Antarctica Mountains

The Antarctica mountains are some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, though some of them can be relatively dangerous. At least two active volcanoes can be found in Antarctica, and one of them erupted in January 2008. Before this recent eruption, Mt Erebus, which can be found on Ross Island in the McMurdo Sound, was the continent's only active volcano. The bulk of the mountains in Antarctica are not active volcanoes, and as such, they aren't very dangerous. In fact, many of them are fairly easy to climb. Climbing in the Antarctica mountains can be daunting at times, however, thanks to the often frigid temperatures and strong winds.

Mt Erebus
Mt. Erebus  Image: lin padgham (flickr)

Mt Erebus dominates the landscape on Ross Island, and you might be interested to know that is the planet's southernmost active volcano. Many of the mountains in Antarctica are quite tall, and Mt Erebus tops out at 12,448 feet. As for the highest mountain in Antarctica, that distinction goes to Mt Vinson. This peak rises to an elevation of 16,860 feet above sea level and can be found in the Ellsworth Mountains. Some of the most picturesque Antarctica mountains can be found in the Ellsworth Range, which is approximately 200 miles long and 30 miles wide. The Ellsworth Mountains can be found at the base of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The first person to climb the highest mountain in Antarctica did so in 1966. Since that first ascent up Mt Vinson, some 500 climbers have managed to make it to the top. Several companies offer guided climbs up Mt Vinson, so you can arrange a trip if you please. If you are planning on climbing to the top of the highest mountain in Antarctica, the climb is relatively nontechnical. The Ellsworth Range isn't the only place to look if you're trying to find some lofty mountains in Antarctica. Three other ranges that deserve mention include the Transantarctic Mountains, the East Antarctica Ranges, and the West Antarctica Ranges.

The Transantarctic Mountains form the most dominant mountain range on the continent, and they stretch from one side to the other. This range essentially serves as a division between the eastern side of the country and the western side. Numerous mountain groups combine to form the Transantarctic Mountains, and many of the peaks in this chain are over 13,000 feet. The mountains in Antarctica are plenty, and you can not only find some big ones on the mainland, but on the nearby islands as well. As a side note, one of the best places to view some dazzling Antarctic mountains is the Lemaire Channel, which is a narrow waterway where peaks rise up on both sides in glorious fashion. Most Antarctica cruises feature a trip through the Lemaire Channel, and you'll understand why when you see it.

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