What Is The Hardest Mountain To Climb? Most Difficult Peaks

If you’re interested in iconic mountains of the world that are challenging climbs, then you probably want to know the hardest mountain to climb.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to the world's hardest mountain to climb, as each climber is different and faces challenges in their own way on these iconic mountain summits. Agreeing on which mountain is the most difficult to climb is impossible, as it also depends on the particular conditions of the day.
However, we here at Skyhook Adventure can definitely shortlist the most difficult mountains to climb in the world and offer our fair share of epic climbing adventures.
Follow this guide to explore the hardest mountains to climb in more detail.

What is the Hardest Mountain to Climb?

Determining the most difficult mountain to climb can depend on various factors such as technical difficulty, weather conditions, altitude, and the overall challenge it presents to climbers. 
The hardest mountain to climb in the world can’t be narrowed down to a single answer. However, there are a few mountains that are often considered exceptionally challenging.


Known as the "Savage Mountain," K2 in the Karakoram Range is the second-highest peak in the world after Mount Everest. It's notorious for its steep slopes, unpredictable weather, and high fatality rate among climbers.


This mountain in the Himalayas has a high fatality rate among climbers, particularly on its south face, due to its technical difficulty, avalanche-prone slopes, and unpredictable weather.

Nanga Parbat

Also in the Himalayas, Nanga Parbat is known for its steep terrain, severe weather, and avalanches. It's earned the nickname "Killer Mountain" due to the challenges and dangers it poses to climbers.

Mount Everest

While it's the tallest mountain in the world, the challenge of climbing Everest lies more in its altitude and the so-called "Death Zone" above 8,000 meters, where the air is dangerously thin, and climbers are at high risk of altitude sickness, frostbite, and exhaustion.
At Skyhook, we offer a package that takes you to Everest base camp and up this perilous but thrilling mountain.
Mount Denali is undoubtedly one of the hardest and most technical climbing challenges in the US.

Mount Denali (formerly Mount McKinley)

Located in Alaska, Denali is known for its severe weather conditions, extreme cold, and altitude. The weather on Denali can be extremely unpredictable and harsh.
These mountains are considered some of the hardest to climb due to a combination of technical challenges, severe weather conditions, high altitude, and the risks they pose to climbers. They’re also some of the highest mountains in the world.
The difficulty of each mountain can vary based on the route chosen, the season of the climb, and the individual climber's experience and skill level.

20 Hardest Mountains to Climb in the World

We’ve covered five of the most difficult mountains to climb. However, the list of difficult mountain climbs is long, with a wide range of mountains posing various types of risks. 
Here’s a longer list of some of the hardest and deadliest mountains to climb in the world.

1. K2

  • Location: Karakoram Range, China-Pakistan Border

  • Challenges: Known as the "Savage Mountain," and one of many epic mountains to climb before Everest, K2 stands as the second-highest peak globally and is notorious for its steep, technical routes. It poses extreme challenges due to its unpredictable weather, frequent avalanches, high winds, and serac fall dangers. The mountain's daunting nature has resulted in a high fatality rate among climbers.

  • Technical Aspects: The ascent of K2 involves highly technical ice and rock climbing, narrow ridges, and dangerous seracs, making it one of the most technically demanding mountains to climb.

2. Annapurna

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal

  • Challenges: Annapurna is known for its high fatality rate, primarily due to the challenging weather, avalanches, steep slopes, and complex terrain. Climbers face unpredictable and severe weather conditions, especially in the spring climbing season, adding to the difficulty and danger.

  • Technical Aspects: As one of the best mountains to climb in Nepal, climbing Annapurna involves navigating avalanche-prone slopes, icy and rocky terrain, and significant altitude, demanding high technical skills and endurance from climbers.

pixabay-barnabasvormwald-nanga parbat-pakistan
Mountaineer approaching the summit of 'The Killer Mountain'.

3. Nanga Parbat

  • Location: Himalayas, Pakistan

  • Challenges: Dubbed the "Killer Mountain," Nanga Parbat is notorious for its steep slopes, severe weather conditions, and avalanche dangers. Climbers face extreme altitude, making it physically demanding, along with technical challenges and unpredictable weather, contributing to its deadly reputation.

  • Technical Aspects: Ascending Nanga Parbat involves navigating difficult terrain, challenging icefalls, and crevasses, requiring advanced climbing skills and experience.

4. Mount Everest

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal-Tibet border

  • Challenges: As the tallest mountain globally, Everest presents a unique set of challenges. Climbers contend with extreme altitude, severe weather, crevasses, avalanches, and the perilous "Death Zone" above 8,000 meters, where oxygen levels are critically low, posing a severe risk of altitude sickness and exhaustion.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Everest requires dealing with technical ice and rock sections, crossing treacherous crevasses, enduring extreme weather conditions, and managing the logistical challenges of the climb.

12-day everest hike
Mountaineers on Skyhook's 12-day Everest hike.

5. Baintha Brakk (The Ogre)

  • Location: Karakoram Range, Pakistan

  • Challenges: The Ogre is known for its steep and technically demanding routes, including the notorious southeast ridge. Climbers face challenging rock faces, unpredictable weather conditions, and logistical difficulties due to its remote location.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing The Ogre involves technical rock climbing, icefalls, and challenging mixed terrain, requiring strong technical skills and mental fortitude.

the ogre in pakistan
Nicknamed 'The Ogre', Kangchenjunga isn't a climb meant for the faint-hearted.

