For the past few weeks, I have featured a list of seven wondrous places on earth.  This week I wanted to narrow in on one specific earthly feature: mountains.  Not all mountains are created equal.  Some are green, some are flat, some are snowcapped, some jagged, and some just plain massive.  Here are seven of the most amazing mountains on planet earth:

Matterhorn

Matterhorn_from_Domhütte_-_2
image source: wikipedia

The Matterhorn is one of the Europe’s most iconic peaks. Located in Switzerland, among the Alps, this mountain is one of the tallest in Europe and is known for its unique pyramidal shape.  While not one of the tallest or most difficult mountains to summit, Matterhorn remained un-summitted for quite some time because of the fear it imposed on the climbers below.

Denali

denali
photo credit: Carlos Rojas

Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and up until this year, it was known as Mount McKinley.  This massive mountain (over 20,000 ft high) is located in Alaska, within Denali National Park and Preserve.  For centuries the natives had referred to the peak as Denali but in 1896 a gold prospector in the region coined it Mount McKinley to support the current presidential candidate of the time.  Whatever you want to call this mountain, one thing is clear– it is one of the most impressive in the world.

Mount Roraima

image source: roughguides.com
image source: roughguides.com

Described as a plateau, Mount Roraima is a flat-top mountain bounded by steep 1,300 ft. cliffs on all sides.  This wonder is located in South America on a triple-border line within Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil.  It is fascinating that the top surface of the mountain is relatively bare sandstone with little vegetation.  When surrounded by cloud cover, Mount Roraima is looks like something from another planet.

Mount Fuji

image source: reddit
image source: reddit

On a clear day, Mount Fuji forms a legendary backdrop in Tokyo, Japan.  Located on Honshu Island, Mount Fuji is the tallest peak in Japan and certainly it’s most iconic.  This active stratovolcano is snowcapped several months of the year.  Mount Fuji is not just the inspiration for many Japanese artists, but it is an extremely popular climbing destination for locals and tourists alike.

Alpamayo

Alpamayo1
image source: http://x-ploregroup.com/

Alpamayo is a uniquely shaped peak located in the Peruvian Andes.  This stunning pyramidal peak is covered in ice and thrusts itself towards the sky at a 60 degree angle.  Alpamayo is a difficult, but sought after climb for avid climbers.  This is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.

Kirkjufell 

image source: huffingtonpost.com
image source: huffingtonpost.com

Meaning “Church Mountain” in Icelandic, Kirkjufell is a small mountain located on the western coast of Iceland on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  While small in height, the mountain itself looks like the dorsal fin of a shark.  Surrounded by stunning waterfalls and breathtaking landscape, this mountain is a must-see in Iceland.   And when the Aurora Borealis graces the night sky, Kirkjufell looks other-worldly.

Cerro Torre

image source: wikipedia
image source: wikipedia

Strong winds and unpredictable weather have given Cerro Torre the distinction of one of the most difficult mountains to summit in the world.  While not as tall as some of its competitors, Cerro Torre has thin and jagged peaks that resemble sharp teeth.  Located near the Chilean border in Argentina, Cerro Torre is a must see peak when traveling to the Patagonia region of South America.

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