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Top 10 Mountain Climbing Games
Robert Carroll
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Lawrence
Kansas
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Below is my Top 10 list of mountain or rock climbing games. These are games that meet substantially all of the following criteria: (1) climbing game; (2) focusing on rock or mountain climbing; and (3) fun to play. This is a list of the BEST! As always, your mileage may vary and some entries may be "controversial." As such, please feel free to comment, debate, or just express your own point of view. Feel free to thumbsup this list (to draw attention and more comments) or any pleasing, interesting or thought provoking entries. If I missed one that you feel is essential or I am "insane for not listing" (trust me, it has been said before), then by all means let the comments fly . . . just be civil. FYI - I am a sucker for comments and discussion and usually thumbsup most if not all of them.

I find that these lists sometimes are helpful for others seeking similar games and the more rich the discussion for more useful the list.

For a complete listing of my Top 10 lists, see--MetaList: Nap's Top 10 Lists.

Thanks for reading and participating!
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1. Board Game: K2 [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:316]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"There are not many games that I have rated 10 straight away, but this is really a marvellously designed game. It almost feels like climbing the mountain - the theme is perfect and makes complete sense (apart from perhaps some minor points that are there only to make the game more interesting - like the limit to the number of players on certain spaces and the inability to use other people's tents). The game is tense all the way, it has constant nerve wrecking decisions, it has interaction - and it is a racing game, and we all love those, don't we."

--David Dolzan (dolzandavid)
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2. Board Game: Disaster on Everest [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:4877]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"Nice game, easy to learn, decent amount of strategy, especially when the more advanced rules kick in, which take into consideration the characteristics of individual climbers, all of whom have names and professions in a neat bit of detail. Overall, the theme is much stronger than in the bigger, better-produced K2 board game from White Goblin, and for less than half the price. The varied events you encounter provide some fun suspense. Definitely worth a look if you're into the theme and looking for a solo challenge."

--soren narnia (sorennarnia)


Includes Disaster on K2.
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3. Board Game: Assault on Mt. Everest [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"Tough decisions have to be made in order to even come close to the summit of the mountain. Even then bad weather and or bad luck could foil the bid. Sounds like the real climb doesn't it? Another try this weekend results in my raising my rating for this game. It is a very challenging solo game!!! A play in mid November 2007 increase the game another half point to 8"

--Ron Pfeiffer (fuzzyfife)
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4. Board Game: Climb! [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:6628]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"This game is simply brilliant.

Climb is a dexterity game in the truest sense of the word. You use the fingers of one hand to climb a mountain that's represented by a series of cards with punched-out holes of various shapes, sizes, and colors. The colors dictate which finger you must place in the hole. The more fingers you can properly position at one time, the more points you score. If you jostle one of the cards or perform any illegal move, your climb ends and you collect the points that you've earned up to that moment. It's much more difficult than it looks!

There really is nothing else in my collection like Climb. I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing it, and showing it to people. It's the kind of game that draws crowds of onlookers. The only problem is actually finding a copy. I had to mail-order mine through an outdoor apparel store."

--Joshua Miller (Glamorous Mucus)
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5. Board Game: Race for the Summit [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"This is a light "push your luck" kind of game. The climbing theme is well implemented and the cards use a lot of rock climbing lingo although that doesn't impact the ability for non-climbers to learn the game. It makes for an interesting filler game but takes up a lot of table space."

--Brook Meehan (BrookMeehan)
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6. Board Game: Mountain Climber [Average Rating:6.19 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"A very fun "push your luck" type of game. Each player is trying to get to the top of the mountain."

--Andrew Tullsen (Howitzer_120mm)
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7. Board Game: Conquer Everest [Average Rating:6.58 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"The box says, "An exciting board game with unique 3-D mountain for 2-4 players age 8-80."

Players roll the die, moving along squares on the board that contain resources: ice equipment, tents, oxygen, ropes, and sponsorship. Once you believe you've accumulated enough equipment, you use your dice rolls to move to an airport.

The airport takes you to different track on the board (Nepal), where you roll the die, seeking to land on spaces where you can get Sherpas, but hopefully not spaces where you lose equipment. Once you're satisfied that you have enough equipment and Sherpas, you then begin ascending the mountain (a big colorful cardboard pyramid).

As you roll the die, you advance your climber, who hangs from "peg size" holes in the mountain using his ice pick. There are many hazards along along the way up, so depending upon the die roll, you could lose the equipment you need to make it to the top. First one to the summit wins!"

--From the BGG Game Entry
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8. Board Game: Athos [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:8617]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"One of my first boardgames. I'm always fascinated by the way the game develops. At first, you think "OMG, easy to get there!", but from turn to turn more blocking terrain is added, until you really have to struggle to get to Athos. It's an abstract game, but the way the game develops is so thematic. Unfortunately, I didn't play the game for years now, so maybe I'm rating it too low. But there are so many other great games out there...!"

--Grzegorz Kobiela (Ponton)
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9. Board Game: Himalaya [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"Players move their mountain climber and Sherpas along the arduous path to the great summit. Avalanches, landslides and the unpredictable Yeti impede the long march. By skillful positioning in the game, one can withstand the adverse climate of the mountain. Whoever arrives first on the summit wins."

--From the BGG Game Entry

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10. Board Game: Mountaineering [Average Rating:4.45 Overall Rank:9978]
Robert Carroll
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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"The game I have has copyrights 1973, 1983, 2004. From reading the comments below, the rules have changed considerably between editions. For the 2004 edition, you have equipment cards and mover cards. You start with 5 set pieces of equipment and 5 random cards. You divide six mover cards among the players (moves range from 1 to 3) and all six cards must be used up before 6 more are drawn and used. You can backtrack to avoid trouble spots that you can't solve, and hope you can hit a supply spot or get better mover cards when your current six run out. To win the game, you must reach the summit and get back down. If you hit a fair number of the supply spots going up, you'll be out of equipment cards on your way back down. However, you can take equipment cards previously played on the chart from one trouble spot immediately adjacent to your supply spot. If you find yourself stranded, and you saved the equipment card with the whistle, you can blow the whistle to be rescued from the mountain. This is more satisfying to kids than "you died on the mountain."

My 7 year old daughter and I played 3 games in a row tonight. The first game we only got half way up the mountain. The second and third games we reached the summit, but only made it a third of the way down. However, I missed two rules that would have made it easier for us - you can play mover cards out of turn if you have a better one that the person whose turn it is, and I forgot about being able to pick up equipment from the chart.

Of the Family Pastime games, we've played Round Up, Granny's House, and Mountaineering. Mountaineering is clearly the most difficult,and we both enjoyed the challenge a lot. This is definately one that will hit the table more often with us. I haven't seen the rules for earlier editions, but the 2004 edition is far better than the game's current rating (4.25 when this was written.)"

--Krista Donnelly (kldonnelly)
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