Meet Canada's Mount Thor: The World's Steepest, Tallest Cliff (2023)

Auyuittuq National Park, on Baffin Island in northern Canada, is one of the world’s last great unexplored wildernesses. Few have conquered it. Even fewer can spell it. With an Inuit name meaning “the land that never melts,” Auyittuq is full of stunning fjords and majestic peaks—like Mount Asgard, the cliff that James Bond leaps from using a Union Jack parachute at the beginning of The Spy Who Loved Me. But believe it or not, Mount Asgard isn’t the park’s scariest summit. That honor belongs to nearby Mount Thor, the world’s tallest cliff.

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  • Mount Thor is named for the Norse god of thunder, and believe me, it might just take an act of divine intervention (or Marvel Comics superpowers) to get to the top. The peak’s west face is the longest vertical drop on Earth: 4,101 feet (the better part of a mile!) straight down. Actually, the slope is steeper than vertical, since the face is actually a 105-degree overhang.

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  • As you might imagine, a sheer 4,000-foot rock face is no picnic to climb. More than 30 attempts to scale Thor met with failure before a four-man American team finally completed the climb in May 1985. The team faced nonstop dangers from falling rocks to dwindling supplies—even though they brought over half a ton of food, gear, and fuel up the cliff with them. The ascent took them 33 days!

  • Mount Thor is a popular site for BASE jumpers and paragliders hoping to get the ultimate rush by throwing themselves off the world’s tallest cliff (presumably after slamming a Mountain Dew). But Auyuittuq Park has a unique jumping ban, due to the difficulty of getting emergency crews to the remote location, so Canada routinely prosecutes thrill-seekers dumb enough to take the shortcut back down to base camp.

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  • If you’ve conquered the world’s tallest vertical cliff and are looking for new challenges, head to Baltistan, in northern Pakistan. The east face of the Great Trango Tower there is the world’s tallest near-vertical cliff: not as sheer as Thor, but three hundred feet taller. The first expedition to scale Trango’s east face, in 1984, died on the descent, and it’s still widely considered to be the world’s toughest big-wall climb.

(Video) Behold Canada's Mount Thor, the Tallest Vertical Drop on Earth


What is the steepest cliff in the world? ›

Baffin Island, Canada is home to Mount Thor, the world's tallest vertical cliff. In fact, it's steeper than vertical, with a 105-degree overhang.

Has anyone ever climbed Mount Thor? ›

Ascents. Donald Morton and Lyman Spitzer made the first recorded ascent of Mount Thor in 1965 during the Alpine Club of Canada expedition led by Pat Baird. Pat Baird also led the 1953 geophysical expedition during which Hans Weber, J. Rothlisberger and F.

How hard is it to climb Mt Thor? ›

What makes Mount Thor so intense is its vertical drop - the sheer face of this cliff extends 4,101 feet, making it quite an intimidating climb. The overhang of this rock sits at a 105-degree angle, which gives the illusion that the slope isn't as steep as it is.

How long would it take to fall from Mount Thor? ›

The Tallest Cliff on Earth

There, we would find ourselves at the base of Mount Thor. We'd also be in front of a massive cliff. The cliff is 4,100 feet tall—without any breaks. If we were to drop a bowling ball from the top (something you should never ever do), it would take almost 20 seconds for it to hit the ground.

What is the most famous cliff in the world? ›

Arguably the world's most famous cliff face in the world, the sheer granite rock face of El Capitan has adorned postcards for decades – and more recently, the computer screens of Mac users around the world.

What is the hardest mount to climb? ›

At 28,251 feet, K2, which straddles the Pakistan-China border, is about two and a half football fields shorter than Everest, but it's widely considered the planet's toughest and most dangerous mountain to climb, earning the nickname “Savage Mountain.” Unlike Everest, it is not possible to “walk” to the top; all sides ...

What mountain has never been climbed? ›

Most sources indicate that Gangkhar Puensum (7,570 metres, 24,840 ft) on the Bhutan–China border is the tallest mountain in the world that has yet to be fully summited.

What is the greatest vertical drop on Earth? ›

Mount Thor (Thor Peak) is a mountain in Auyuittuq National Park. You'll find it on Baffin Island, in Nunavut. The mountain is the earth's greatest vertical drop at 1,250 metres with an average angle of 105 degrees.

