8000 METER PEAKS: THE WORLD’S HIGHEST MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB
If a little while ago we talked about downhill mountain biking, today we want to talk about the highest mountains to climb, well known as the 8000-meter peaks. So, if you are curious or if you are one of those who have the dream of climbing the highest mountain in the world, read on! 😉
The world’s highest mountains to climb
The summit of Mount Everest is 8,840 meters high. That’s the reason we know it as “the roof of the world” and is the most famous of the 8000-meters peaks. This mythical peak is located in the Himalayas, on the border between China and Nepal. The first people to reach its summit were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, on 23 May 1953. In 1980 the Italian Reinhold Messner made the first ascent without bottled oxygen.
Although it’s known by the name of the famous Welsh geographer George Everest, in Tibetan it’s Chomolungma (or Qomolangma): the “Mother of the Universe”.
At 8,611 meters, it’s the second-highest in the world. Also known as Chogori, it lies between China and Pakistan. The first ascent of this mythical Himalayan peak was made by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli on 31 July 1954. The technical difficulty of its ascent makes it one of the most dangerous in the world. In fact, almost 25% of those who attempted its ascent perished, hence its nickname “the wild mountain”.
The name of the world’s third-highest peak means “the five treasures of the snows” (gold, silver, gems, grain and sacred books) and is 8,586 meters high. In the local Limbu language, it means “mountain to which we make offerings”. So it’s clear that it’s a sacred mountain. It lies between India and Nepal and was first climbed on 25 May 1955. Since then, 40 people have died on the ascent!
It measures 8,516 and is located between China and Nepal, very close to Everest, to which it’s connected via the South Col. In fact, its name means “South Peak” in Tibetan. The main summit is accompanied by the 8,383-meter-high Lhotse Shar and the 8,414-meter-high Middle Lhotse (to the east). The latter, due to its special technical difficulty, was until 23 May 2001 the highest peak in the world yet to be climbed.
Almost pyramidal in shape and at 8,463 meters, it’s one of the most inaccessible peaks in the world. Its name, from Sanskrit, means “Big Black”, which perfectly describes the final ascent to the summit with the wind-swept black rock. It’s located in the Mahalangur area of the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and China. It was first climbed on 15 May 1955.
This is, in the words of Spanish climber Edurne Pasaban, the easiest high mountain to climb.
Although, as Edurne explains (who by the way became the first woman who climbed all 14 peaks) “easy” should be qualified when someone is facing a colossus of 8,201 meters (the sixth highest peak in the world). It’s located on the border between Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, and its name means “Turquoise Goddess”.
Dhaulagiri is a mountain massif in the Himalayan range and Dhaulagiri I is the highest of the five peaks where the massif culminates at 8,167 meters, making it the seventh highest peak in the world. It was first climbed on 13 May 1960. This peak is one of the most dangerous!
Manaslu, at 8,163 m above sea level, is the highest mountain in the Lamjung District of Nepal. Manaslu means “spirit” or “soul” in Sanskrit. Reaching the gods can be very dangerous to whoever tries to reach the top. Experts know that it’s an easy eight-thousander, but very dangerous for a person to climb.
At 8,126 meters, its name means “Naked Mountain”, although, unfortunately, it’s better known as the “killer mountain”. Since its first ascent in July 1953, it has claimed the lives of 64 people, a ratio far above the norm. Located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, it’s the westernmost eight-thousander on the planet.
Annapurna I, at an altitude of 8,091 m, is the culmination of its mountain massif in the center of the Himalayan range. Its name means “goddess of the harvest” or “goddess of plenty” in Sanskrit. It’s perhaps the most dangerous 8000-meter peak in the world. Due to its composition, mainly ice and snow, it’s common to see a multitude of avalanche accidents. The ratio is enough to give us the goosebumps: 59 deaths out of 153 expeditions since its first ascent in 1950!
This 8,068-meter high peak is also known as Hidden Peak and as K5 or Moravi I. Located on the border between Pakistan and Xinjiang, a western district of China, it’s a tragic peak for Spanish mountaineering, where five experienced climbers have lost their lives on it: in 1990, Albert Ibáñez and Josep Grañó and in 2013, Abel Alonso, Xebi Gómez and Álvaro Paredes after reaching the summit.
Also known as K3, Broad Peak is part of the Gasherbrum massif in the Baltistan area, on the border between Pakistan and China. It’s 8,051 meters high and was first climbed in 1957. In July 2017, Òscar Cadiach reached the summit, thus completing the successful ascent of the fourteen eight-thousanders of the planet without oxygen – quite a milestone!
At 8,034 meters high and located on the border between Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan) and the territory of Xinjiang (China), its name lives up to its beauty: in Balti it means “beautiful mountain”. If you want to know what it’s like to climb this peak, don’t miss the film Cold, which shows the expedition of Cory Richards, Denis Urubko and Simone Moro, the first to make the ascent in winter.
Are the 8000-meter peaks too extreme for you? Let’s start from the beginning with this guide on how to start climbing 😉?