Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Most Spectacular Rock Climbing Destinations!!!

Meteora, Greece

The name of this elevated region sums up to “suspended rock” and it holds only the second place of importance to the Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Kalambaka, Greece after Mount Athos. Located between the Peneios River and Pindus Mountains, these monasteries have a spectacular series of natural sandstone rock pillars in their background.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site happens to be the shelter of about six monasteries and one of the spots for potential rock climbing importance

Dead Horse Point

You must have seen this magnificent rocky peak in the opening scene of the movie Mission Impossible where Tom Cruise is shown climbing it. It also features in the Grand Canyon scenes of the film Thelma and & Louise. Situated next to the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park, this mountain has some of the most interesting topographical features.

The sudden descent of the plateau at the three sides giving rise to the narrow strip of land is truly eye catching. However, the excessive aridity of this place is a deterrent to the greater inflow of tourists who dread the hardship of food and water deficiency.

Spider Rock

This is an amazing 244 m / ( 800 ft ) tall red sandstone monolith found in the Canyon de Chelly National Park of Arizona. It was formed over 230 million years ago through the concretization of sand layers deposited by wind. It derives its name from the Navajo legend of the Spider Woman who supposedly made it her home. She is given the position of a savior and revered by the Dine as a deity.

Shiprock, New Mexico

Shiprock was formed by a volcanic eruption that dates back to 30 million years and now remains as a matchless basalt exhibit of the central feeder pipe of a volcano. Rock climbers making it to the top can see a series of volcanic vents and small pinnacles specking the main peak. Some of these contain wonderful example of magma solidified in mid-air that the locals refer as the sacred Tse Bitai meaning ‘the winged rock’. Even if you do not want to climb it, you can see the central part of Shiprock from several kilometers away because of its diameter of 500 meters and altitude of 600 meters. This area of extinct volcano spans almost 20,000 square km into the surrounding Arizona, Utah and Colorado regions.

Agulha do Diabo

The name of this 2050 m high spire located in Serra dos Órgãos National Park translates to ‘Devil’s Needle’. It is not easy even for professional mountaineers to scale its height because of the many natural impediments it poses in terms of the trail to the base, the summit, the distance and the weather. However, it makes for a very lovely view once you make it to the peak. The specialty of this mountain is that it is partly concealed among rock blocks and towers extending for over two thousand meters. The first successful attempt to climb it was made in 1940.

Las Torres de Vajolet, Italian Alps

It is best not to judge this peak by its gross photographs but to see it yourself to dispel all doubts about its beauty. The Delago arête route remains the most convenient climbing route to score this mountain.

Notwithstanding the protective measures you take, this tentative nature of the Delagokante slope is sure to snatch away the breaths of the best of rock climbers.

Prekestolen, Kjerag plateau, Forsand, Norway

The name of this 604 m / ( 1980 ft ) tall mountain that varies between Prekestolen and Preikestolen roughly translates into Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock. It has a rare squarely top, that measures roughly 25 by 25 meters and that explains the secret behind its name.

It was one of the favorite natural haunts of Norway and attracted 95,000 people in 2006 in a 3.8 km hike. The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association offers guided tours around the Prekestolen covering Prekestolhytta. It may take you anything between one to three hours to complete the hike though professionals used to sudden elevations might make it in a much lesser time.

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California

Situated in the northern side of Yosemite National Park, this 900 m / ( 3,000 ft ) granite monolith has baffled cliff climbers of the world. Its altitude is not as challenging as is its vertical ascent. It was named so by the Mariposa Battalion during their 1851 exploration and it means ‘the captain’ or ‘the chief’ in Spanish. There is a trail alongside the Yosemite Falls leading to the summit of this cliff but the real difficulty lies in crossing the solid granite face. It is said that the constituting granite of this cliff is over 100 million years old and has almost no joints. The quality of the granite changes into Taft Granite towards the top and some parts of it are deemed to have formed by ages of glacial action.

Mount Thor, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

Situated in the Auyuittuq National Park of Canada, the west face of Mt. Thor or Thor Peak rising up to 1,675 m (5,495 ft) enjoys the rapport for being the tallest vertical cliff of the world. Its remoteness and vertical angle of 105 degrees makes it one of the favorite haunts for rock climbers and campers alike. The granite spire that forms a part of the Baffin Mountains was first ascended by an Arctic Institute of North America team in 1953. The longest rappel to date was arranged on this mountain in July 23, 2006 by a group of young American people. Even non-climbers can see and admire the beauty of Mount Thor in the famous “No Quarter” sequence of the concert film ‘The Song Remains the Same’.

Mount Roraima

Forming the border between Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana, this mountain measuring 2,810 m (9,219 ft) remains the tallest of Guyana. It is situated in the Canaima National Park of Venezuela and is one of the most ancient geological formations you will find. Sir Everard im Thurn was the first to climb this steep plateau in 1884.

It is supposed to be inspiration behind the famous novel of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - ‘The Lost World’ and remains special even for the Pemon Indians.

1 comment:

vondi said...

Just thought I'd post a note.

The image that is labeled 'shiprock' in your photos is not shiprock. It appears to be a photo of Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly.

I am intimately familiar with both places, having lived many years in the Galup, Shiprock. Fort Defiance area of NM and AZ
Your photos are beautiful inspite of this one mis-label They make me homesick.