Which of the 3 Peaks is hardest? ›

Ben Nevis is purportedly the hardest mountain (and highest peak) of the Three Peaks Challenge. That's why people tend to do it first if they're taking the 24 hour challenge.

What is the easiest of the 7 peaks? ›

The Seven Summits of the World

' They are made up of the tallest mountain peak from each continent. You may be surprised by the fact that Mount Everest is considered to be the least difficult.

How hard is it to do the 3 peaks in 24 hours? ›

90% of people complete all 3 peaks, however only around 40% manage it in less than 24 hours with 50% achieving successful completion between 24 and 25.5 hours. The chances of a whole group completing in less than 24 hours are not guaranteed although it does occur.

How far could a human fall? ›

A retrospective analysis of 101 patients who survived vertical deceleration injuries revealed an average fall height of 23 feet and 7 inches (7.2 meters), confirming the notion that survivable injuries occur below the critical threshold of a falling height around 20-25 feet [1].

How high could you jump on Miranda? ›

On Uranus's moon, Miranda, your jump increases phenomenally to 57 metres. Think twice before jumping on Phobos, as there are chances that you might not even land back. Your jump will grow 773 metres high on Phobos.

How long does it take to fall 5000? ›

Based on a typical skydiving freefall descent rate (which we'll tell you about in a moment), it takes around 10 seconds to fall the first thousand feet then five seconds thereafter. So from 14,000 feet, opening your parachute around 5,000 feet, you'll fall for about fifty seconds.

What country has the best cliffs? ›

10 of the World's Most Dramatic Sea Cliffs
  • Sea Cliffs of Étretat • Étretat, France.
  • Paracas Sea Cliffs • Paracas, Peru.
  • Cliffs of Los Gigantes • Tenerife, Spain.
  • Mitre Peak • New Zealand.
  • Slieve League Cliffs • County Donegal, Ireland.
  • Hornelen • Fjordane county, Norway.
  • Preikestolen • Rogaland County, Norway.

Which is the second highest cliff in the world? ›

Cabo Girão is the second highest sea cliff in the world, with 580 metres above the sea level, the views here are breathtaking.

What is the highest cliff to jump off of? ›

In 2015, Laso Schaller broke the cliff jumping world record. He jumped 58.8m off the Cascata del Salto in Switzerland, reaching an eye-watering 76.4mph in the moments before he hit the water. He was up on his feet pretty quickly too!

How tall is the tallest cliff in the world? ›

According to some sources, the highest cliff in the world, about 1,340 m high, is the east face of Great Trango in the Karakoram mountains of northern Pakistan.

What city is built on a cliff? ›


The buildings of Rocamadour rise in stages up the side of a cliff. Flights of steps ascend from the lower town to the churches, a group of massive buildings half-way up the city cliff. The village, which dates back to the 12th century, became almost deserted as a result of war and the French Revolution.

Are there cliffs under the ocean? ›

Both Nanga Parbat and Great Trango are located in Pakistan. Some of the largest and steepest cliffs on Earth are actually found under water. These cliffs are sometimes called oceanic trenches.

Is K2 harder than Everest? ›

Although the summit of Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is a more difficult and dangerous climb, due in part to its more inclement weather. As of February 2021, only 377 people have completed the ascent to its summit.

Why is K2 harder than Mt Everest? ›

Although the summit of Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is considered a much more difficult and dangerous climb, due to its more inclement weather and steep gradients.

What mountain is forbidden? ›

The Forbidden Mountain is a 20,152 ft/6,143 metres tall mountain in the Himalayas, found north-west of Mt. Everest and east of Annapurna II. In its shadow is the Asian kingdom of Anandapur, more specifically the village of Serka Zong.

What is the oldest mountain on the planet? ›

The Barbertown Greenstone Belt (3.6 Billion Years)

Generally speaking, South Africa and the Americas are home to some of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth. The Barbertown Greenstone Belt, or Makhonjwa Mountains is the very oldest mountain range in the world.

Why has no one climbed Shishapangma? ›

In 1964, it became the last of the 8,000-metre peaks to be climbed. This was due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on visits by foreign travelers to the region imposed by Chinese authorities.

