There are 14 peaks on our planet that rise above 8000 meters. Read this post to see where they are located and what each peak looks like.
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14 Highest Mountains in the World
There are 14 mountains in the world that rise above 8000 meters / 26,247 feet. All of them are found in Asia in either the Himalayas or Karakoram Ranges. These peaks are located in Nepal, Tibet (China), Pakistan and India. All 14 of these peaks were summited for the first time between 1950 and 1964. The first 8000 meter peak to be successfully scaled was Annapurna I, which was summited by a French team on 3 June 1950. The last 8000 meter peak to be summited was Shisha Pangma. It was climbed by a Chinese and Tibetan team on 2 May 1964. Everest, the world’s highest peak, was summited for the first time on 29 May 1953 by Tenzing Norgay from Nepal (though most likely born in Tibet) and Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand.
The high-altitude mountain master, Reinhold Messner from Italy, was the first person to climb all 14 peaks that rise above 8000 meters without use of supplemental oxygen. He completed the feat in October 1986 when he summited Lhotse, the world’s 4th highest peak.
In August 2011, Austrian mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to summit all 14 peaks above 8000 meters without use of supplemental oxygen. She summited her first 8000 meter peak, Cho Oyu, in 1998. She completed the 8000 meter challenge by summiting K2 in August 2011.
Phurba Tashi, a Sherpa from Nepal, holds the record for most ascents of peaks above 8000 meters with 30. He has summited Everest 21 times as well as Cho Oyu 5 times, Manaslu twice, Lhotse once and Shisha Pangma once. Apa Sherpa, also from Nepal, has also summited Everest 21 times, tied for the most in history.
Mt. Everest, known to Tibetans as Chomolangma and to Nepalis as Sagarmatha, lies along the border between Nepal and Tibet. There is a base camp for Everest in both Nepal and Tibet. It rises to 8848 meters/29,029 feet. The trek to Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side is one of the most famous treks in the Himalaya. According to BMC, by February 2014 Everest had been summited 6871 times by over 4042 climbers.
Mt. Everest Records
Here are some of the more noteworthy records on Mt. Everest:
Most summits without supplemental oxygen: 10 by Ang Rita
Fastest ascent up Everest from the South Face Base Camp with supplemental oxygen: 8 hours and 10 minutes by Pemba Dorje in 2004.
Fastest ascent up Everest from the South Face Base Camp without supplemental oxygen: 20 hours and 24 minutes by Kazi Sherpa in 1998
Longest stay on the summit of Everest: 21 hours by Babu Chiri Sherpa in 1999
Oldest person to summit Everest: Yuichiro Miura from Japan in 2013 at age 80 years, 224 days
Youngest person to summit Everest: Jordan Romero from the US at age 13 years, 10 months and 10 days in 2010. Romero also holds the record for being the youngest person to complete the “Seven Summits”.
Youngest female to summit Everest: Malavath Purna from India at age 13 years and 11 months in 2014
First woman to summit Everest: Junko Tabei from Japan on 16 May 1975
First summit without supplemental oxygen: Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler on 8 May 1978
K2, also known as Chhogori, is the second highest peak on earth at 8611 meters or 28,251 feet. It is found along the border between Pakistan (Giglit-Baltistan Region) and China (Taxkorgan County, Xinjiang province). K2 is also referred to as the “Savage Mountain” due to it being an extremely difficult and dangerous mountain to climb. The first serious attempt of K2 took place in 1902 when a team reached the 6525 meter / 21,407 foot mark. The mountain was long thought to be unclimbable, but was finally summited by an Italian team on 31 July 1954. The “K” in K2 stands for Karakoram, the range where the peak is located. K2 is often regarded as the world’s most difficult mountain to climb.
Kangchenjunga, at 8586 meters/28,169 feet, is the world’s 3rd highest peak. It is located along the border between India (Sikkim) and Nepal. It is the most eastern of the 14 peaks that rise above 8000 meters. It was first summited by a British team on 25 May 1955.
Lhotse is the world’s 4th highest peak at 8516 meters/27,940 feet. It is located along the border between Nepal and Tibet. It is attached to Mt. Everest via the South Col. Lhotse was first summited on 18 May 1956 by a Swiss team.
At 8485 meters/27,838 feet, Makalu is the world’s 5th highest peak. It lies along the border between Tibet and Nepal. It was first summited by a French team on 15 May 1955. Makalu is extremely steep and is considered to be an extremely difficult peak to climb.
Cho Oyu is the world’s 6th highest peak at 8201 meters/26,906 feet. It is located along the border between Tibet and Nepal. Cho Oyu was first summited on 19 October 1954 by an Austrian and Nepali team. Cho Oyu is considered to be the easiest of the 8000 meters to climb.
Dhaulagiri, located in Nepal, is the 7th highest peak. Its summit sits at 8167 meters/26,795 feet. It was first summited on 13 May 1960 by a mixed nationality group of Swiss, Austrian, German and Nepali climbers.
Manaslu is the 8th highest peak and is found in Nepal. Its elevation is 8163 meters/26,781 feet. It was summited for the first time on 9 May 1956 by a Nepali and Japanese team.
Nanga Parbat is found in Pakistan and is the world’s 9th highest mountain. It rises to 8126 meters/26,600 feet. It was first climbed on 3 July 1953 by Austrian Hermann Buhl. Nanga Parbat is regarded as a very difficult mountain to climb.
Annapurna I, found in Nepal, is the 10th highest mountain on the planet at 8091 meters/26,454 feet. Annapurna I was the first 8000 meter peak to be summited on 3 June 1950 by a French team. The trekking circuit around Annapurna is the most popular trek in the Himalaya.
Gasherbrum I, also known as Hidden Peak or K5, is the 11th highest mountain on the planet at 8080 meters/26,444 feet. It lies along the border between China (Xinjiang) and Pakistan. It was first summited by an American team on 5 July 1958.
Broad Peak, also known as K3, is the 12th highest peak at 8051 meters/26,414 feet. The peak gets its name from its 1.5 kilometer long summit. It was first climbed by an Austrian team on 9 June 1957. Broad Peak is found along the border between China and Pakistan.
Gasherbrum II, also known as K4, is the world’s 13th highest peak. It is found on the border between China and Pakistan at an elevation of 8035 meters/26,362 feet. It was first climbed by an Austrian team on 7 July 1956.
Shisha Pangma is the world’s 14th highest peak and is located in Tibet. It rises to 8027 meters/26,335 feet. It was first summited on 2 May 1964 by a Tibetan and Chinese team. It was the last of the 8000 meter peaks to be summited.
The Himalaya Mountains
The Himalayas contain some of the most beautiful peaks on the planet. There are many amazing trekking and climbing routes in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Ladakh. For more information about traveling in the Himalaya Mountains of Tibet and Nepal, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some pictures are mine. Other images have been used with permission.