NIgel tHomP­son Peak a boo mar­JorIe Yue

Sunday Mirror - - PUZZLES - BY nIgel tHomP­son

Ama­jes­tic, lofty peak soar­ing to the heav­ens is some­thing to stir your soul. To cel­e­brate In­ter­na­tional Moun­tain Day on De­cem­ber 11, ad­ven­ture travel spe­cial­ists World Ex­pe­di­tions choose their seven most most spe­cial sum­mits to visit.

Leg­endary home of the an­cient Greek gods and the coun­try’s first na­tional park, you can ex­plore a rich land­scape of plateaus, ridges and gorges. The Mytikas (‘nose’) tops out at 9,570ft.

Su­perb for cy­cling; head from Mar­rakesh to North Africa’s high­est range to tackle its rugged, flat-topped peaks and wind­ing roads that twist through palms and fresh wa­ter ravines. Jbel Toubkal soars to 13,671ft.

There’s more to them than Ever­est. Western Nepal’s re­mote­ness re­wards with jaw-drop­ping scenery and cu­ri­ous but friendly lo­cals. Se­ri­ous trekkers will want to tackle part of the Great Hi­malaya Trail to see Rara Lake, nearly 10,000ft above sea level, and cross wild flow­er­car­peted

The spec­tac­u­lar Tugela Falls in Drak­ens­berg, South Africa passes to reach Yari Val­ley and the Ti­betan bor­der.

Basalt but­tresses grace the sky­line. Camp by Tugela Falls, sec­ond high­est wa­ter­fall in the world with a 3,110ft drop, then fol­low the edge of the es­carp­ment to river val­leys and un­du­lat­ing moor­lands with spec­tac­u­lar scenery.

The John Muir Trail stretches more than 200 miles from the Yosemite Val­ley to Mount Whit­ney, the high­est point of the lower 48 states at 14,505ft. Vis­i­tors will find snow-capped peaks, mead­ows and forested river val­leys. Per­haps Africa’s best kept se­cret, they are iso­lated, rarely vis­ited and per­ma­nently snow-capped. Trek from trop­i­cal rain­for­est through alpine val­leys to glaciers. The 10ft gi­ant lo­belia plants are es­pe­cially im­pres­sive.

The Cordillera Huay­huash was made fa­mous in Joe Simp­son’s 1988 book Touch­ing the Void. Here you can take on one of South Amer­ica’s most ex­hil­a­rat­ing treks and see Yeru­paja’s mighty 21,768ft sum­mit. ■■Hol­i­days to all seven can be booked at world­ex­pe­di­ mer­cat, vis­it­

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HIgH­lIgHt »»Ban­sko is the best value win­ter sports re­sort this sea­son, ac­cord­ing to the an­nual FairFX Ski In­dex. The for­eign ex­change firm added up the costs of a seven-day ski pass, ski tu­ition and hire of ba­sic skis and boots for a week in early...

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