One research revealed that those who endure the pain and exhaustion of climbing do so because of the feeling of exhilaration that befalls them when they reach the summit.
They feel blissful, much like getting high on drugs, but in this case, they are getting high, literally!
What do you think gives them this feeling?
We went through blogs and online journals of people who are passionate about climbing and all of them are sharing that there is nothing more exciting than standing on the top of the mountain, looking at a sea of clouds. In fact, many couldn’t forget this sight – the layers of clouds of different lengths that look like waves.
Who wouldn’t feel euphoric when you are practically standing on top of the world, right? When the beautiful clouds that you used to admire above you, are practically showing off their grandeur at your feet.
If you are passionate about climbing or if conquering a mountain is in your bucket list, we have compiled here a list of the best mountains that would give you the best view of a sea of clouds based on the recommendations of avid mountaineers all over the world.
Curious if your favorite mountain made it on the list? Read on to find out!
The Yellow Mountain or Mount Huangshan located at Huangshan Prefecture is hailed as “the loveliest mountain of China”. The mountain was called “yellow” not because of the color but because the area was renamed after the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) in 747 AD. Mount Huangshan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it figured prominently in the history of art and literature in China since the Tang Dynasty. The Yellow mountain still commands influence today as tons of visitors, photographers, poets, and painters climb the mountain for its majestic scenery and sea of clouds.
At 2,926 meters, Mt. Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines. If the sea of clouds is all you care about, this humble mountain will not disappoint because it is most famous for its sea of clouds and the view of the Milky Way Galaxy at dawn. Imagine seeing natural wonders, day and night. In addition to what can be seen in the sky, Mt. Pulag also offers numerous plant species and native wildlife such as the Dwarf Bamboo, the Philippine Deer, the Giant Bushy-Tailed Cloud Rat, and the Long-Haired Fruit Bat.
Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia is the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago at 4,095 meters. This mountain is one of the most popular mountains as it is the symbol of the first UNESCO World Heritage Site on Borneo. Climbing the mountain does not only provide satisfaction at the summit as the mountain itself is home to thousands of plant species and wildlife. Climbers can see famous species like orangutans and the rafflesia -- the largest, heaviest, and stinkiest flower in the world.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 meters. For adventurous tourists in Tanzania, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highlight of their visit. Only a few mountains can offer a majestic experience and breathtaking views of the Rift Valley, Amboseli National Park in Keya, and the Masaai Steppe, much like Kilimanjaro. If you think that hiking at Africa’s highest point is close to impossible especially if you are a newbie, you would be pleased to know that Kilimanjaro is one of the most accessible mountains in the world.
Fansipan Mountain is the highest mountain in Indochina at 3, 143 meters, hence, the name “Roof of Indochina”. Fansipan, located southwest of Sa Pa Townlet in the Hoang Lien Mountain Range, literally means “the tottery giant rock”. Climbing Fansipan Mountain takes two to three days to complete. For people who do not have the patience or endurance to hike this long, conquering the “Roof of Indochina” is still possible through the Fansipan cable car system. Ride instead of hike and you will reach the peak within 30 minutes.
Mount Emei is located in Sichuan Province and is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. The mountain offers four scenic regions – the Bauguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Qingyin Pavilion, and its main peak, the Golden Summit. The Golden Summit is 3,079.3 meters above sea level and provides a spectacular view of the clouds sea, Buddha rays, sunrise, and saint lamps. Apart from its cultural significance in China, Mt. Emei is also popular for its remarkably diverse vegetation and striking scenic beauty.
Unlike other mountains that need days to climb, Mt. Batur in Bali, Indonesia can be climbed in two hours by people who are generally physically fit. Mt. Batur is regarded as one of the sacred mountains according to Hindi belief. It is an active volcano that attracts locals and foreign tourists because of its promise of spectacular beauty, amazing sunrise, a sea of clouds and sense of peace that would envelop the body and soul of those who would reach its peak.