What is the highest vertical drop in the United States? ›

Jackson Hole, Wyoming: 4,105 vertical drop

You'll find the largest vertical in the United States at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort where the drop is 4,105 feet and you can ski and ride on nearly 2,500 acres.

What is Jackson Hole Vertical drop? ›

· Vertical drop: 4,139 feet. · Base elevation: 6,311 feet/1924 meters. · Summit elevation: 10,450 feet/3185 meters. · Uphill capacity: 17,833 skiers per hour.

What is Big Sky vertical drop? ›

Opened in late 1973, Big Sky Resort has more than 5,800 acres (9.1 sq mi; 23.5 km2) of terrain and a vertical drop of 4,350 feet (1,330 m).

Which peak is easiest to climb? ›

#1 - Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa

Why Kilimanjaro? Mount Kilimanjaro is THE tallest free-standing mountain in the world AND you can walk right up it. You do not need any technical climbing knowledge or equipment to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Can you walk 3 peaks without training? ›

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Yorkshire Three Peaks is the most underestimated walking challenge in Britain. Unless you already have a solid level of fitness you will need to train.

Can the 3 peaks be done in a day? ›

Total challenge time generally includes ascending and descending all three mountains. The 24-hour time includes both walking time and travel between the mountains — approximately thirteen hours hillwalking and eleven hours driving. Several timings options are available, depending on your arrival time into Fort William.

Is Denali colder than Everest? ›

There is, however, one minor difference. Mt. Denali is in Alaska and less than 1,000 miles from the Arctic Circle, so it's colder.

Is Denali harder than Kilimanjaro? ›

Denali is a much harder attempt than Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The steeps are very high on Denali and the oxygen level is also comparatively lower than that of Kilimanjaro. Moreover, your body will get acclimatized to the Kilimanjaro weather more easily.

Who has climbed all 7 summits? ›

The first person to complete Seven Summits without the use of supplemental oxygen on Mount Everest is Reinhold Messner. Miroslav Caban is the second climber to finish the project without supplemental oxygen on Everest (finished in 2005 with Carstensz). Ed Viesturs also summitted all peaks without supplemental oxygen.

Which is harder Ben Nevis or Scafell Pike? ›

Scafell Pike is considered to be harder because it has a pretty steep incline. Part of the summit journey also involves a scree slope and this requires hikers to sort of scramble up. Therefore, it is tougher than Mount Snowdon and Ben Nevis.

Can a beginner walk up Ben Nevis? ›

For novices, we'd recommend the 'Mountain Path' (also known as the 'Pony Track' or 'Ben Path'). It's the simplest way to the top, and also the most popular. You'll usually start at Achintree on the east side (if you've parked at the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre or youth hostel, you'll start at west side).

How many calories do you burn doing the 3 peaks? ›

You can expect to burn up to 5,000 active calories on your three peaks challenge, so making sure you have enough fuel is vital.

Do bodies bounce when falling? ›

The human body and brain are designed to bounce back from injury. “Part of that robustness comes from the fact that the cells in our bodies have outstanding programming, and they can repair and reconstitute tissue and organ function even after an insult,” said Laura E. Niklason, M.D., Ph.

What is the highest a human can fall without dying? ›

People usually survive falls from a height of 20-25 feet (6-8 meters), but above that, things get very deadly very fast. A study done in Paris in 2005 looked at 287 victims of falls, and found that falls from 8 stories (30 meters) or higher were 100% fatal.

What happens if you jump into water from a great height? ›

Even if you enter feet-first in a straight, vertical line, and like a pencil, that impact can be strong enough to compress your spine, break bones, or give you a concussion. The force of the water can knock people unconscious on impact, and even if you survive, you may drown.

What happens if you jump too high on the moon? ›

The Moon's gravity at the surface is only 17 percent that of Earth's. Using the same force of a jump on Earth, you could rise about 3 metres (10 feet) off the ground and stay in the air for about 4 seconds.

How high could you jump on Pluto? ›

In theory, on Pluto, you could jump approximately 24.34 ft high from a standing position and spend 9.48 seconds in the air. On Earth, you can jump about 1.64 ft high and spend 0.63 seconds airborne.

