Step by step: ‘climb’ the world’s highest mountains without leaving your home

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With climbing and mountaineering on hold for the foreseeable future, we find an alternative way to scale the most coveted peaks on the planet

Continuing my search for inside-outdoor activities, I discovered a new way to simultaneously keep myself occupied and fit during these exceptional times: climbing the mountains of the world… using our staircase.

I was recently tagged by a friend in a Facebook post: ‘Peter, I saw this and thought of you. In fact, I thought it WAS you!’ read the comment.

The bored outdoor enthusiast had taken inspiration from a similar challenge and calculated how many stairs in his home he would need to climb to equal the noteworthy peaks of the British Isles.

Equally inspired, I thought I would take the idea a ‘step’ further and extend the formula to the highest mountains of every country in the world as well as the seven summits, eight-thousanders and the UK’s National Three Peaks Challenge.

The possibilities don’t stop there. Ever wanted to earn the Snow Leopard award or conquer the Colorado fourteeners? Dedicated mountaineers can work their way through the Alpine four-thousanders, the seven second summits or simply select from the most beautiful mountains in the world.

The simple formula below can be easily applied to any mountain in the world.

The formula

We live in a very old house, so the height of our steps varies from around 17cm to 22cm. A bit of Googling revealed that the standard height of an indoor step in the USA is 7.5 inches (19.05cm) while in the UK, building regulations stipulate that steps must be between 19cm and 22cm.

As such, I decided 20cm per step would be a good median number to settle on, as it essentially means for every five steps I climb, one metre of elevation is gained. Furthermore, I conveniently have 25 steps in my house so I gain five metres of elevation from the bottom of my staircase to the top.

So, with the barriers of time and money removed, I challenge our readers to follow in my footsteps and stay at home to climb the highest mountains in the world. Just don’t wear crampons.

Contents

Country high points

Choose a country of your choice and scale its highest peak.