Known as the “Place of Light”, Mt. Kenya is an extinct volcano created about three million years ago. The mountain has three summits – Batian, the highest at 5,199 meters and the tallest peak in Kenya and the second highest in the African continent; as well as the Nelion and Lenana summits. While only experienced climbers with proper equipment and gear can reach the summits of Batian and Nelion, non-climbers who want to adventure can access the Lenana summit by foot.
Without a doubt, climbing Mt. Fuji, the highest (3, 776 meters) and most popular mountain in Japan, would give anyone precious memories. The mountain already looks spectacular from afar, reaching its peak would give any climber a glimpse of heaven – a chance to witness sea clouds underneath your feet and feel the breeze that gently moves the clouds. The peak of Mt. Fuji may seem unreachable but climbing the summit does not pose any major difficulties regarding climbing skills. The climb, nevertheless, can be extremely strenuous because of the altitude.
Seoraksan Mountain boasts of majestic scenery any time of the year. Recognized as one of the most beautiful mountains in Korea, Seoraksan offers colorful and vibrant flowers in spring, refreshing clear water streams in the summer, magnificent colorful foliage in the fall, and a picturesque snowy landscape in the winter. Seroaksan’s highest peak is Daecheongbong at 1,708 meters and can be climbed even by beginners in as little as three hours. Treat your eyes not only with sea clouds but also with the spectacular view of the Milky Way.
The Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps is the most recognized mountain, not only in Switzerland but in all of Europe. Passionate climbers dreamed of ascending the peaks of The Matterhorn because it is where the sport of mountaineering originated. While the mountain appears extremely difficult for inexperienced climbers, the Matterhorn is climbed on regularly by both seasoned and newbie climbers for as long as they have a qualified guide. Standing on its peak, one can marvel at the rugged rock formation and magical light, as well as play in a sea of clouds.
Mt. Apo is the highest mountain and volcano in the Philippines at 3.146 meters. The Grandfather of Philippine Mountains is home to more than 272 bird species, over a hundred of them are endemic in the area. This and its towering height makes it a favorite for both local and international mountaineering enthusiasts. Climbers can experience an array of landscapes, from rocky hills and green forests to mossy swamps and volcanic structures. Reach the peak and bask at the gorgeous sunrise and marvel at beautiful sea clouds.
The Andes Mountains is the longest mountain range in the world, running at 4,500 miles from north to south along the west coast of South America. The Andes boast of the most magnificent scenery and captivating landscapes in Argentina. It is also a remarkable playground for outdoor activities that are sure to excite the adventurous at heart. If your main goal is witnessing sea clouds, you can do so even if you are new to mountaineering. Just pick the summits suited for beginners like the Villarica Volcano and the Lanin Volcano.
Mt. Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe at 5,642 meters and is one of the “seven summits” that every serious mountaineer wishes to conquer. Climbing Mt. Elbrus requires a lot of preparation and at the very least, moderate climbing skills. While the journey is challenging and strenuous, the reward of reaching the summit is personally satisfying and will give climbers the chance to stand proudly above a magnificent sea of clouds, even on an overcast day.
At 5,636 meters, Pico de Orizaba stands as the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America. Pico de Orizaba is also a dormant volcano and regarded as the world’s most pronounced volcanic peak after Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. The summit of Orizaba is so towering that ships heading to the Veracruz port 110 kilometers away can see it. Orizaba may be high, but it is a relatively easy climb if not for the high altitude that can negatively affect climbers.
Mount McKinley located at Denali National Park in Alaska is the highest mountain in North America at 6, 194 meters. This mountain is a coveted climb among mountaineering enthusiasts not only for its tremendous size but also for its breathtaking and diverse views each day of climbing. The best time to conquer Mount McKinley is during the months of May and June when there’s a lesser chance of avalanches or crevasses occurring. The mountain may be tough to climb but it provides an unforgettable experience and sights to those who take on the challenge.
