Mountains To Climb Before You Die

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In a recent story for Forbes, I polled Ed Viesturs, Jack Tackle, Will Gadd, and four additional star alpinists to create a list that highlights the world’s greatest mountain ranges.

The choices—ranging from Washington State’s Cascades to the Karakoram of Pakistan—represent these climbers’ personal favorite mountain ranges, inspired by memories of epic ascents, three-month-long expeditions, or quick weekend sprints into the heavens.

For example, Jack Tackle, a veteran climber with Exum Mountain Guides in Moose, Wyo., chose the Alaska Range, a 400-mile-long chain that starts in south-central Alaska. Its most famous peak—20,320-foot Mount McKinley—is the highest mountain on the North American continent.

Kevin Thaw, a writer, speaker and climber from Uppermill, England, favors Argentine Patagonia, an otherworldly mountain range near the tip of South America. Patagonia’s immense granite spires, some stretching 11,000 feet into the sky with mile-high sheer faces, are among the world’s most difficult and stunning climbs.

“The peaks above the frontier town of El Chalten in Patagonia form the most striking skyline on our planet,” said Thaw.

See the complete story on, or here’s the list in full. . .

1. Karakoram Range, Pakistan
(as recommended by Jared Ogden, Professional Climber)

2. St. Elias Mountains, Alaska/Canada
(as recommended by Vince Anderson, Professional Climbing Guide)

3. Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia
(as recommended by Abby Watkins, Professional Climbing Guide)

4. Canadian Rockies
(as recommended by Will Gadd, Professional Climber/Paraglider/Writer/Producer)

5. Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
(as recommended by Vera Schulte-Pelkum, Climber/Geophysicist)

6. Cascades of Washington State
(as recommended by Ed Viesturs, Professional Climber)

7. Alaska Range
(as recommended by Jack Tackle, Professional Climbing Guide)

8. Argentine Patagonia
(as recommended by Kevin Thaw, Professional Climber/Writer/Speaker)

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.