Climbing a mountain is never an easy an easy proposition for even the most experienced hiker.
Those giant mounds scattered across the surface of our little planet vary in shape, size and composition, often presenting seemingly-impossible challenges that turn all but the bravest adventurers away.
No-one should try taking on a mountain without properly preparing both themselves (physically and mentally) and the gear they intend to bring along.
However, not every mountain is quite as difficult to conquer as you might think.
Some summits are less daunting than others, especially if you choose the right route to the top.
Here are a few of the more easily-accessible (yet impressive) summits in the world.
Snowdon stands 1,085 metres tall and is the highest peak in Wales (and the British Isles, outside the Scottish Highlands).
It’s also the most-frequented mountain in the United Kingdom, popular with both tourists and Welsh locals.
Despite its size, the summit of Snowdon is easily accessible for most people.
It can be reached via a number of sign-posted routes, and the Snowdon Mountain Railway even takes visitors 7.6 kilometres from Llanberis straight to the summit.
Stony Bay Peak
Another straightforward hike that most people can easily complete is the circular route from Akaroa in New Zealand, which takes in the 806-metre tall Stony Bay Peak along the way.
Novice hikers can finish the journey in five hours, and can take in stunning views over Akaroa at various times throughout.
Stony Bay Peak itself is a rocky crag overlooking the Hinewai conservation area and the Banks Peninsula.
Mount Bronzone stands 1,334 metres above sea level in the Bergamasque Alps and Prealps in Italy.
Hikers can reach the summit of this beautiful mountain from the village of Dasio, and can enjoy fantastic views of Lake Lugano and Castello village from its peak.
The area around the mountain is rich in wildlife, caves and waterfalls, and is normally reasonably quiet throughout the year.
The well-known peak of Mount Fuji is the tallest volcano in Japan and the second-highest in Asia.
Its snow-capped summit is instantly-recognisable around the world and is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to the country.
It’s one of Japan’s ‘Three Holy Mountains’ and contains 25 UNESCO sites within its region alone.
Hikers can go to and from the summit in around 10 hours using clearly-marked trails, with July to September being the most popular time to go.
Visitors can reach the foot of Fuji using public transport from Tokyo, which is around 100 kilometres away.
The highest mountain in mainland Australia, Mount Kosciuszko stands 2,228 metres tall and can be found in the Snowy Mountains of Kosciuszko National Park.
Despite being the tallest peak on the continent, the summit of the mountain is fairly easy to conquer owing to the fact that visitors can drive 7.6 kilometres to Rawson Pass, which is within just 1.4 kilometres of the peak.
Over 100,000 people visit the mountain each summer; in the winter months, it’s used as a ski slope.
Mount Chirripo is the tallest mountain in Costa Rica at 3,821 metres.
It can be found in Chirripo National Park and rests in an extremely biodiverse region of the country that teems with plant and animal life.
The trail to the summit is around 20 kilometres long but can be completed within a day for most hikers; those who do take on the mountain can enjoy incredible views on a clear day across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as Panama.
Visitors must purchase a permit from the National Park office in San Gerardo de Rivas to climb the mountain.
While the tallest mountain above sea level is Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain is actually Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
A dormant volcano, Mauna Kea is over 10,000 metres from its underwater base to its peak, with more than half of its massive bulk below the surface of the ocean.
But despite its overall size, most hikers can reach its summit in around four hours, beginning at the Maunakea Visitor Center, and concluding at the Mauna Kea Observatories.
Its considered a sacred mountain by the local people.
Despite being the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney isn’t the most difficult to climb.
It can be found in California and stands 4,421 metres above sea level. Its slopes are home to Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest.
The most commonly-used route to the summit is the Mount Whitney Trail, which starts at Whitney Portal and is 35 metres long.
Visitors to the mountain must obtain a permit from the US Forest Service before climbing it.
Mount Elbrus is the tallest mountain in Europe at 5,642 metres in height.
Found in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, the actual mountain has two summits which are both dormant volcanic domes.
Visitors can reach the summit using a cable car, while those who wish to hike their way there can stay in a number of huts along the route to help acclimatise to the altitude.
You’ll have to get a permit or two if you want to climb Mount Elbrus, and the ascent will take you up to nine hours.
Let’s finish in Canada with the impressive Mount Temple.
Towering 3,544 metres over Banff National Park, the dome-shaped bulk of Mount Temple is snow-topped all year round, making it a signature feature of this beautiful part of the world.
It’s one of the more difficult summits on this list to reach but it’s certainly doable for the majority of hikers, as long as you’re fit and willing enough to take on a challenge.
The usual route to the summit is on the southwest side of the mountain, where climbers should take care to avoid getting lost (falling rocks and avalanches are always a possibility).
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