Gunung Tahan is the highest mountain on the Malayan peninsula at 2,187 meters. It is located in the center of Taman Negara and regarded as the most difficult summit in Malaysia. The Bahasa name “Gunung Tahan” literally means “Mount Endure”, which is fitting because one needs remarkable endurance to reach its peak. To conquer Gunung Tahan, one has to trek the jungle for a couple of days first, before starting the climb. The reward is a breathtaking view of sea clouds, Bonsai garden, and pitcher plant garden at the top.
Mount Wuyi is located in China’s south-east province of Fujian and is home to a huge number of ancient species, many of which are endemic to China. At 2, 158 meters, Mt. Wuyi’s main peak, Huanggang Peak, is the highest peak in southeast China. Dubbed as “the most beautiful mountain in southeast China", Mt. Wuyi boasts of an untouched environment, amazing canyons, and crystal-like waters. To view mesmerizing sea clouds, grotesque rocks, and steep cliffs, choose to ascend the Roaring Tiger Rock or Tianyou Peak.
Iztaccihuatl is a mountain and dormant volcano located on the border between the State of Mexico and Puebla. Iztaccihuatl is the third highest mountain in Mexico at 5,230 meters. Iztaccihuatl is popular among local and international climbers alike as it accommodates all skill levels and even climbers as young as 12 years old. Apart from the view upon reaching the summit, the mountain is also popular as it shapes appear to be that of a sleeping lady from afar.
With a height of 1,085 meters, Snowdon is arguably the highest mountain in Wales and England. Despite its height, it is surprisingly accessible. Anyone who is physically fit and with no health issues can ascend and descend the mountain in eight hours. Newbie climbers and those who are starting the sport usually climb Snowdon as a training ground for more difficult and challenging climbs. Snowdon practically offers the best in climbing experience – a relatively easy climb and a gorgeous view on top.
Mount Aconcagua is known as the “highest trekking peak in the world” and one of the infamous Seven Summits. While the mountain’s exact elevation has been debated since the early 20th century, the Military Geographical Institute of Argentina records the highest summit of Mount Aconcagua at 6,959 meters above sea level. Despite its towering height, Mt. Aconcagua can be conquered by novice climbers for as long as they are physically fit. Considering its hight and accessibility, many climbers use it as “training mountain” before climbing difficult ones like Mount Everest.
Mont Blanc rises 4,808.7 meters above sea level and regarded as the highest mountain in the Alps and also the highest in Europe west of Russia’s Caucasus peaks. The name Mont Blanc means “white mountain” and the mountain is owned by both France and Italy through a bilateral agreement called Monte Bianco. Mont Blanc is famous among climbers, welcoming over 20,000 visitors each year. Capture the most magnificent sea of clouds during sunrise at the peak of Mont Blanc.
If you are into sea clouds and maintaining inner peace, you may find the best of both worlds in Mount Wutai, a sacred Buddhist mountain and home to forty-one monasteries. With its picturesque landscape, high peaks, thick forests of firs, vertical pines, and willow trees, as well as lush grasslands, the remarkable beauty of Mt. Wutai has been celebrated by numerous artists since the Tang Dynasty. Mt. Wutai, which literally means “the five terrace mountain”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Table Mountain is South Africa’s most photographed attraction and iconic landmark, most likely because of its flat top. If you want to witness astonishing sea clouds and a majestic view of Cape Town behind the clouds, you do not have to learn how to hike as there is an existing cable car that can bring you to the top. If you prefer to climb, however, you can do so. A novice climber can complete the journey in about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Mount Huashan located 120 kilometers from the Xi’an City of Shaanxi Province is one of the “Five Famous Mountains of China”. The route going up the mountain is notable for being one of the most dangerous hikes in the world as it involves not just hiking or climbing but vertical ascents, steep staircases, and a wooden plank trail bolted onto the mountainside. But like most difficult journeys, you will be rewarded greatly if you endured the panic, fear, and tiredness since you will be able to witness gorgeous sceneries – cloud sea, misty rain, fine spray, snow, and many others.