Greater ranges and major geographical areas
This is where you will find information on destinations for expeditions.
The Himalayas (also Himalaya) is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. By extension, it is also the name of the massive mountain system which includes the Himalaya proper, the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, and a host of minor ranges extending from the Pamir Knot. The name is from the Sanskrit himālaya, a tatpursa compound meaning "the abode of snow" (from hima "snow", and ālaya "abode").
Together, the Himalaya mountain system is the planet's highest and home to the world's highest peaks: the Eight-thousanders, including Mount Everest. To comprehend the enormous scale of Himalayan peaks, consider that Aconcagua, in the Andes, at 6,962 m, is the highest peak outside the Himalaya, while the Himalayan system has over 100 separate mountains exceeding 7,200 meters.
The Himalayas stretch across six nations: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. They are the source of three of the world's major river systems, the Indus basin, the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin and the Yangtze basin. The Himalayas run, west to east, from the Indus river valley to the Brahmaputra river valley, thereby forming an arc 2,400 km long, which varies in width from 400 km in the western Kashmir-Xinjiang region to 150 km in the eastern Tibet-Arunachal Pradesh region. The Himalaya chain consists of three parallel ranges, with the northern-most range known as the Great or Inner Himalayas.
Karakoram is a mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, China, and India, located in the regions of Gilgit, Ladakh, and Baltistan. It is one of the Greater Ranges of Asia, often considered together with the Himalaya, but not technically part of that range. Karakoram means "black gravel" in Turkic, as many of its glaciers are covered in rubble.
The Karakoram is home to more than sixty peaks above 7,000m (22,960 ft), including K2, the second highest peak of the world (8,611 m, 28,244 ft). Most of these peaks are in the Hunza of Pakistan. The range is about 500 km (300 miles) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside of the polar regions. The Siachen Glacier at 70 km and the Biafo Glacier at 63 km rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions.
The Karakoram is bounded on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the Wakhan Corridor and the Pamir Mountains. Just to the west of the northwest end of the Karakoram lies the Hindu Raj range, beyond which is the Hindu Kush range. The southern boundary of the Karakoram is formed by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok Rivers, which separate the range from the north western end of the Himalaya range proper. A portion of the Karakoram is disputed between India and China.
The Hindu Kush is a mountain range in Afghanistan as well as in the North-West Frontier Province and Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and the Himalayas
Pamir/Tien Shan-Central Asia
The Pamir Mountains are located in Central Asia and are formed by the junction or knot of the Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are also known by the Chinese name of Congling or "Onion Mountains."
The Pamir region is centred in the Tajikistani region of Gorno-Badakhshan. Parts of the Pamir also lie in the countries of Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. South of Gorno-Badakhshan, the Wakhan Corridor runs through the Pamir region, which also includes the northern extremes of the North-West Frontier Province and the northern extremes of the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
The Trans-Alay Range (also Trans Alai Range and not to be confused with the Altai Mountains) is a mountain range of the Pamir Mountains between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Its northern end is the Alay Valley, and 150 miles to the south, it terminates into the valleys of Muksu and Markansu. In Russia, the highest peak in this range is Lenin Peak, known as Mount Kaufmann until 1928. Peak Pobedy (Ismail Samani Peak 7,495m) is the highest peak in the range. It stands on the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; it is the second-highest point of both countries. It is also sometimes referred to as "Achiktash". It was discovered in 1871 and originally named after Konstantin Kaufman. The mountain's official name in Kyrgyz is Jengish Chokosu, which means "Victory Peak"; its Russian name is Pik Pobedy (or Peak Pobeda) meaning the same. In Uighur, it is called Tömür, which is also the official name of the mountain in China. The Chinese name Tuōmù'ěr Fēng is a combination of the Uighur tomur, meaning 'iron' and Chinese feng meaning 'peak'.
Other geographical areas
Noshaq is the highest mountain in Afghanistan and the second highest independent peak of the Hindu Kush after Tirich Mir (7,690 m). Noshaq is located in the north eastern corner of the country along the Durand line which marks the border with Pakistan.
Wakhan is a very mountainous and rugged part of the Pamir region, is located in and around the extreme north-east of Afghanistan, which is connected to China by a long, narrow strip called the Vakhan Corridor, which separates the Gorno- Badakhshan region of Tajikistan from the North-West Frontier Province and Northern Areas of Pakistan.
Noshaq has been climbed a few times as well as peaks located in the Wakhan corridor.
In the north, the Hengduan Shan mountains form the border with China. Hkakabo Razi, located in Kachin State, at an elevation of 5,881 m (19,295 ft), is the highest point in Myanmar. Three mountain ranges, namely the Rakhine Yoma, the Bago Yoma, and the Shan Plateau exist within Myanmar, all of which run north-to-south from the Himalayas.
Mount McKinley or Denali in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America, at a height of approximately 6,194 m (20,320 feet). It is the centrepiece of Denali National Park. The mountain is also known as Bolshaya Gora meaning Big Mountain, in Russian.
Mount Logan is Canada's highest mountain and the second-highest peak in North America, after Mount McKinley. The mountain was named after Sir William Edmond Logan, a Canadian geologist and founder of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). Mount Logan is located within Kluane National Park and Reserve in south western Yukon and is the source of the Hubbard and Logan Glaciers. Logan reportedly has the largest base circumference of any mountain on Earth.
The Andes mountain range is the highest mountain range outside Asia, with the highest peak, Aconcagua, rising to 6,962 m (22,841 ft) above sea level. The summit of Mount Chimborazo in the Ecuadorean Andes is the point on the Earth's surface most distant from its centre, because of the equatorial bulge. The Andes cannot match the Himalayas in height but do so in width and are more than twice as long.
The Andes is South America's longest mountain range, forming a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. It is over 7,000 km (4,400 miles) long, 500 km (300 miles) wide in some parts (widest between 18° to 20°S latitude), and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The mountains extend over seven countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, some of which are known as Andean States. One theory says the name Andes comes from the Quechua word anti, which means "high crest". Another theory says that the name Andes derived from the Spanish word "andén" which means terrace in reference to the cultivation terraces used by the Incas and other related peoples.
Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawensi, and Shira, is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania. Although it does not have the highest elevation, Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world, rising 4,600 m (15,100 ft) from its base, and includes the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 meters (19,340 ft), providing a dramatic view from the surrounding plains. Kilimanjaro is a Maasai word meaning Large Rock.
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya, and the second-highest in Africa (after Mount Kilimanjaro). The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 m - 17,058 ft), Nelion (5,188 m - 17,022 ft) and Lenana (4,985 m - 16,355 ft). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 km (95 miles) north-northeast of Nairobi. The area around the mountain is protected in the Mount Kenya National Park, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Park is around 620 km² (240 square miles), and receives up to 15,000 visitors every year.
The Ruwenzori Range, now officially called Rwenzori Mountains (the spelling having been changed in about 1980 to conform more closely with the local tribal name) is a small but spectacular mountain range of central Africa (Uganda and Congo). The highest Rwenzoris are permanently snow-capped, and they, along with Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya are the only such in Africa. The Ruwenzoris are often identified with the "Mountains of the Moon" mentioned by Ptolemy, but the descriptions are too vague to make this definite.
Puncak Jaya, also known as Mount Carstensz or the Carstensz Pyramid, is the highest mountain on the island of New Guinea, on the Australia-New Guinea continent and in Oceania. It is the highest point between the Himalayas and the Andes and the highest island peak in the world. The peak is located in what is variously called the Sudirman Range or the Dugunduguoo, in the western central highlands of Papua, the Indonesian western half of the island, and is the highest peak in the country.