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FriFotos: Enjoying The Frozen Mountaintops Of The World

When asked to choose between beaches or mountains I invariably opt for higher altitude. Don’t get me wrong, beaches can be nice, but after seeing several hundred all around the world they are essentially all the same — sand and water. However all frozen mountaintops offer both a unique view and a different method of getting to the top, whether it be climbing, hiking, driving, gondola or riding a train. While I have yet to parachute down onto a mountain I hope to check this one off the bucket list sometime soon πŸ˜‰

Mount Fuji

  Tokyo, Japan

  Height: 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft)   Notable: Highest mountain in Japan

As some of you may know I lived in Tokyo for six months back at the end of 2008. That is what first sealed my love of Asia and the reason I’ve been coming back ever since. Although I admired Mount Fuji on a nearly daily basis while there I never actually made it up top, one of my biggest travel regrets. Also one of the many reasons why I’ll be returning to Tokyo again soon.

A well-known Japanese saying suggests that anybody would be a fool not to climb Mount Fuji onceβ€”but a fool to do so twice.

Mount Fuji in Japan as seen out my airplane window
Mount Fuji outside of Tokyo, Japan as seen from the airplane window

Mt Fuji is the highest mountain in all of Japan and a common sight in Japanese artwork. You’ve probably seen it somewhere without even realizing it. It is also visible from Tokyo, weather permitting, and impossible to miss when flying in to Narita airport.

North Shore Mountains

  Vancouver, Canada

  Height: 1,788 m (5,866 ft)

Anyone who has ever visited Vancouver, Canada, should recognize these mountains. Full of hiking and biking trails they are a great way to escape the city on a day-trip and enjoy some great scenery.

North Shore Mountains, Vancouver, Canada
The view from northeastern outskirts of the city

Pikes Peak

  Colorado, United States

  Height: 14,110 feet (4,300 m)   Notable: Inspired the song America The Beautiful

This impressive mountain is located just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is one of the state’s 54 Fourteeners — mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet (4,267 m) in elevation. It is also the only one with a paved road all the way to the summit, making the ascent ridiculously easy. As such it is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

The winding road up to the summit of Pikes Peak, Colorado
View of the winding road up Pikes Peak as you approach the summit

  Check out the Pikes Peak Photo Gallery or read more about the Unique Things To Do In Colorado

Mount Kilimanjaro

  Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania

  Height: 5,895 m (19,341 ft)   Notable: Highest mountain in Africa

Although Kilimanjaro is another mountain that is still on my list, my buddy Raul of I Live To Travel spent a week trekking his way to the top and wrote a fantastic 7-piece series about the struggles and rewards of the journey.

Mt. Kilimanjaro
“Mt. Kilimanjaro used to be covered in glaciers. Today, the glaciers are there but they are not as dominant as they must have been. They are expected to disappear completely in a few decades. Still, seeing them from a distance was impressive with the African horizon behind them.”   Photo and quote by Raul Pino, I Live To Travel

After going through all my photos it turns out that most of my mountaintop photos are from Hawaii, Central America, and Southeast Asia, and thus do not fit the “frozen” theme of this week’s FriFotos. Maybe that explains why I’ve still never been skiing…

Ever been to any of these mountains?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel." Β  Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

14 thoughts on “FriFotos: Enjoying The Frozen Mountaintops Of The World”

  1. Beautiful frozen mountaintop photos! Mountains always look so majestic. Found your post while perusing #frifotos on Twitter and was amused that you mentioned liking beaches over mountains because my post was about a rare frozen beach for the southern US! I always enjoy discovering new travel blogs so I’ll go have a look around yours now. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks…although I definitely thought that I had more when I first came up with the idea. Guess it just means I need to get out of the tropics and head for higher elevations at higher latitudes.

      Hmmmm a frozen beach in the southern US?? Now this I am going to have to check out…

      And yes, I too always enjoy checking out new travel blogs. Of course over the last two years the sheer number of new bloggers has just skyrocketed! It’s pretty much impossible to keep up now, at least while living life permanently on the road. That’s one reason why I’ve started a monthly installment highlighting the best new blogs to follow — the first edition is nearly done πŸ™‚

  2. I wonder how the road builders built the road up the Pike’s Peak. While it makes our hike easier, it must be totally difficult for them back then.

    As for me, I love beach and mountain equally. But if I have to choose, I would choose beaches. No doubt the view from mountain’s peak is amazing, but the hike… argghhh! Hahaha

    • Hahaha yeah sometimes the hike up can be rough but the view is always worth it…unless you have the unfortunate luck of ascending on a cloudy day.

      You know I tried looking that up in the past but could never determine when the road was first built — although I can tell you for certain that they only finished paving the final section in late 2011 (before that it was gravel). I went up there twice in 2011, once in the summer while they were doing the paving and again in the fall a few weeks after they had finished it. However the first person to ever drive a vehicle all the way to the top did it in 1913 and the first (and only) ski resort up there was opened in 1939…so yeah, people have been driving to the top for many decades.

      It is also the most visited mountain in North America and second most visited in the entire world. Any guesses on what the most visited mountain in the world is? Hint: it’s the first one I mentioned in this post πŸ˜‰

      • Mt Fuji?

        Wow that’s awesome. Yeah, Mt Fuji has mesmerized me since I was a kid. Haha. Because Mt Fuji is like KL’S twin towers; the landmark of the city.

        Ah, you should climb Mt Kinabalu and see the clouds from the top. Haha. I know you are planning to go there but can’t wait to hear your experience. After all, there are reports of frosts on top of the mountain now. πŸ˜‰

        • Definitely want to go there. Frost on the top only sweetens the deal — I love the cooler weather. Vietnam is starting to bore me a little already…not sure if I’ll be able to stay the whole length of my visa…tempted to leave early and wander on…

    • Same here brother….still so embarrassed I never took the time to trek it while living there. And hey thanks again for letting me use your photo to better fill out this post. Hopefully a few new readers will come your way because of it πŸ™‚ Keep in touch!

  3. I LOVE MOUNTAINS! And I would choose a mountain hike/climb over a beach holiday any day! For me, the feeling on top of a mountain is liberating and actually, me best decisions regarding life and love were made when I was after a climb with the whole world at my feet. It’s an intense feeling.

    • It is an intense and amazing feeling! Plus I can totally relate — I’ve made many a monumental decision perched at the top of a peak. Clears the mind, invigorates the soul. But also leaves me eager for the next climb πŸ˜‰

  4. Good list. I would definitely pick mountains over beaches any day. Kili and Fuji are on my list to do but havent got around to them yet. Some day….


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