Want to scale the highest peaks in the world? Where do you think the highest mountains are? Which is the highest peak in the world? Before we dive into this list of the highest mountain ranges in the world, let’s first understand what ‘world’s highest peaks’ really means. The mountains with the “highest elevation above sea level” fall under this category. Like, Mount Everest is called the world’s highest mountain because it has the “highest elevation above sea level.” We could also say that it has the “highest altitude.” If you want to keep up with some mountaineering trivia, this is the place to be. Check out the highest peaks in the world.
The Highest Peaks In The World
1. Mount Everest, The Himalayas, Nepal/Tibet Autonomous Region, China
With a height of 29,035 feet ( 8,850 metres ), Mount Everest is widely known as the world’s highest peak or the tallest mountain. Residing on the crest of the Great Himalayas of southern Asia that lies on the border between Nepal and the autonomous region of Tibet, this massive mountain was first conquered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. In Nepali, Mount Everest is called Sagarmatha which means ‘peak of heaven’ and in Tibetan as Chomolungma, or ‘goddess mother of the world’ or ‘goddess of the valley’. It was renamed to Mount Everest in 1865 after Sir George Everest, the British surveyor-general of India from 1830 to 1843. Trekking to the Everest base camp is quite popular amongst adventure junkies but in the past couple of years, Everest has come under a lot of scrutiny due to overcrowding, human traffic jams, and littering.
Also read: My journey to the Mount Everest base camp
2. K2, Karakoram, Pakistan/China
The second highest mountain in the world is K2, also officially known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori. The mountain is 28,250 feet (8,611 metres) above sea level, located on the border between China and Pakistan. The mountain rises steeply above the Karakoram range and is battered by atrocious weather. While the mountain gets its name from the notation used by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of British India, it is also nicknamed the ‘Savage Mountain’. Behind Annapurna (number 10th on this list), K2 has the second-highest fatality rate per summit attempt of all mountains over 8000 metres. The mountain’s Chinese side is widely considered to be the more difficult and hazardous side than the Pakistani side. Therefore, the summit is usually attempted from the other side, although K2 has never been summited in winter.
3. Kanchenjunga, The Himalayas, Nepal/India
Sitting on the border between Nepal and Sikkim in India, Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. It has an elevation of 28,169 feet (8,586 metres) and is the second-highest mountain in the Himalayas after Mt Everest. Until 1852, it was thought to be the highest mountain in the world. Soon after the calculations were made by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India in 1849, it was concluded that Mount Everest, known as Peak XV at the time, was the highest. Kanchenjunga is the highest mountain in India and was first climbed by Joe Brown and George Brand in 1955. While ascending the mountain, they stopped short of the summit after agreeing to a promise given to the Chogyal (regional monarchs) that the top of the mountain would remain intact. Since then, every climber or climbing group that has reached the summit has followed this tradition.
Also Read: A complete guide to Sikkim Tourism
4. Lhotse, The Himalayas, Nepal/Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Known as L’hōtsē in Nepali and lho rtse in Tibetan, Lhoste is the fourth highest peak in the world. It has an elevation of 27,940 feet (8,516 metres) and is located just south of Mount Everest on the border between the Khumbu region of Nepal and Tibet. Often known as a part of Everest’s massif, Lhoste was first ascended in 1956 by a Swiss team made up of Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger. The mountain consists of three summits: The main summit, and the smaller peaks of Lhotse Middle and Lhotse Shar. Interestingly, while the main summit was climbed in 1956, Lhotse Middle (with an elevation of 8,410 metres) wasn’t summitted until 2001. It remained the highest unclimbed named point on Earth for a long time and was eventually first scaled in 2011 by a Russian expedition.
5. Makalu I, Nepal/Tibet Autonomous Region, China
The fifth highest mountain in the world, Makalu has an elevation of 27,766 feet (8,463 metres). It is situated on the border between Nepal and China, just 23 kms southeast of Everest. Makalu is known for its perfect pyramid structure with four sharp ridges, and is the third of the four 8000 metres-high mountains in the Everest massif. It was first climbed by a French expedition led by Jean Franco in 1955. Makalu has proved to be a challenging climb due to its isolated position, which leaves it exposed to numerous knife-edge ridges and steep sections. The mountain is actually a double peak where its subsidiary peak is called Chomolonzo (25,650 ft).
6. Cho Oyu, Nepal/Tibet Autonomous Region, China
With an intimidating height of 26,906 feet (8,201 metres), Cho Oyu is the world’s sixth-highest peak. Located on the Chinese-Nepalese border, it’s the final member of the Everest region’s 8000-metre club. Due to the gentler slopes of the ascent of the mountain along with its accessibility, Cho Oyu is considered as the easiest of the fourteen 8000 metre high mountains to climb. It was first summited by a small Austrian/Tibetan expedition which consisted of Joseph Jöchler and Herbert Tichy, as well as Pasang Dawa Lama, in 1954.
