To witness the glory of mountains is always a breathtaking experience for anyone. And if you happen to be among those crazy mountain lovers, only you know how rewarding the mountaineering experience is. Mountains are truly the blessed splendors by the nature. For sure, to scale the top 10 highest mountains in the world is among the wildest dreams and truly a life-defining experience for any ambitious mountaineer.
And interestingly 8 out of 10 highest peaks in the world lies in Nepal, a tiny Himalayan nation wedged between China and India. Here goes the list of top 10 highest mountains in the world.
10. Annapurna I (8091m/26545ft)
Annapurna I is the tenth highest mountain in the world that lies in the north-central part of Nepal Himalayas. Annapurna is indeed one of the most beautiful peaks in this planet. Annapurna offers some of the most popular trekking and expeditions in the world and has been touted as one of the best travel destinations in the world. Interestingly, Annapurna I was the very first 8000 meter peak to be climbed. Annapurna was first successfully scaled by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal in 3rd of June, 1950. The Annapurna summit was the highest summit attained on Earth for three years until the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. As of the statistics till 2012, Annapurna I has the greatest fatality rate of all 14 highest eight thousanders.
9. Nanga Parbat (8126m/26660ft)
Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain) is the ninth highest mountain in the world that has been known to be notoriously difficult to climb. It was so named because of some of its extremely steep slopes that are bereft of vegetation and snow. Nanga Parbat is not a single peak but 20 kilometers long series of peaks and ridges culminating in an enormous ice crest of 8126 meters. It’s the western anchor of the Himalayas and westernmost of all eight thousanders. The popular Indus River skirts around Nanga Parbat before it debouches into the plains of Pakistan. Nanga Parbat is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. In early and mid-20th century, numerous mountaineering deaths lent it the nickname Killer Mountain. It’s never been climbed in winter. Until the first successful ascent was made by Austrian climber Hermann Buhl in 3rd of July, 1953, Nanga Parbat has always been associated with tragedies and tribulations.
8. Mount Manaslu (8163m/26781ft)
Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world, is another stunning mountain lying at the edge of one of the most secluded Himalayan valleys: Kali Gandaki River Valley in the central western Nepal Himalayas. In 1953, a Japanese team made the very first attempt to Manaslu but it was only in 1956 that the first successful ascent was made. Actually, all the tree peaks of Manaslu were first summited by the Japanese and they always take great pride in their adventures in Manaslu. Manaslu region, in recent years offers a variety of trekking options, most of which are found to be increasingly popular trips.
7. Mount Dhaulagiri (8167m/26795ft)
The seventh highest mountain in the world itself, Dhaulagiri I lies on the north west of Pokhara in the western Nepal. It was first successfully scaled by a Swiss/Nepali/Austrian expedition team in 13th of May, 1960 only. ‘Dhaulagiri’ literally means ‘the dazzling/white/beautiful mountain’. Dhaulagiri I is only 34 kilometers west of Annapurna I, the 10th highest mountain in the world. Dhaulagiri is considered an interesting peak with more than six different routes to climb and has the tangled topography of twisting ridges, massive icefalls and glaciers. The normal route is considered a reasonable climb with moderate avalanche danger and only short technical climbing sections. The south and west faces of Dhaulagiri both feature massive drops and each rises over 4000m from its base. However, the wonderful scenery of pyramid-shaped peaks rising along the main crest of Dhaulagiri makes its glory second to none.
6. Cho Oyu (8201m/26906ft)
The sixth highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu is the westernmost major peak in the Khumbu Himalayas and is just 20 kilometers west of Mount Everest. Cho Oyu stands on the Nepal-Tibet border. However, Cho Oyu was attempted in 1952 for the first time by Edmund Hillary and party; the first successful ascent to the summit was made on 19th of October, 1954 by Herbert Tichy, Sherpa Pasanag Dawa, and Joseph Jochler. Cho Oyu Expedition is considered one of the best practices before attempting Everest as it is one of the best attainable among the highest mountains in the world.
