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Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

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Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby nickw1 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:11 pm

Hi,

Just a thought experiment, really. Unlike many here I suspect I don't drive so I'm wondering what the highest peak in the world that I could currently reach solo (hence rock-climbing is out) is. The criteria would have to be

*Accessible by public transport (train, air, bus, boat)
*Reachable by hiking or scrambling, up to around grade 3
*No crevasses
*No red tape, aside from obtaining a permit for no or minimal cost; no Whitney-style quotas on permits etc
*No "human" dangers to the climb (armed militia etc)
*No excessive altitude problems; the need to acclimatise is OK but not carrying oxygen cylinders etc.

and a possible further couple of criteria, not quite as important as the above:

*Good chance of being snow free in the summer months
*Ice axe not needed in snow free conditions

I don't know of anything higher than my current "high point", Pikes Peak; none of the other Colorado fourteeners appear to have public transport as far as I'm aware. Mount Fuji would probably qualify if relative rather than absolute height was the criterion.

No plans to do this right now - but it would be interesting if there were any candidate peaks...
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby mconnell » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:09 pm

Depends on what you mean by "accessible". It's pretty easy to get public transportation to Aconcagua but it's a bit of a walk to the actual mountain.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby radson » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:12 pm

I thought Aconcagua wouldnt satisfy the permit criteria, therefore I nominate

http://www.summitpost.org/ojos-del-salado/150299
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby desainme » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:14 pm

:D Mt. Elbert
Llullaillaco or one of its neighbors?
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby phydeux » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:46 am

Ixta in Central Mexico (+17,000 ft.), but it has some snow near its top. There's public transportation up to Paseo Cortez where the lodge is located, and that's the usual starting point for hikes up the 'hill'. Popo climbs also start fro Paseo Cortez, but its currently closed (volcanic activity), and Orizaba takes a jeep ride to get to the huts where climbs start. Most of the peaks around Mexico City are accessable by public transport since there tend to be many small villages on their slopes, and they range from 14,000 ft -15,000 ft.

Mt. Pichincha in Ecuador (15,000 ft). Quito is built around its base and there are trace trails that take off from the city limits up towards the peak. Also dirt roads leading most of the way up it, too. Its summit is right at the equatorial snow line, so it sometimes gets a dusting of snow that'll melt off pretty quickly.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby nickw1 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:34 am

Thanks for the replies.

Is Elbert doable by public transport? I know you can get to Leadville via a one-a-day bus from Summit County but it's still a bit of a distance from there isn't it?
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby displacedchzhead » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:15 pm

You might try calling jeep or taxi service in Leadville, and see if they can get you to the trailhead early AM, and pick you up later in the day.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby LesterLong » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:23 pm

nickw1 wrote:Thanks for the replies.

Is Elbert doable by public transport? I know you can get to Leadville via a one-a-day bus from Summit County but it's still a bit of a distance from there isn't it?


Absolutely. Leadville certainly has taxis available. Might not be cheap but a heck of a lot cheaper than renting a car.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby Woodie Hopper » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:50 pm

Parinacota in Bolivia would fit the bill, but is never snow-free.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby coldfoot » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:46 am

It's all in what you consider public transport, right? If you are willing to pay someone for a taxi-like service, you can get most places but it could cost a lot. At some level this becomes a question about highest non-technical and possibly snow-free mountains. I mean, I suspect you don't have to drive to get flown in to Denali basecamp, although obviously Denali fails your non technical and snow criteria.

It would be possible to get to most California Sierra 14ers from the John Muir Trail from either Yosemite (accessible by YARTS bus) or the east side (bus + local taxi, or I think there are a few shuttles to trailheads, like Reds Meadow). Permits are required, but not at the hassle-level of Whitney. Then it's a question of how far you are willing to walk.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby atavist » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:15 am

I also considered Ojos del Salado but it might be too technical at the top. From my experience I'd say El Misti in Peru. I think it is around 19000'. I did it with only public bus and there was no permits and no snow.

There's a lot of walk ups that are higher but most will start to get some permanent snow.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby ibelieveindevil » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:27 pm

mount kinabalu in malaysia fulfils some of the criterias: it is 4096m, 13400ft. very easy to climb, non technical, accessible by public transport, 2 days of less than 6 hours walk only, with shelter, porters and no snow, considerably warmer than other peaks. it can be climbed all year round as it is on the equator.

there is however permit. roughly cost less than 1000 malaysian riggit(300USD) to get a bed, guide, and permit.
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Re: Highest nontechnical mountains by public transport

Postby Scott » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:48 pm

Aconcagua (6962 m) would fit the bill, but the permit is not cheap.

Also (accessible by public transport):

Ojos del Salado-Argentine summit (6893 m)
Tres Cruces (6748 m)
Incahuasi (6621 m)
El Muerto (6488 m)
San Pedro (6145 m)
Queva (6140 m)
Chachani (6057 m)

I don't think peaks such as the mentioned Llullaillaco have public transport (?).

Many, many peaks (probably hundreds) in the over 5000 meters are in South America that would fit the bill. Many in Nepal and other areas in the Himalayan region as well. Lenana Point in Kenya too. Kili is pretty expensive.

In North America, La Malinche and Nevado Toluca can easily be done by public transport, though the highest summit of Toluca requires some scrambling. Both are higher than any peaks in the lower 48.

Is Elbert doable by public transport?


Leadville Hostel (when they aren't too busy) does shuttles to Mt Elbert.

none of the other Colorado fourteeners appear to have public transport as far as I'm aware.


Eolus, Windom, and Sunlight have public transport. You can easily fly or bus to Durango and take the train to Needleton. All three are just under the height of Pikes though.
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