Proverbial wisdom suggests that sometimes it's the journey – not the destination – that matters most. When it comes to climbing adventures, it's usually both. Some of the world's best climbs are also its greatest adventures. Reaching a summit is always a life-altering experience, but what happens along the way can make it even more magical. By their very nature, climbers are thrill seekers who typically have a remarkable lust for life. That's why climbing adventures are often combined with interesting side treks or explorations that turn each trip into an amazing journey.
Would you summit the volcanoes of Mexico without giving the nearby Pyramid of Sun the same courtesy? Is it possible to visit Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro without rounding out the trip with a safari experience? Could you reach the peak of Mount Everest without exploring the villages and forests along the way? Ask a climbing enthusiast what makes an adventure most memorable and it likely has as much to do with the surroundings and cultural encounters as the technical challenges of the climb itself.
Creating adventure trips that center on climbing make sense when you consider what's at stake for the mountaineers who set out to conquer the world's largest geologic formations. In many cases, a climber's life is in jeopardy with every step. It's natural to complement this experience with an appreciation of all that our planet has to offer. This is where adventure travel comes in. There are plenty of mountaineering outfitters and adventure travel specialists that plan and guide people on excursions focused on the world's most challenging or interesting climbs. You can also design your own trip. To get some ideas, check out our list of 10 challenging adventure trips for climbers.