50 places you can’t reach without climbing [pics]

A celebration of the high places of the world, in photographs.

This post was produced in partnership with our friends at Mountain Travel Sobek, who run trips to several of the locations featured below. Click the logo above to visit their website, and follow them here:

A FEW YEARS AGO, I was in southwestern Bolivia and had the opportunity to climb the 19,400ft Licancabur (as seen in photo #5 below). Acclimated as I was by having lived at 8500ft for the previous three months and sleeping at 14,000ft the night before, it was the most challenging hike of my life. After passing the halfway point — when our guide informed us that if we didn’t have a headache yet, we were probably good to go — it was baby step…baby step…rest…repeat.

With each stop, I turned and looked out away from the slope, toward the emerald water of Laguna Verde and the eerie crimson and rust of the altiplano far below, and then up towards the summit, smeared with snow. There was a conviction that I was earning each step, earning my present place in the world.

The shots below depict places like this, that require effort to reach, whether the climbing is done by rope, by helicopter, by ancient 4×4, or by pure bipedal forward locomotion.

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  • Scott Hartman

    Cooooool stuff, Hal.

    • Hal Amen

      appreciate it, scott. the world is cool stuff. makes my job easier.

  • Dragan Tapšanov

    Amazing article! I will recommend it to all of my travel & photography followers!

  • Kathy Amen

    A *few* of these look like they might be doable on old legs…but it’s fun looking at the pix anyway!

  • Laurie Jones

    Places to go to!

  • Helly Trajkov

    love, love, love!

  • Helly Trajkov

    love, love, love!

  • Dimitris Stefanidis

    Please add Vikos gorge/Greece.

    • Hal Amen

      dimitris, can you link us to a cool photo?

    • Hal Amen

      dimitris, can you link us to a cool photo?

  • Mehmet Ilker Mete

    Saint Hilarion Castle should be on the list I think: https://picasaweb.google.com/106809358111116575301/Cyprus2Time#5465670968301910210.

    • Hal Amen

      nice pic mehmet, thanks for sharing

  • SUP for all

    Great but you have forced my hand, that Ireland does not feature in any of these 50 locations bothers me. As a result I will endevour to highlight my country and our activities until they take their rightful position in the top 50!

    • Photo Scrapbook

      Class

  • SUP for all

    Great but you have forced my hand, that Ireland does not feature in any of these 50 locations bothers me. As a result I will endevour to highlight my country and our activities until they take their rightful position in the top 50!

  • Tim Chong

    U might want to add Yubeng in Yunnan province, China – http://flic.kr/p/6pdpEg.

    • Hal Amen

      nice pic tim, thanks

  • Ash Duncan

    Hal, you should definitely include Ben Lomond in Queenstown, NZ in this list! Great hike with amazing views of the surrounding area from the top! (This is a link to a great picture – http://cdn2.latartinegourmande.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/queenstown-view1.jpg).

    • Hal Amen

      nice one, ash, thanks!

  • Shoaib Ahmad Khan

    this is hilarious that i couldn’t find any place of pakistan in this list… do it.. its totally unfair…

  • Shoaib Ahmad Khan

    this is one of the lake picture called “daudipat lake” in kaghan valley pakistan..

  • strfx4

    Many of these are hikes, not climbs.