7. Dhaulagiri, Himalayas, Nepal
In Sanskrit, the name Dhaulagiri translates to dhawali giri, meaning ‘white mountain’, and is the seventh highest mountain in the world. With an elevation of 26,795 feet (8,167 metres), it is the highest mountain that lies entirely within Nepal. It was first summited by a combined Swiss/Austrian/Nepalese effort in 1960. It is just 34 kms away from the 10th largest peak in the world Annapurna I. Both the mountains are separated by the world’s deepest gorge, the Kaligandaki Gorge. It used to be considered the highest mountain in the world for 30 years, but in 1838 was replaced by Kanchenjunga, which was later overthrown by Everest.
8. Manaslu, Himalayas, Nepal
The eighth highest mountain in the world, Manaslu is located in west-central Nepal about 50 miles from Kathmandu. The name Manaslu means ’mountain of the spirit’ and is actually derived from the Sanskrit word manasa, which means ‘intellect’ or ‘soul’. The elevation of the mountain is 26,781 feet (8,163 metres) and was first scaled by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, who were part of a Japanese expedition in 1956. This stunning and remote peak is the highest one in the Gorkha district and is a significant part of Japan’s mountaineering history.
9. Nanga Parbat, The Himalayas, Pakistan
The ninth highest mountain in the world is Nanga Parbat, situated in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan in the western Himalayas. It has an elevation of 26,660 feet (8,125 metres) and is also the furthest west of all the world’s 8000-metre peaks. The name of the mountain means ‘aked mountain’ in Hindi/Urdu. Its Tibetan name is Diamir or Deo Mir (deo means ‘huge’ and mir means ‘mountain’). It was first summited by Hermann Buhl in 1953 who was part of a German/Austrian expedition team. It is also nicknamed ‘killer mountain’ due to its notoriously difficult climb. Nanga Parbat is well known for its stunning Rupal Face that rises 4,600 metres above its base and is often called the highest mountain face in the world.
10. Annapurna I, Himalayas, Nepal
The tenth highest mountain in the world, Annapurna is located in Nepal along a 55-kilometre (34-mile) ridge just east of the Gandaki river. While technically Annapurna is a massif in the Himalayas, comprising of 30 mountains over 6,000 metres, here we are referring to the only mountain in the massif with an elevation above 8,000 metres i.e. Annapurna I. It has an elevation of 26,545 feet (8,091 metres) and is known as one of the most dangerous mountains. In this list of highest peaks in the world, this chain of mountains has a higher fatality rate than any other mountain with the fatality-to-summit ratio being a terrifying 32 per cent. The mountain was first summited in 1950 by a French expedition led by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal.
11. Mauna Kea, Hawaiian–Emperor Seamount Chain, USA
This dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii has an altitude of 4,207 meters (13,803 feet). However, Mauna Kea is an island and therefore its base is about 6000 metres below sea level. Adding this with its elevation above sea level-distance between the foot of the mountain and the summit is about 10,000 meters, making it the tallest mountain in the world. The volcanic mountain last erupted about 4,600 years ago (about 2600 BCE) and is the highest point in the state of Hawaii. The first recorded ascent of Mauna Kea was made by Joseph F. Goodrich, an American missionary, in 1823 where he recorded four ecosystems from base to summit. This summit is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation due to favourable observing conditions.
12. Chimborazo, Andes, Ecuador
With an elevation of 20,702 feet (6310 metres), Chimborazo is the highest point on earth when measured from the centre of the earth, rather than sea level. This Andean stratovolcano is located at the southwest end of the main Ecuadorian volcanic arc, the so-called “Avenida de Los Volcanes” (“Avenue of Volcanoes”). Chimborazo peak is the highest in Ecuador and was first summited by the British mountaineer Edward Whymper, who climbed the peak twice in 1880. This inactive volcano is filled with craters and is heavily glaciated. Therefore to climb Chimborazo, one needs to be skilled to use crampons and other high tech climbing equipment. The peak can be climbed all year round with the best seasons being December–January and July–August.
Any Plans To Climb The Highest Peaks In The World?
While the aforementioned mountains surely offer beautiful vistas, not all of them are safe to climb. Most of these mountains require thorough training and mountaineering experience to even begin to attempt a climb. We advise you to do proper research, take necessary precautions, go through the required training and permissions if you wish to climb these highest peaks in the world. If you have experienced any of these highest peaks in the world, let us know in the comments below!
K2 is the second-highest peak in the world.
No, Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world and the highest mountain in India whereas K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world and is located on the POK border, so both are different mountains.
Mount Everest is the highest peak and tallest mountain in the world.
Avtar Singh Cheema (1933–1989) was the first Indian man and sixteenth person in the world to climb Mount Everest.