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


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 Country Height (m) Steps
Noshaq Afghanistan 7,492 37,460
Korab Albania 2,764 13,820
Tahat Algeria 3,003 15,015
Lata Mountain American Samoa 966 4,830
Coma Pedrosa Andorra 2,942 14,710
Moco Angola 2,620 13,100
Crocus Hill Anguilla 65 325
Vinson Antarctica 4,892 24,460
Boggy Peak Antigua & Barbuda 402 2,010
Aconcagua Argentina 6,960 34,800
Aragats Armenia 4,090 20,450
Jamanota Aruba 188 940
Kosciuszko Australia 2,228 11,140
Grossglockner Austria 3,798 18,990
Bazardüzü Azerbaijan 4,485 22,425
Alvernia Bahamas 63 315
Mountain of Smoke Bahrain 122 610
Saka Haphong Bangladesh 1,052 5,260
Hillaby Barbados 336 1,680
Dzyarzhynskaya Hara Belarus 346 1,730
Signal de Botrange Belgium 694 3,470
Doyle’s Delight Belize 1,124 5,620
Mont Sokbaro Benin 658 3,290
Town Hill Bermuda 76 380
Gangkhar Puensum Bhutan 7,570 37,850
Sajama Bolivia 6,542 32,710
Maglić Bosnia & Herz. 2,386 11,930
Otse Hill Botswana 1,491 7,455
Olavtoppen Bouvet Island 935 4,675
Pico da Neblina Brazil 2,995 14,975
Sage British Virgin Isl. 521 2,605
Bukit Pagon Brunei 1,850 9,250
Musala Bulgaria 2,925 14,625
Tenakourou Burkina Faso 749 3,745
Heha Burundi 2,684 13,420
Phnom Aural Cambodia 1,810 9,050
Cameroon Cameroon 4,040 20,200
Logan Canada 5,959 29,795
Pico do Fogo Cape Verde 2,829 14,145
The Bluff Cayman Isl. 46 230
Mont Ngaoui Central African Rep. 1,420 7,100
Emi Koussi Chad 3,445 17,225
Ojos del Salado Chile 6,893 34,465
Everest China 8,848 44,240
Pico Cristóbal Colón Colombia 5,700 28,500
Karthala Comoros 2,360 11,800
Te Manga Cook Isl. 652 3,260
Cerro Chirripó Costa Rica 3,820 19,100
Dinara Croatia 1,831 9,155
Pico Turquino Cuba 1,974 9,870
Christoffelberg Curaçao 375 1,875
Olympus Cyprus 1,951 9,755
Sněžka Czech Rep. 1,603 8,015
Møllehøj Denmark 171 855
Mousa Ali Djibouti 2,028 10,140
Morne Diablotins Dominica 1,447 7,235
Pico Duarte Dominican Rep. 3,098 15,490
Stanley DRC (Congo) 5,109 25,545
Chimborazo Ecuador 6,267 31,335
Catherine Egypt 2,629 13,145
Cerro El Pital El Salvador 2,730 13,650
Pico Basile Equatorial Guinea 3,008 15,040
Emba Soira Eritrea 3,018 15,090
Suur Munamägi Estonia 318 1,590
Emlembe Eswatini 1,862 9,310
Ras Dejen Ethiopia 4,550 22,750
Usborne Falkland Isl. 705 3,525
Slættaratindur Faroe Isl. 880 4,400
Nanlaud Micronesia 782 3,910
Tomanivi Fiji 1,324 6,620
Halti Finland 1,324 6,620
Mont Blanc France 4,810 24,050
Bellevue de l’Inini French Guiana 851 4,255
Mont Orohena French Polynesia 2,241 11,205
Mont Bengoué Gabon 1,070 5,350
Sabi Gambia 64 320
Shkhara Georgia 5,201 26,005
Zugspitze Germany 2,962 14,810
Afadjato Ghana 880 4,400
Rock of Gibraltar Gibraltar 426 2,130
Olympus Greece 2,919 14,595
Gunnbjørn Fjeld Greenland 3,700 18,500
St. Catherine Grenada 840 4,200
La Grande Soufrière Guadeloupe 1,484 7,420
Lamlam Guam 406 2,030
Volcán Tajumulco Guatemala 4,220 21,100
Le Moulin Guernsey 114 570
Mont Nimba Guinea 1,752 8,760
Unnamed location Guinea-Bissau 300 1,500
Roraima Guyana 2,772 13,860
