Best beginnersí climbs

Lace up your boots and slip on a harness as we bring you 10 beginners’ climbs to blow your mind.

Fontainebleau is a climber’s paradise – perfect sandstone boulders above fl at, sandy landings, set amidst a beautiful forest only an hour from Paris. Climb in the steps of the bleausards who marked the bouldering circuits with small arrows that you can still follow today, safe in the knowledge you are never too far from a boulangerie. If we had to pick one of the many great circuits, it would be the yellow at Rocher Aux Sabot. It lacks the cold and misery of mountaineering, the terrifying falls of rock climbing, but never fear if you like it spicy, things can go wrong in Font – someone could kick sand in your baguette.You can climb all year round in Fontainebleau; the warmer months are more pleasant, although purists might prefer winter when friction is best.

You’ve been climbing all day, mostly easy scrambling up what seems like a never-ending ridge, but now it’s all getting serious as the sun drops low in the sky and you come to Tower Gap, a narrow spine of rock with a massive drop either side. If you were braver you’d walk across, but instead you shuffle over on your bum, before nervously abseiling into the gap. Now relax – it’s just a few easy pitches to the top. Not only will you have climbed Tower Ridge, the best alpine route in Scotland, but it’s also only a short journey to tag the summit of Britain’s highest peak (1344m/4409ft) before descending to the warmth of a hut and dinner.Tower Ridge is best attempted in summer – it is also climbed in winter but this is a much more serious proposition.

Rising behind the outdoor paradise of Boulder like a set of ragged shark’s teeth are the Flatirons. Like fingers there are five, and the third – an immaculate, massive slab of sandstone, conglomerate and shale – holds what many, including legendary climber Yvon Chouinard, call the finest beginner’s route in the US: the east face. It romps up the easy, low-angled face to the pointy summit, where three exciting abseils take you back to the ground. And if the ‘standard’ route is not challenging enough for you, consider some past ascents – it’s been climbed naked, speed soloed (in 5.59 minutes) and, in 1953, ascended in rollerskates.The Flatirons are closed from February to July for the raptor-breeding season, but can be climbed at all other times if conditions are suitable.

While Aspiring may not be the highest peak in New Zealand it’s definitely the most handsome – an aesthetic pyramid towering over surrounding peaks. Called Tititea (Glittering Peak) by the M?ori, the north-west ridge is considered a classic first summit for an aspiring mountaineer. You’ll have to be ready to down your morning porridge at an ungodly hour ahead of a long, long day traversing an epic ridge, but if you survive the South Island’s notorious weather, terrible rock, avalanches and crevasses, you’ll have climbed New Zealand’s second-highest summit (or at least come close, as the M?ori consider it disrespectful to stand on the very highest point).Mt Aspiring is best climbed in summer with an experienced partner or guide. You will need to have solid basic mountaineering skills.

Extract taken from Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures which is a fearless collection of 100 top ten lists of the most death defying challenges and life changing excursions the world has to offer.