As the pandemic situation is almost over, it’s time that we hit the road again, and what can be more rewarding than walking on those rough terrains and enjoying splendid beauty all around you?
Here we have curated a list of 3 of the most challenging, non-technical treks that anyone can attempt without any professional training. However, you must possess a pair of sturdy lungs, strong calf muscles, and prior experience of treks to be successful on these summits. The requirements concerning skill and experience can vary depending on the nature of the trek route, so it’s best that you consult a local agency before planning the trip.
Location: India, Asia
Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
Trek duration: 6 – 8 days
The unique feature of this trek is that you get to walk on a frozen river. The word ‘Chadar’ in Hindi means blanket. During the winter, a thick sheet of ice covers a significant stretch of an otherwise big and fast-flowing river called Zanskar, hence the name.
Walking on the frozen Zanskar is an experience of a lifetime as it is the only one of its kind in the world. It requires physical tenacity as well as mental endurance to complete the trek under sub-zero temperatures. January-February is the best time for this trek as, during this season, the ice covering remains stable and walkable. However, trekking on ice and through knee-deep snow can be daunting, and it can exhaust you. Always follow the instruction of the local guides who know the trail better than anyone else.
You need to report to the agency office in Leh to join the group and start your journey. After reaching Leh you must keep a day or two for acclimatization and medical check-up. You cannot take this journey without medical clearance from the local hospital. The agency conducting the trek will take care of the process; however, it is recommended that you carry a fitness certificate from your doctor to expedite the procedure.
Location: Tanzania, Africa
Maximum Altitude: 19,340 ft
Trek duration: 5 – 10 days (depends on the route)
Mount Kilimanjaro, also known as the Roof of Africa, is the highest peak in the African continent and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro features three volcanic cones, namely Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kibo is the tallest one which is a dormant volcano, while the other two are extinct. The highest point of Kibo is called ‘Uhuru’; in the local Swahili language, the word means freedom.
Despite being non-technical, Kilimanjaro is considered one of the most strenuous treks in the world. Start preparing yourself before the scheduled journey, so that you don’t have to struggle on the trails, and you can fully enjoy the gorgeous views. You will be able to appreciate the challenges better when your body is in good shape.
Location: Argentina, South America
Maximum Altitude: 22,131ft
Trek duration: Up to 20 days
Mount Aconcagua is the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas and the highest point in the Western hemisphere. Aconcagua is in the northern part of Argentina near the Chile border. Technical skills are not required, but you must have the highest level of physical fitness to attempt this summit. Also, remember this expedition is neither for the faint hearts nor for inexperienced mountaineers. Before you plan this expedition, make sure you have the proper physical training and adequate experience. While on the trail, you will need to use the gears like ice axes and crampons to complete the trek. You will traverse through the picturesque 360° route, looking over the beautiful Andres. The trail is non-technical with sections of ice and snow and two summits. A ridge called Cresta del Guanaco connects both the summits. The view from the top of this mountain ridge is something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
If you have the strength and required experience, the challenges shouldn’t discourage you from attempting these summits, as the experiences you will gather are worth the effort.
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