Like Death Itself: Five Hikes that Are Beyond Dangerous

“Many people think of hiking barely as a stroll through the woods. But real hiking involves challenging the very abilities of your body in an attempt to defy death itself. The following hikes are so challenging that even the most experienced trekkers hesitate to climb them:

1. Kalalau of Hawaii

This route of Kauai used to connect Waimea to Na Pali Coast in the past. This is one of those hikes where even the tour guides will leave you alone. You are on your own, trying to hike the 1,200-meter climb that is not only extremely steep, but also filled with crumbling rocky edges and overgrown ridges. The heat, the unmarked trail, and the bushwhacking do not make the climb easy at all; so do not be surprised that only 6 people completed the climb in the recent times.

2. Grand Randonnée 20 of France

The route 20 of Grand Randonnée, located in Corsica, is regarded as the most difficult European route, partly because of its height and steepness, and partly because the whole climb is highly exposed. Found along the Corsican Mountains’ spine extending 165km, even though the route is dangerous, it is breathtakingly beautiful. The best time to climb it is during the summer, because then pre-fixed chains make things a bit easier.

3. Snowman of Bhutan

This trek remains inaccessible for 10 months out of the 12. It goes through 11 very steep passes and climbs as high as 5000-meters along the Bhutan-Tibet border. The combination of its length, isolation, and high passes restricts the success rate of climbing at just 50 percent. But in case you successfully end up climbing it, you get rewarded by absolutely pristine waterfalls, green forests, glacial streams and wilderness – everything untouched.

4. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

This climb is short, but it is also very direct and steep. You get to climb up to 5,895-meters of the Kilimanjaro. And that is why many people call it the ‘Whiskey’. Reaching the summit of Africa continent’s highest peak, the 36km route of the climb lets you experience lush forests, beautiful glaciers, and serene waterfalls. However, your body barely gets time to adapt to its extremely high altitude. So getting altitude sickness is very much possible.

5. Maze of Utah

This stretch features various disorienting sandstone fins, dead ends, and tall cliffs, as evident from the scenes of 127 Hours. So, only those who have many years of experience should even dare to climb it. Water sources are a terror, and extreme heat makes the whole terrain a real challenge.”

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