The unpronouncable one, silently looming in the background. Nobody knew its name, or could even pronounce it. Until that day in April 2010, when it literally erupted into world fame, and stopped the whole of Europe in their tracks. Eyjafjallajökull rules them all.
Nhauruhoe featured as the terrifying Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies. It’s one of the many cones of the vast Tongariro complex. You can see Nhauruhoe on the Tongariro Crossing, a beautiful walking track along 20 kilometres of steaming and colourful volcanic terrain from Mangatepopo to Ketetahi in New Zealand.
Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano, and it’s in a constant state of excitement. Often it’s just quietly steaming away, sometimes even producing pretty smoke rings. But when it erupts it can cough up large rivers of lava, fissure fountains, strombolian fireworks, fuming ash clouds and everything inbetween from its various craters.
At just over 450 metres, Mount Amos isn’t really that high, but its inclination gets rather steep & challenging. You’ll have to scramble your way up (and down again!) over huge granite boulders to reach the top. Once you’ve braved the hardcore scrambling bit, you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views over Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.
Pico del Teide on Tenerife is the biggest mountain on the Canary Islands. Surrounded by a huge caldera, its peak juts up an astonishing 3718 metres into thin air. Its flanks are a volcanic playground, with a multitude of colourful cones and bizarre cathedral-like formations, and winding roads along titled layers of rock.
Haleakala is the House of the Rising Sun – literally. The sunrises are of such an epic magnitude that they draw people to get up at ridiculous o’ clock at night to drive up its endless winding hairpin roads to the summit, braving dizzying steep drop-offs, in order to gawk over the ethereal beauty of its caldera when the sun slowly lights up and paints it in otherworldly colours.
Switzerland is a true mountain paradise with numerous walking tracks. From Engelberg you can take a cable car to the top of Mount Titlis, the highest mountain in the region. It’s worth walking part of the way up (or down), and meander along flowery alpine meadows with breathtaking mountain views all around.
I participated in another Nature Pic Challenge. Theme: Mountains and Volcanoes. Some being both simultaneously. There’s nothing quite like having a Wilderness Coffee with a view…