Can you escape the moon by jumping? ›

Although you can jump very high on the moon, you'll be happy to know that there's no need to worry about jumping all the way off into space. In fact, you'd need to be going very fast – more than 2 kilometres per second – to escape from the moon's surface.

How far do you fall in 12 seconds? ›

A typical skydiver in a spread-eagle position will reach terminal velocity after about 12 seconds, during which time they will have fallen around 450 m (1,500 ft).

How far will it fall in 2 seconds? ›

The first equation shows that, after one second, an object will have fallen a distance of 1/2 × 9.8 × 12 = 4.9 m. After two seconds it will have fallen 1/2 × 9.8 × 22 = 19.6 m; and so on.

How far is a 1 minute fall? ›

The duration of freefall in a skydive from 14,000ft lasts about one euphoric minute, after which (at about 4000ft) you deploy your parachute to descend the rest of the way, safely and gently touching down in the landing area a few minutes later.

What is the steepest grade in the world? ›

Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, may be the steepest residential street in the world; it reportedly averages 1:3.41 (16.33° or 29.3%) for 161 meters but its maximum is claimed to be 35% for an unknown distance. Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh is said to have a 37% grade; the length of that grade is unknown.

What is the steepest downhill grade in the world? ›

Canton Avenue is 630 ft (190 m) long (the hill is about 213 feet long) and is claimed to include a 37% grade 21 feet (6.4 m) long. The Guinness Book of World Records says Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, New Zealand, is the world's steepest street with a gradient of 34.8%.

What is the steepest hill grade? ›

Canton Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa.; 37 percent gradient

This is the steepest officially recorded public street in the U.S., and probably the world. Although its 37 percent grade only extends about 21 feet, it still stops walkers and bikers dead in their tracks.

What is the steepest street a car can climb? ›

4/5 Slippery slope.. Dunedin's Baldwin Street is arguably the world's steepest.

Is 100 a possible grade? ›

A - is the highest grade you can receive on an assignment, and it's between 90% and 100% B - is still a pretty good grade! This is an above-average score, between 80% and 89%

What is the steepest grade on a US highway? ›

While federal law requires interstate highways to have a maximum grade of six percent, state highways are a different story. Pennsylvania maintains a highway with a 14.5-degree slope, and California is even steeper, with a highway at a whopping 26-degree grade.

How steep is a 20% hill? ›

It doesn't matter exactly what it means, 20% is steeper than 10%. In surveying 20% is interpreted as 20% of a right angle (i.e. a brick wall) and so would be 18 degrees.

What is the steepest grade in North America? ›

Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh's Beechview neighborhood is a monster hill with a 37% grade -- a struggle for walkers and drivers alike. Just how steep is this street? Tap the video player above to see it! Related: Welsh street named steepest in world, edging out Pittsburgh's Canton Ave.

Where is the steepest residential street in the world? ›

Baldwin Street in the city of Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island is officially the world's steepest residential road. At its steepest, the slope has a gradient of 35%.

What is a 100% hill grade? ›

o Degree of slope is measured in degrees from horizontal (0 – 90) ▪ A 45-degree slope is a 100 percent grade.

How steep is a 45% slope? ›

Slope (%)Approximate degreesTerminology
9 - 155 - 8.5Moderate slope
15 - 308.5 - 16.5Strong slope
30 - 4516.5 - 24Very strong slope
45 - 7024 - 35Extreme slope
6 more rows
15 May 2022

How steep is a 3% gradient? ›

1-3%: Slightly uphill but not particularly challenging. A bit like riding into the wind. 4-6%: A manageable gradient that can cause fatigue over long periods. 7-9%: Starting to become uncomfortable for seasoned riders, and very challenging for new climbers.

Can you survive a cliff jump? ›

Even if you enter feet-first in a straight, vertical line, and like a pencil, that impact can be strong enough to compress your spine, break bones, or give you a concussion. The force of the water can knock people unconscious on impact, and even if you survive, you may drown.

How high can you survive a fall into water? ›

The upper survival limits of human tolerance to impact velocity in water are evidently close to 100 ft/sec (68.2 mph) corrected velocity, or the equivalent of a 186-foot free-fall.


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