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When you think of an inspirational landscape, what comes to mind? Everyone has different preferences, but a lot of people will immediately think of mountaintops. Look up “inspirational photos” online and you are bound to see more than a few beautiful, transcendent summits.
As human beings, we are naturally drawn to the heights. Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful and remind us how small we are. At the same time, when we look up at mountaintops, a part of us feels like we are standing there, surveying the world from high above, which can make us feel mighty. And for mountaineers who take on that challenge, summiting a mountain can be a life-changing experience.
Even if you don’t have the chance to scale a mountain in the wilderness though, you can still look up at the peaks and admire them and find inspiration. Perhaps looking through photos of some of these beautiful peaks will help you find the courage to climb the mountains in your everyday life and admire the view from on high.
Here are 10 of the most beautiful mountains in the world.
1. The Matterhorn, Switzerland
This mountain peak is going to be high on a lot of lists. While the beauty of any given mountain may be subjective, there is no denying that the Matterhorn is striking enough to stand out. It is immediately recognizable, even if you have only seen it in photographs a handful of times. This mountain is iconic of the Swiss Alps, and also serves as a very exciting and dangerous climb for those who wish to ascend. The Matterhorn is subject to very unpredictable weather. This can make it difficult for climbers. The dramatic weather can certainly accent the beauty of the mountain though, adding to its allure.
2. Denali, Alaska
If you want to see a truly tremendous mountain which dominates a skyline like no other, you will want to journey to Denali, Alaska. Many tours go to Denali every year, featuring amazing views of the mountain which towers 20,320 feet above the landscape. While this is not the highest mountain peak, the dramatic difference in elevation from base to summit and the relatively un-occluded view make it quite majestic to behold. Just looking at photographs of Denali, you may feel dwarfed and humbled. Just imagine how you would feel in its presence, standing near the base and looking up toward the sky.
3. Kirkjufell, Iceland
This mountain is not particularly huge or tall, and it actually has more of a horizontal than vertical profile. The lines of its sediment are very pronounced though, and have an orderly, sculptured look. The slope of the base is very smooth and even, creating a symmetrical appearance. So despite the fact that it is not particularly vast, it has its own unique, almost architectural beauty. It is one of the most recognizable sights in all of Iceland, and attracts numerous tourists every year.
4. Table Mountain, South Africa
This mountain, like Kirkjufell, is another horizontal peak which does not reach particularly high. Despite this, it is very lovely to behold, especially as it rises against the sea, echoing the strong horizontal of the ocean. It is a unique peak which is different from any other in the world, and is instantly recognizable once you have seen it.
5. Ama Dablam, Nepal
This mountain is quite amazing, and has a very unique appearance. Looking at it, you will notice that there are a number of sharply contrasting, surprising angles in the rock. When snow settles on the peak, you will see these unusual angles even more clearly. Ama Dablam is one of the most amazing mountains in the world, there is no denying. It rises 6856 meters above sea level, and was first climbed by Gil Bishop and Ward in the year 1961.
6. Mount Eiger, Switzerland
This mountain is rather imposing to look at, but also very beautiful. Its rock face is quite challenging to scale, and many climbers have perished in the attempt. It was first climbed from the north side in 1938 by Anderl Heckmar.
7. Machapuchare, Himalayas
This unusual looking mountain located in the Himalayas rises 7000 meters above sea level and has a name which translates to “black fish.” This peak is very recognizable, featuring a sheer, steep, curved face on one side that plunges downward. Covered in snow, it makes for quite a striking sight.
8. The Spectre, Antarctica
The “Organ Pipe Peaks” surge upward from relatively flat, snow-covered surroundings, lending them a surreal appearance. The tallest and most striking is named The Spectre, but it is impossible to look at the Organ Pipe Peaks without viewing them as a whole. Geologist Edmund Stump once stated, “I never thought that a group of peaks could be so dramatic, beautiful, and perfect.”
9. Mauna Loa, Hawaii
In terms of area, this is the largest volcano on the planet, taking up 5,271 square kilometers and covering half of the Big Island. While the smoothly sloping peak may not have the highest elevation measured from sea level, measured from the seafloor instead, it rises 9,168 meters—placing it in the top 10 in the solar system!
10. Alpamayo, Peru
This stunning mountain sweeps steeply upward, a pyramid of ice with extraordinary vertical lines along its face. There is no other mountain on the planet that shares its unique shape and features. In a 1966 survey by the German magazine “Alpinismus,” it was voted the most beautiful mountain on the planet.
Beauty is subjective, but there is no denying that each of these peaks are among the most beautiful mountains in the world. On every continent in the world, there are contenders for top place, even in Antarctica. If you feel the need for inspiration, take a few minutes to look at photos of one or more of these breathtaking peaks. May they lift you up, humble you, and inspire you to conquer the mountains in your own life!