The world is simply full of wonders. Some of its awe-inspiring beauties are its high and rugged cliffs. Depending on location, cliffs are either found on land and sea. I have featured before some of the world’s amazing sea cliffs (see Ten Marvelous Sea Cliffs in the World). Overlooking the ocean water, sea cliffs are truly breathtaking. However, land cliffs are as beautiful and awesome as well. These cliffs may be faces of great mountains or just lie isolated on a vast plain. Some are locations of great falls, rivers, and natural parks, and even sites for extreme activities. Wherever they are, they certainly overwhelm anyone with wonder and joy.
Here is a short list of ten marvelous land cliffs in the world.
The Trango Towers are composed of granite spires located on the north side of the Baltoro Glacier, in Baltistan, Pakistan. They are part of the Karakoram range – a division of the Himalaya Range where many of the world’s highest peaks are found. Their vertical faces are the world’s tallest cliffs. The highest point in this group of dramatic cliffs is the summit of Great Trango Tower, rising at 6,286 m (20,680 ft). Smaller cliffs are named Trango Tower or “Nameless Tower”, Trango Monk, Trango II, Trango Ri, Trango Pulpit, and Trango Castle. The Towers offer some of the most challenging rock climbing in the world. (image source)
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo are part of the six mountaineering heights known as Great north faces of the Alps. The name is Italian for “three peaks of Lavaredo.” They are also called Drei Zinnen in German which means “three merlons.” The group is composed of three distinctive battlement-like peaks in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy. The cliffs are named Cima Piccola (“little peak”), Cima Grande (“big peak”), and Cima Ovest (“western peak”). Their elevations measure 2,857 m (9,373 ft), 2,999 m (9,839 ft), and 2,973 m (9,754 ft), respectively. (image source)
Kjerag or Kiragg is a mountain located in Lysefjorden, in Forsand municipality, Ryfylke, Rogaland, Norway. Its name is a compound of the words “kid” and “goat’s hair” because the rough surface of the mountainside has been compared with the shaggy hair of a kid goat. Its highest point is 1,110 m above sea level, but its northern drop to Lysefjorden (measuring 984 m or 3,228 ft) is the most popular attraction. (image source)
Another great attraction of the mountain is the Kjeragbolten, a 5 m3 boulder wedged in the mountain crevasse. It is possible to walk over the rock without any equipment. However, there is a direct 241 m drop below and then another tumble of 735 m down to Lysefjorden. So anyone who wishes to cross over the boulder must have lots of guts (and steady feet). (image source)
Mount Thor or Thor Peak is a mountain measuring 1,675 m (5,495 ft) high, found in Auyuittuq National Park, on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Made of granite, Mount Thor is part of the Baffin Mountains which is in turn part of the Arctic Cordillera mountain range. The mountain features the Earth’s greatest purely vertical drop at 1,250 m (4,101 ft) with an average angle of 105 degrees. This makes it a popular site among climbers. In July 23, 2006, the world record for longest rappel was set on Mount Thor by an American team. (image source)
Located in Auyuittuq National Park, on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, Mount Asgard is a twin peaked mountain with two flat-topped cylindrical rock towers separated by a saddle. It is named after the Norse god Asgard. It has an elevation of 2,015 m (6,611 ft) and is granite in composition. Its North Peak is slightly higher than South Peak. Mount Asgard is perhaps the most famous of the Baffin Mountains. In 1976, a stuntman skied off the mountain with a Union Flag parachute for the opening sequence of the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me.” (image source)
Rising nearly 482.5 m (1,583 ft), Shiprock is a gigantic rock formation found on the high-desert plain of Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico, USA. Specifically, it is located in the center of the Ancient Pueblo People or Ancestral Puebloan civilization, a prehistoric Native American culture of the Southwest United States. It is named after the town of Shiprock. However, it has local name which means “rock with wings” or “winged rock” in Navajo for the peak refers to the legends of the great bird that brought them from the north to their present lands. It has a peak elevation of 2,187.5 m (7,177 ft) above sea level. (image source)
Devils Tower is an attraction in the Black Hills near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming. It has a local name of Mato Tipilai which means “Bear Lodge.” Rising 386 m (1,267 ft) above the surrounding terrain, it is a monolithic igneous intrusion or volcanic neck. Its summit however is 1,558 m (5,112 feet) above sea level. The peak itself forms part only of the Devils Tower National Monument that encloses an area of 1,347 acres (5.45 km2). Currently, the Monument has approximately 400,000 visitors each year with around 1% of it climbing the Devils Tower, mostly through traditional climbing techniques. In 1977, Steven Spielberg used the location in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” (image source)
Situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean, Sugarloaf Mountain is called as “Pão de Açúcar” in Portuguese. Its name refers to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. The mountain rises about 396 m (1,299 ft) above the harbor. Sugarloaf Mountain is only one of several monolithic morros of granite and quartz that stand on the edge of Rio de Janeiro. A glass-paneled cable car connects it to the nearest mountain. In 1979, it was used as one of the setting in the James Bond movie “Moonraker.” (image source)
Auyantepui, which means “Devil’s Mountain” in the language of native Pemon people, is located in the Gran Sabana region in Bolivar State, Venezuela. It is one of the most famous and largest (but not the highest) tepui or table-top mountains in Venezuela, spanning an area of 700 km2. Its peak is 2,535 meters high. It is the location of the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, which drops from a cleft near the summer. The falls are 979 meters (3,212 ft) high, more than 19 times higher than Niagara Falls. Auyantepui is visited on average three times a year. (image source)
Located in Patagonia, Chile-Argentina, Cerro Torre is one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. At 3,128 m (10,262 ft), it is the highest in a four-mountain chain consisting of Torre Egger, Punta Herron, Cerro Stanhardt, and itself. The top of the mountain has a mushroom of frosted ice, formed by the constant strong winds, increasing the difficulty of reaching the actual summit. Cerro Torre was featured in the 1991 film “Scream of Stone” by director Werner Herzog. (image source)