Mountain CountryHeight (m)Steps
NoshaqAfghanistan7,49237,460
KorabAlbania2,76413,820
TahatAlgeria3,00315,015
Lata MountainAmerican Samoa9664,830
Coma PedrosaAndorra2,94214,710
MocoAngola2,62013,100
Crocus HillAnguilla65325
VinsonAntarctica4,89224,460
Boggy PeakAntigua & Barbuda4022,010
AconcaguaArgentina6,96034,800
AragatsArmenia4,09020,450
JamanotaAruba188940
KosciuszkoAustralia2,22811,140
GrossglocknerAustria3,79818,990
BazardüzüAzerbaijan4,48522,425
AlverniaBahamas63315
Mountain of SmokeBahrain122610
Saka HaphongBangladesh1,0525,260
HillabyBarbados3361,680
Dzyarzhynskaya HaraBelarus3461,730
Signal de BotrangeBelgium6943,470
Doyle’s DelightBelize1,1245,620
Mont SokbaroBenin6583,290
Town HillBermuda76380
Gangkhar PuensumBhutan7,57037,850
SajamaBolivia6,54232,710
MaglićBosnia & Herz.2,38611,930
Otse HillBotswana1,4917,455
OlavtoppenBouvet Island9354,675
Pico da NeblinaBrazil2,99514,975
SageBritish Virgin Isl.5212,605
Bukit PagonBrunei1,8509,250
MusalaBulgaria2,92514,625
TenakourouBurkina Faso7493,745
HehaBurundi2,68413,420
Phnom AuralCambodia1,8109,050
CameroonCameroon4,04020,200
LoganCanada5,95929,795
Pico do FogoCape Verde2,82914,145
The Bluff Cayman Isl.46230
Mont NgaouiCentral African Rep.1,4207,100
Emi KoussiChad3,44517,225
Ojos del SaladoChile6,89334,465
EverestChina8,84844,240
Pico Cristóbal ColónColombia5,70028,500
KarthalaComoros2,36011,800
Te MangaCook Isl.6523,260
Cerro ChirripóCosta Rica3,82019,100
DinaraCroatia1,8319,155
Pico TurquinoCuba1,9749,870
ChristoffelbergCuraçao3751,875
OlympusCyprus1,9519,755
SněžkaCzech Rep.1,6038,015
MøllehøjDenmark171855
Mousa AliDjibouti2,02810,140
Morne DiablotinsDominica1,4477,235
Pico DuarteDominican Rep.3,09815,490
StanleyDRC (Congo)5,10925,545
ChimborazoEcuador6,26731,335
CatherineEgypt2,62913,145
Cerro El PitalEl Salvador2,73013,650
Pico BasileEquatorial Guinea3,00815,040
Emba SoiraEritrea3,01815,090
Suur MunamägiEstonia3181,590
EmlembeEswatini1,8629,310
Ras DejenEthiopia4,55022,750
UsborneFalkland Isl.7053,525
SlættaratindurFaroe Isl.8804,400
NanlaudMicronesia7823,910
TomaniviFiji1,3246,620
HaltiFinland1,3246,620
Mont BlancFrance4,81024,050
Bellevue de l’IniniFrench Guiana8514,255
Mont OrohenaFrench Polynesia2,24111,205
Mont BengouéGabon1,0705,350
SabiGambia64320
ShkharaGeorgia5,20126,005
ZugspitzeGermany2,96214,810
AfadjatoGhana8804,400
Rock of GibraltarGibraltar4262,130
OlympusGreece2,91914,595
Gunnbjørn FjeldGreenland3,70018,500
St. CatherineGrenada8404,200
La Grande SoufrièreGuadeloupe1,4847,420
LamlamGuam4062,030
Volcán TajumulcoGuatemala4,22021,100
Le MoulinGuernsey114570
Mont NimbaGuinea1,7528,760
Unnamed locationGuinea-Bissau3001,500
RoraimaGuyana2,77213,860
Pic la SelleHaiti2,68013,400
Cerro Las MinasHonduras2,87014,350
Tai Mo ShanHong Kong9584,790
KékesHungary1,0145,070
HvannadalshnúkurIceland2,11010,550
Puncak JayaIndonesia4,88424,420
DamavandIran5,61028,050
Cheekha DarIraq3,61118,055
CarrauntoohilIreland1,0385,190
SnaefellIsle of Man6213,105
MeronIsrael1,2086,040
Monte BiancoItaly4,81024,050
Mont NimbaIvory Coast1,7528,760
Blue MountaiJamaica2,25611,280
FujiJapan3,77618,880
Les PlatonsJersey143715
Jabal Umm ad DamiJordan1,8549,270
Khan TengriKazakhstan7,01035,050
KenyaKenya5,19925,995
Unnamed locationKiribati81405
Velika RudokaKosovo2,66013,300
Mutla RidgeKuwait3061,530
Jengish ChokusuKyrgyzstan7,43937,195
Phou BiaLaos2,81714,085
GaiziņkalnsLatvia3121,560
Qurnat as Sawda’Lebanon3,08815,440
Thabana NtlenyanaLesotho3,48217,410
WuteveLiberia1,4407,200
Bikku BittiLibya2,26711,335
GrauspitzLiechtenstein2,59912,995
Aukštojas HillLithuania2941,470
KneiffLuxembourg5602,800
Coloane AltoMacau172860
MaromokotroMadagascar2,87614,380
MulanjeMalawi3,00215,010
Gunung Kinabalu Malaysia4,09520,475
Villingili Maldives525
Hombori TondoMali1,1555,775
Ta’DmejrekMalta2531,265
Unnamed location Marshall Isl.1050
PeléeMartinique1,3976,985
Kediet ej JillMauritania9154,575
Petite Rivière NoireMauritius8284,140
BenaraMayotte6603,300
Pico de OrizabaMexico5,63628,180
Bălănești HillMoldova4302,150
Chemin des RévoiresMonaco161805
Khüiten PeakMongolia4,37421,870
Zla KolataMontenegro2,53412,670
Chances PeakMontserrat9154,575
Jbel ToubkalMorocco4,16520,825
Monte BingaMozambique2,43612,180
Hkakabo RaziMyanmar5,88129,405
KönigsteinNamibia2,57312,865
Command RidgeNauru71355
EverestNepal8,84844,240
SceneryNetherlands8874,435
Mont PaniéNew Caledonia1,6288,140
Aoraki/CookNew Zealand3,72418,620
MogotónNicaragua2,10710,535
Idoukal-n-TaghèsNiger2,02210,110
Chappal WaddiNigeria2,41912,095
Unnamed locationNiue68340
BatesNorfolk Island3191,595
Paektu-sanNorth Korea2,74413,720
Golem KorabNorth Macedonia2,76413,820
GaldhøpiggenNorway2,46912,345
Jabal ShamsOman3,00915,045
NgerchelchuusPalau2421,210
Nabi YunisPalestine1,0305,150
Volcán BarúPanama3,47517,375
WilhelmPapua New Guinea4,50922,545
Cerro PeróParaguay8424,210
HuascaránPeru6,76833,840
ApoPhilippines2,95414,770
Pawala Valley RidgePitcairn Isl.3471,735
RysyPoland2,49912,495
Montanha do PicoPortugal2,35111,755
Cerro de PuntaPuerto Rico1,3386,690
Qurayn Abu al BawlQatar103515
NabembaRep. of the Congo1,0205,100
NeigesRéunion3,06915,345
MoldoveanuRomania2,54412,720
ElbrusRussia5,64228,210
KarisimbiRwanda4,50722,535
Mauga SilisiliSamoa1,8579,285
Monte TitanoSan Marino7553,775
Pico de São ToméSão Tomé & Príncipe2,02410,120
Jabal SawdaSaudi Arabia3,00015,000
Nepen DiakhaSenegal6483,240
MidžorSerbia2,16910,845
Morne Seychellois Seychelles9054,525
BintumaniSierra Leone1,9489,740
Bukit Timah HillSingapore164820
Flagstaff PeakSint Maarten3831,915
Gerlachovský štítSlovakia2,65513,275
TriglavSlovenia2,86414,320
PopomanaseuSolomon Isl.2,33511,675
ShimbirisSomalia2,45012,250
MafadiSouth Africa3,45017,250
Halla-san South Korea1,9509,750
KinyetiSouth Sudan3,18715,935
TeideSpain3,71818,590
PidurutalagalaSri Lanka2,52412,620
Morne du VitetSt. Barthélemy2861,430
LiamuigaSt. Kitts & Nevis1,1565,780
GimieSt. Lucia9504,750
Pic ParadisSt. Martin4242,120
La SoufrièreSt. Vincent & the Gren.1,2346,170
Deriba CalderaSudan3,04215,210
Juliana TopSuriname1,2306,150
KebnekaiseSweden2,09710,485
Monte RosaSwitzerland4,63423,170
Jabal el-SheikhSyria2,81414,070
Yu ShanTaiwan3,95219,760
Ismoil Somoni PeakTajikistan7,49537,475
KilimanjaroTanzania5,89529,475
Doi InthanonThailand2,56512,825
RamelauTimor-Leste2,96314,815
Mont AgouTogo9864,930
Unnamed locationTokelau525
KaoTonga1,0335,165
El Cerro del AripoTrinidad & Tobago9404,700
Jebel ech ChambiTunisia1,5447,720
AraratTurkey5,13725,685
AýrybabaTurkmenistan3,13915,695
Blue HillsTurks & Caicos Isl.49245
Unnamed locationTuvalu525
Jabal Al JaisUAE1,9109,550
StanleyUganda5,10925,545
Scafell PikeUK (England)9784,890
Slieve DonardUK (Northern Ireland)8504,250
Ben NevisUK (Scotland)1,3456,725
SnowdonUK (Wales)1,0855,425
HoverlaUkraine2,06110,305
Cerro CatedralUruguay5142,570
Crown MountainUS Virgin Isl.4742,370
DenaliUSA6,19030,950
Mauna KeaUSA (Hawaii)4,20721,035
WhitneyUSA (lower 48)4,42122,105
Khazret SultanUzbekistan4,64323,215
TabwemasanaVanuatu1,8779,385
Vatican HillVatican City75375
Pico BolívarVenezuela4,97824,890
Fan Si PanVietnam3,14315,715
Mont PukeWallis & Futuna5242,620
Jabal An-Nabi Shu’aybYemen3,66618,330
Mafinga CentralZambia2,32911,645
NyanganiZimbabwe2,59212,960

