Mountain Comparisons



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I have been very fortunate to climb some of the world's most popular mountains. This pages provides a quick comparison of some of these Hills that may be helpful for climbers with experience on one and considering another. Also see my comparison of the 7 Summits
  Rainier
(14,410')
Denali
(20,320')
Ama Dablam
(22,494')
Aconcagua
(22,902')
Broad Peak
(26,401)
Cho Oyu
(26,907')
Everest
(29,035')
Time in nearest large city
Seattle
Anchorage
Katmandu
Mendoza
Islamabad
Tibet
Katmandu
Route commented on and date climbed
Ingraham Glacier
July 2004
West Buttress
July 2011
Southwest Ridge
September 2000
Polish Traverse
January 2011
West Ridge
June 2006
Northwest Ridge
September 1998
Southeast Ridge
April 2011
Headline
Not your typical American 14er Some of the best views and worst weather Something for everyone: rock, snow ad ice Often underestimated by the 70% who don't summit the highest peak outside the Himalaya Starts steep and never lets up with amazing views of K2 The perfect introduction to 8000m climbing The top of the world and deserving of every accolade over the century
Approach to base Camp (BC)
drive to trailhead! plane from Talkeetna to Kahiltna Glacier easy, 5 days trek in Khumbu easy, 3 day trek to BC long & harsh, 6 days mostly glacier walking easy, 4 day drive to BC, 1 day to ABC easy, 7 day trek to BC in Khumbu
Overall Difficulty
Moderate - short "climbing" section, little danger, altitude and 14 hour day can bother some not ready for it. Moderate - no "climbing" required other than headwall, heavy loads up and down high up requires excellent fitness Very Hard - technical rock and ice skills at high altitude. Loads can be heavy going up. If inexperienced in rock climbing, Yellow Tower can be very hard. Moderate - no "climbing" involved, altitude can bother some who go too fast. Hard - high altitude, 5 week minimum, continuously steep, harsh weather, long approach. Hard - high altitude, 6 week climb, heavy loads down climbing from C3 after the summit Very hard - altitude above 25000' wears on you, 8 weeks away.
Technical Difficulty (ice or rock climbing, need for axes, harnesses, slings, protection, etc)
easy. Harness, crampons, roped up for crevasse and fall safety easy. Harness, crampons, roped up for crevasse and fall safety. Pull sled with gear Difficult, 5.7 rock climbing, 60 degree ice easy, crampons in one short section moderate. used fixed ropes, ice axe, harness, crampons. Summit is very steep snow slope moderate due to altitude in yellow band. Harness, axe, crampons, roped up for crevasse and fall safety moderate due to altitude in yellow band, Hillary Step. Harness, axe, crampons, roped up for crevasse and fall safety
Altitude Considerations
If 1st time at 14K, can bother some people Must acclimatize gradually with rest days at 14K and 17K Watch for AMS. Serious, especially above C2. Many people rush up. Must acclimatize properly and watch for AMS, HAPE, HACE Serious, especially above C3. Must acclimatize gradually and not rush. Watch for AMS, HAPE and HACE Serious, especially above C3. Use supplemental Oxygen. Must acclimatize properly and watch for AMS, HAPE, HACE Serious, especially above C2. Use supplemental Oxygen. Must acclimatize properly and watch for AMS, HAPE, HACE Serious, especially above C2. Use supplemental Oxygen. Must acclimatized properly and watch for AMS, HAPE, HACE
Weather (all mountains can be cold, windy and constantly change!!)
+50F day, 0F night. we had no snow and light winds +40F day, -10F night. we had no snow and light winds. Can be brutally cold!! +50F day, -20F night on summit. we had light snow and light winds +40F day, 0F night. Constant high winds. no precipitation +90F day, -30F night at altitude. Can have strong winds, heavy snow for days on end!! +80F day, -20F night high up. High winds at C3, moderate snowfall throughout +90F day, -30F night above 23K. Occasional very high winds, moderate to heavy snowfall
base Camp altitude
7,200 at Paradise  7,200 at Kahiltna Glacier 17,000 13,880 Campo Argentina 15,500 on the glacier 18,500 Advanced base Camp 17,500 on Khumbu Glacier
Camp 1 and average climb time from previous Camp
10,400 - Camp Muir
5 hours
7,800 - 3 hours 18, 500 - 4 hours 16,075 - 3 hours 19,000 - 5 hours 20,600 - 6 hours 19,500 - 4 hours via Icefall after acclimation
Camp 2 and average climb time from previous Camp
N/A 11,200 - 4 hours 20,000 - 6 hours 17,500 (Camp 1.5) - 4 hours 21,000 - 4 hours 22,000 - 4 hours 21,000 - 3 hours
Camp 3 and average climb time from previous Camp
N/A 14,200 - 3 hours 21,500 - 4 hours 19,500 - 3 hours 23,000 - 6 hours 24,500 - 4 hours 23,500 - 5 hours
Camp 4 and average climb time from previous Camp
N/A 17,200 - 6 hours N/A N/A 24,500 - 5 hours (not always used) N/A 26,300 - 4 hours
Summit and average round trip climb time
14,410 - 9 hours summit round trip 20,320 - 9 hours summit round trip 22,494 - 8 hours summit round trip 22,902 - 10 hours summit round trip 26,401 - 10 hours true summit round trip 26,907 - 12 hours summit round trip 29,035 - 18 hours summit round trip
Special gear required or suggested
earplugs for RMI hut excellent fitting pack for heavy loads Full down suit or jacket/pants excellent wind protection Full down suit or jacket/pants AND excellent wind protection Full down suit or jacket/pants Full down suit or jacket/pants
Special training required or suggested
Excellent aerobic conditioning (running, cycling). Excellent aerobic conditioning (running, cycling). Strong stomach & back muscles for loads. Outstanding aerobic conditioning (running, cycling). Strong stomach & back muscles for loads. Strong thigh and calf muscles for long days. Excellent aerobic conditioning (running, cycling). Outstanding aerobic conditioning (running, cycling). Strong stomach & back muscles for loads. Outstanding aerobic conditioning (running, cycling). Strong stomach & back muscles for loads. Outstanding aerobic conditioning (running, cycling). Strong stomach & back muscles for loads. Strong thigh and calf muscles for long days.
Low point of the mountain or climb
RMI Hut - noisy, smelly. trudging up to Basin Camp at 14K with full loads and sleds. Few nice views ... yet Yellow Tower and snow couloir can be exhausting dirt, dust and wind the entire climb! Very remote. BC is harsh. Never ending steep snow slopes. Scree climb to C1. Ugly BC on boulder field but great views of Cho Oyu Physical and mental pressure towards end of climb. Long time away. Icefall can be risky but awesome
Unique aspect of the mountain or climb
great views, big crevasses, wonderful climb for first snow and glacier experience incredible views of Alaska. Flight onto Kahiltna Glacier. True snow Camping with snow walls, trapped in tent for days! A true Himalayan mountaineer's mountain with rock, ice, snow, altitude and Sherpas! Wonderful base Camp environment. High altitude with snow and not a lot of logistics. Argentinean culture is special The best mountain views in the world (imho). Great satisfaction reaching each Camp. And, of course, K2 is next door! Seeing Tibet. An 8,000M mountain. Easy approach. Views of Everest from true summit A true expedition, long time, fixed ropes, Lhotse Face, South Col, Summit night. A lifetime experience
  Rainier
(14,410')
Denali
(20,320')
Ama Dablam
(22,494')
Aconcagua
(22,902')
Broad Peak
(26,401)
Cho Oyu
(26,907')
Everest
(29,035')