Pic la Selle Haiti 2,680 13,400
Cerro Las Minas Honduras 2,870 14,350
Tai Mo Shan Hong Kong 958 4,790
Kékes Hungary 1,014 5,070
Hvannadalshnúkur Iceland 2,110 10,550
Puncak Jaya Indonesia 4,884 24,420
Damavand Iran 5,610 28,050
Cheekha Dar Iraq 3,611 18,055
Carrauntoohil Ireland 1,038 5,190
Snaefell Isle of Man 621 3,105
Meron Israel 1,208 6,040
Monte Bianco Italy 4,810 24,050
Mont Nimba Ivory Coast 1,752 8,760
Blue Mountai Jamaica 2,256 11,280
Fuji Japan 3,776 18,880
Les Platons Jersey 143 715
Jabal Umm ad Dami Jordan 1,854 9,270
Khan Tengri Kazakhstan 7,010 35,050
Kenya Kenya 5,199 25,995
Unnamed location Kiribati 81 405
Velika Rudoka Kosovo 2,660 13,300
Mutla Ridge Kuwait 306 1,530
Jengish Chokusu Kyrgyzstan 7,439 37,195
Phou Bia Laos 2,817 14,085
Gaiziņkalns Latvia 312 1,560
Qurnat as Sawda’ Lebanon 3,088 15,440
Thabana Ntlenyana Lesotho 3,482 17,410
Wuteve Liberia 1,440 7,200
Bikku Bitti Libya 2,267 11,335
Grauspitz Liechtenstein 2,599 12,995
Aukštojas Hill Lithuania 294 1,470
Kneiff Luxembourg 560 2,800
Coloane Alto Macau 172 860
Maromokotro Madagascar 2,876 14,380
Mulanje Malawi 3,002 15,010
Gunung Kinabalu Malaysia 4,095 20,475
Villingili Maldives 5 25
Hombori Tondo Mali 1,155 5,775
Ta’Dmejrek Malta 253 1,265
Unnamed location Marshall Isl. 10 50
Pelée Martinique 1,397 6,985
Kediet ej Jill Mauritania 915 4,575
Petite Rivière Noire Mauritius 828 4,140
Benara Mayotte 660 3,300
Pico de Orizaba Mexico 5,636 28,180
Bălănești Hill Moldova 430 2,150
Chemin des Révoires Monaco 161 805
Khüiten Peak Mongolia 4,374 21,870
Zla Kolata Montenegro 2,534 12,670
Chances Peak Montserrat 915 4,575
Jbel Toubkal Morocco 4,165 20,825
Monte Binga Mozambique 2,436 12,180
Hkakabo Razi Myanmar 5,881 29,405
Königstein Namibia 2,573 12,865
Command Ridge Nauru 71 355
Everest Nepal 8,848 44,240
Scenery Netherlands 887 4,435
Mont Panié New Caledonia 1,628 8,140
Aoraki/Cook New Zealand 3,724 18,620
Mogotón Nicaragua 2,107 10,535
Idoukal-n-Taghès Niger 2,022 10,110
Chappal Waddi Nigeria 2,419 12,095
Unnamed location Niue 68 340
Bates Norfolk Island 319 1,595
Paektu-san North Korea 2,744 13,720
Golem Korab North Macedonia 2,764 13,820
Galdhøpiggen Norway 2,469 12,345
Jabal Shams Oman 3,009 15,045
Ngerchelchuus Palau 242 1,210
Nabi Yunis Palestine 1,030 5,150
Volcán Barú Panama 3,475 17,375
Wilhelm Papua New Guinea 4,509 22,545
Cerro Peró Paraguay 842 4,210
Huascarán Peru 6,768 33,840
Apo Philippines 2,954 14,770
Pawala Valley Ridge Pitcairn Isl. 347 1,735
Rysy Poland 2,499 12,495
Montanha do Pico Portugal 2,351 11,755
Cerro de Punta Puerto Rico 1,338 6,690
Qurayn Abu al Bawl Qatar 103 515
Nabemba Rep. of the Congo 1,020 5,100
Neiges Réunion 3,069 15,345
Moldoveanu Romania 2,544 12,720
Elbrus Russia 5,642 28,210
Karisimbi Rwanda 4,507 22,535
Mauga Silisili Samoa 1,857 9,285
Monte Titano San Marino 755 3,775
Pico de São Tomé São Tomé & Príncipe 2,024 10,120
Jabal Sawda Saudi Arabia 3,000 15,000
Nepen Diakha Senegal 648 3,240
Midžor Serbia 2,169 10,845
Morne Seychellois Seychelles 905 4,525
