Heading to the highest point of any European country is an experience not to be missed. Rachel Crolla has recently become the first woman to summit all of Europe’s High Points. From the towering Mount Elbrus in Russia 5642m to the lowly Mollehoj in Denmark 170m, Europe offers the hiker a wealth of adventure and a huge variety of dazzling scenery. Rachel and her partner Carl McKeating have taken more than five years to complete climbing Europe’s High Points and have written a book detailing their hikes and showcasing pictures and information about the highest points of each of our 50 countries.
Rachel simply set out with a love of travel – finding that most of Europe’s High Points were located in stunning surroundings, many of which were easily accessible “The mountain scenery of Europe is so diverse and visiting high points gave me really good ideas to build holidays around. I’ve ended up visiting travel destinations I knew nothing about previously, such as Kosovo and Iceland.”
Rachel is a former journalist from West Yorkshire who now works as a teacher. She developed her love of the outdoors in the British mountains and gradually developed her mountaineering skills until she felt confident tackling alpine peaks and real rock climbs. She never dreamed of achieving a mountaineering ‘first’. “Being the first woman to reach the high point of every country in Europe is amazing – climbing mountains is such a fantastic way to see the continent and the experiences I’ve had along the way are unforgettable,” she said.
Rachel and Carl found that each national high point was unique. Their guide is the first of its kind, stretching from the frozen tundra of the Arctic Circle to the arid plains of the Sierra Nevada. Europe’s High Points contains something for everyone – it took Rachel and Carl on everything from afternoon strolls in Malta and Moldova to three-day mountaineering ascents on classic Alpine routes such as Mont Blanc and Dufourspitze.