5. Mount Makalu (8481m/27825ft)
The fifth highest mountain in the world, Makalu is so named due to its dark brooding appearance. Makalu literally means ‘The Great Black One’. Located about 20 kilometers east of Mount Everest, Mount Makalu also borders with China. Lionel Terry and Jean Couzy of French Expedition Team made the first successful ascent to Makalu Summit on 25th of May, 1955. However, the first attempt was made by an American team led by William Siri in the spring of 1954. Makalu is actually a double peak with its twin subsidiary peak Chomolonzo with the elevation of 25650ft to the north. It’s an isolated peak and also has proved to be very challenging climb as only five out of its sixteen attempts were successful.
4. Lhotse (8516m/27940ft)
Lhotse stands at the altitude of 8516m, making it the fourth highest mountain on the earth. Lhotse is located at the border of Nepal and China and has the summit very sharp that there isn’t even a place to sit down. As its crest is located immediately south of Mount Everest, sometimes mistakenly Lhotse has been identified by some people as the south peak of Everest. Lhotse was first climbed by Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger of Swiss Expedition in 1956. Lhotse has three summits namely Lhotse Main (8516m), Lhotse East (8413m), and Lhotse Shar (8383m). Lhotse is the least climbed 8000-meter peak in Nepal.
3. Mount Kanchenjunga (8586m/28169ft)
Kanchenjunga rises with an elevation of 8586m and is the third highest mountain on this planet. It is located in the section of Himalayas on the boundary between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim. Two out of five peaks of Kanchenjunga are in Nepal whereas other three peaks are on the border of North Sikkim and Nepal. Kanchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world before 1852. But further surveys and measurements came to the conclusion that Mount Everest was the highest and Kanchenjunga, officially the third highest mountain in the world. Kanchenjunga was first scaled by Joe Brown and George Band of British Expedition on 25th of May, 1955.
2. Mount K2 (Mount Godwin Austen) (8611m/28251ft)
K2 is one of the deadliest mountains in the world and was long considered to be impossible to climb. With its elevation of 8611m, K2 is the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest. Located in the Karakoram Range at the border of Pakistan and China, Mount K2 is known to be the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent. Statistics say, for every four people who have reached the top, one has died trying. Mount K2 comes second as we talk about the highest fatality rate; the first being Annapurna. As the Chinese side is technically very hazardous, K2 is climbed via Pakistani side. For mountaineers, K2 is the mountain of mountains and is thought to be the ultimate climbing challenge by many climbers. Attempts in 1902, 1909, 1934, 1938, 1939, and 1953 were all failed. It’s only on 31st of July, 1954 that an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio successfully ascended the summit.
1. Mount Everest (8848m/29029ft)
Everest, the roof of the world, is undoubtedly the highest mountain in the world. Located on border of Nepal and China, Mount Everest is the part of Mahalangur section of The Himalayas. ‘Chomolungma’ is the Tibetan name given to Everest whereas ‘Sagarmatha’ is what Nepalese people call it. Everest is also popularly known as Peak XV after the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India was conducted in 1856, officially declaring 8848m as the actual height of Everest. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa made the first successful ascent to the summit of Mount Everest on 26th of May, 1953. The largest expedition to climb Everest was a Chinese Team in 1975 with 410 climbers.
Actually, there are at least 100 mountains with heights over 7000 meters above the sea level and all of which are located in central and south Asia. Among the 14 eight-thousanders, we’ve enlisted top-10 highest mountains. Mountains are for sure the natural splendors. And, mountaineering depicts the ultimate adventure and courage of a human being. Many records have been made and history has been created in the summits. But, each expedition has its own story of failures, and catastrophes. Himalayas have taken the lives of thousands of people during various attempts to scale the summit. Today, thousands of people have already reached the top of the world. Statistics show that more than 3500 people have successfully climbed the Everest.
But in recent days, mountains like the Everest are becoming the world’s tallest trash heap. Climbers are less concerned about the environmental issues and have left torn tents, empty oxygen containers, and other leftover equipment along the path. Putting aside those success and failure stories, it is now very essential that expedition teams should always put their best to preserve the environment of the climbing peaks. Remember, time can erode even the greatest of achievements as they are repeated or surpassed.
Arun is an IT-gradate. But writing is something he has innate passion for. He loves to explore new things, places and ideas.