountain. I thought Cotopaxi was nicer, but it is under 6000m. I've climbed Aconcagua and Denali, both good mountains, but crowded because of their 7 summits status. I’ve been to Logan in the Yukon, which is a big mountain that feels remote.
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