Bintumani Sierra Leone 1,948 9,740
Bukit Timah Hill Singapore 164 820
Flagstaff Peak Sint Maarten 383 1,915
Gerlachovský štít Slovakia 2,655 13,275
Triglav Slovenia 2,864 14,320
Popomanaseu Solomon Isl. 2,335 11,675
Shimbiris Somalia 2,450 12,250
Mafadi South Africa 3,450 17,250
Halla-san South Korea 1,950 9,750
Kinyeti South Sudan 3,187 15,935
Teide Spain 3,718 18,590
Pidurutalagala Sri Lanka 2,524 12,620
Morne du Vitet St. Barthélemy 286 1,430
Liamuiga St. Kitts & Nevis 1,156 5,780
Gimie St. Lucia 950 4,750
Pic Paradis St. Martin 424 2,120
La Soufrière St. Vincent & the Gren. 1,234 6,170
Deriba Caldera Sudan 3,042 15,210
Juliana Top Suriname 1,230 6,150
Kebnekaise Sweden 2,097 10,485
Monte Rosa Switzerland 4,634 23,170
Jabal el-Sheikh Syria 2,814 14,070
Yu Shan Taiwan 3,952 19,760
Ismoil Somoni Peak Tajikistan 7,495 37,475
Kilimanjaro Tanzania 5,895 29,475
Doi Inthanon Thailand 2,565 12,825
Ramelau Timor-Leste 2,963 14,815
Mont Agou Togo 986 4,930
Unnamed location Tokelau 5 25
Kao Tonga 1,033 5,165
El Cerro del Aripo Trinidad & Tobago 940 4,700
Jebel ech Chambi Tunisia 1,544 7,720
Ararat Turkey 5,137 25,685
Aýrybaba Turkmenistan 3,139 15,695
Blue Hills Turks & Caicos Isl. 49 245
Unnamed location Tuvalu 5 25
Jabal Al Jais UAE 1,910 9,550
Stanley Uganda 5,109 25,545
Scafell Pike UK (England) 978 4,890
Slieve Donard UK (Northern Ireland) 850 4,250
Ben Nevis UK (Scotland) 1,345 6,725
Snowdon UK (Wales) 1,085 5,425
Hoverla Ukraine 2,061 10,305
Cerro Catedral Uruguay 514 2,570
Crown Mountain US Virgin Isl. 474 2,370
Denali USA 6,190 30,950
Mauna Kea USA (Hawaii) 4,207 21,035
Whitney USA (lower 48) 4,421 22,105
Khazret Sultan Uzbekistan 4,643 23,215
Tabwemasana Vanuatu 1,877 9,385
Vatican Hill Vatican City 75 375
Pico Bolívar Venezuela 4,978 24,890
Fan Si Pan Vietnam 3,143 15,715
Mont Puke Wallis & Futuna 524 2,620
Jabal An-Nabi Shu’ayb Yemen 3,666 18,330
Mafinga Central Zambia 2,329 11,645
Nyangani Zimbabwe 2,592 12,960

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 Country Height (m) Steps
Everest Nepal / China 8,848 44,240
Aconcagua Argentina 6,960 34,800
Denali USA 6,190 30,950
Kilimanjaro Tanzania 5,895 29,475
Elbrus Russia 5,642 28,210
Vinson Antarctica 4,892 24,460
Puncak Jaya Indonesia 4,884 24,420

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 Country Height (m) Steps required
Everest Nepal / China 8,848 44,240
K2 Pakistan 8,611 43,055
Kangchenjunga India /Nepal 8,586 42,930
Lhotse Nepal / China 8,516 42,580
Makalu Nepal / China 8,485 42,425
Cho Oyu Nepal / China 8,188 40,940
Dhaulagiri Nepal 8,167 40,835
Manaslu Nepal 8,163 40,815
Nanga Parbat Pakistan 8,126 40,630
Annapurna I Nepal 8,091 40,455
Gasherbrum I Pakistan / China 8,080 40,400
Broad Peak Pakistan 8,051 40,255
Gasherbrum II Pakistan 8,035 40,175
Shishapangma China 8,027 40,135

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 Country Height (m) Steps
Ben Nevis Scotland 1,345 6,725
Scafell Pike England 978 4,890
Snowdon Wales 1,085 5,425

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