Seven summits

The seven summits are the seven peaks that make up the highest point on every continent. I’m slowly working my way through the mountains for real and have so far climbed Aconcagua, Elbrus and Kilimanjaro (I don’t count Kosciuszko in Australia).

Perhaps I’ll finish the rest at home…

Mountain CountryHeight (m)Steps
EverestNepal / China8,84844,240
AconcaguaArgentina6,96034,800
DenaliUSA6,19030,950
KilimanjaroTanzania5,89529,475
ElbrusRussia5,64228,210
VinsonAntarctica4,89224,460
Puncak JayaIndonesia4,88424,420

Eight-thousanders

The eight-thousanders are the 14 mountains on the planet over 8,000m. You’re going to need new carpets after climbing these.

Mountain CountryHeight (m)Steps required
EverestNepal / China8,84844,240
K2Pakistan8,61143,055
KangchenjungaIndia /Nepal8,58642,930
LhotseNepal / China8,51642,580
MakaluNepal / China8,48542,425
Cho OyuNepal / China8,18840,940
DhaulagiriNepal8,16740,835
ManasluNepal8,16340,815
Nanga ParbatPakistan8,12640,630
Annapurna INepal8,09140,455
Gasherbrum I Pakistan / China8,08040,400
Broad PeakPakistan8,05140,255
Gasherbrum IIPakistan8,03540,175
ShishapangmaChina8,02740,135

Three Peaks Challenge (UK)

The UK’s National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales, usually within 24 hours. The mountains can be climbed in any order, but most choose to scale Ben Nevis first, followed by Scafell Pike and then Snowdon.

Mountain CountryHeight (m)Steps
Ben NevisScotland1,3456,725
Scafell PikeEngland9784,890
SnowdonWales1,0855,425

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In a similar vein, Everest England: 29,000 feet in 12 days guides readers on their own own personal Everest by ascending the hand-picked hills of varying size across England.

Lead image: Atlas & Boots

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