6. Kangchenjunga

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal-India border

  • Challenges: Kangchenjunga, the third-highest peak globally, presents challenges such as harsh weather, complex terrain, and avalanche-prone slopes. The remote location adds logistical difficulties, and climbers face altitude-related risks.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Kangchenjunga involves navigating steep and icy slopes, complex glacier systems, and technical climbing sections, demanding high-altitude mountaineering skills.

7. Mount Vinson

  • Location: Vinson Massif, Antarctica

  • Challenges: Mount Vinson poses unique challenges due to its location in Antarctica, including extreme cold, harsh weather conditions, strong winds, and logistical difficulties associated with accessing this remote and icy continent.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Mount Vinson involves navigating glaciers, icefalls, and icy terrain, requiring specialized cold-weather equipment and expertise in polar conditions.

With its glaciers, icefalls and icy terrain, climbing Mount Vinson is a worthy challenge for skilled mountaineers.

8. Makalu

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal-Tibet border

  • Challenges: Makalu's steep pyramid shape, challenging weather conditions, and high altitude make it a formidable climb. Climbers face technical difficulties, icy slopes, and the risk of avalanches and extreme cold.

  • Technical Aspects: The ascent of Makalu involves technical rock and ice climbing, crossing dangerous icefalls, and navigating challenging terrain, demanding advanced mountaineering skills.

9. Mount Denali (formerly Mount McKinley)

  • Location: Alaska, United States

  • Challenges: Denali is known for its extreme cold, unpredictable weather, and challenging climbing routes. Climbers encounter severe wind chills, crevasses, and high-altitude conditions, making it a demanding climb.

  • Technical Aspects: As one of the top mountains to climb in the US, ascending Denali involves glacier travel, steep slopes, and technical ice climbing, requiring self-sufficiency and expertise in cold-weather mountaineering.

Mount Denali, Alaska

10. Broad Peak

  • Location: Karakoram Range, Pakistan-China border

  • Challenges: Broad Peak presents challenges such as technical climbing, crevasses, and unpredictable weather conditions. Climbers face the difficulties of high altitude and steep slopes.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Broad Peak involves negotiating technical ice and snow sections, navigating crevasses, and dealing with the harsh weather conditions typical of the Karakoram Range.

11. Gasherbrum I

  • Location: Karakoram Range, Pakistan-China border

  • Challenges: Gasherbrum I, also known as Hidden Peak, presents technical challenges, steep slopes, and unpredictable weather conditions. It requires climbers to navigate crevasses, icefalls, and avalanche-prone areas.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Gasherbrum I involves ice and mixed climbing, traversing glaciers, and ascending steep sections, demanding advanced mountaineering skills.

12. Cho Oyu

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal-China border

  • Challenges: Cho Oyu is the sixth-highest peak globally and presents challenges such as high altitude, severe weather, and icy slopes. Climbers face crevasses, unpredictable weather conditions, and the physical demands of high-altitude climbing.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Cho Oyu involves navigating crevasses, steep slopes, and ice sections, requiring technical climbing skills and acclimatization to high altitude.

Like it's neighbour, Everest, climbers on Lhotse will also experience extreme altitude, harsh weather conditions and dangerous crevasses.

13. Lhotse

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal-Tibet border

  • Challenges: Lhotse is adjacent to Mount Everest and shares similar challenges, including extreme altitude, harsh weather conditions, crevasses, and the dangers of the "Death Zone."

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Lhotse involves technical ice and rock climbing, traversing dangerous sections, and enduring severe weather typical of the Himalayas.

14. Masherbrum (K1)

  • Location: Karakoram Range, Pakistan

  • Challenges: Masherbrum, known as K1, presents technical challenges with its steep rock and ice faces. Climbers face crevasses, challenging terrain, and unpredictable weather conditions.

  • Technical Aspects: Ascending Masherbrum involves technical rock and ice climbing, navigating glaciers, and managing the challenges of high-altitude mountaineering.

manaslu in nepal
Manaslu is ideal for high-altitude mountaineers with experience climbing over mixed terrain.

15. Manaslu

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal

  • Challenges: Manaslu is known for its challenging weather, steep slopes, and high-altitude risks. Climbers face avalanche-prone areas, crevasses, and technical difficulties along the ascent.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Manaslu involves navigating icefalls, and steep sections, and technical climbing on mixed terrain, demanding experience in high-altitude mountaineering.

16. Shishapangma

  • Location: Himalayas, Tibet Autonomous Region, China

  • Challenges: Shishapangma poses challenges such as high altitude, severe weather, and technical climbing sections. Climbers face crevasses, avalanche risks, and the physical toll of climbing at extreme heights.

  • Technical Aspects: Ascending Shishapangma involves navigating icefalls, steep slopes, and mixed climbing sections, demanding technical proficiency and adaptation to high-altitude conditions.

Mountaineers need fixed ropes to climb Ama Dablan.

17. Ama Dablam

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal

  • Challenges: Ama Dablam is renowned for its steep rock, ice faces, and technical climbing challenges. Climbers face exposure to extreme weather conditions, vertical sections, and technical difficulties.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Ama Dablam involves navigating steep rock and ice faces, using fixed ropes, and dealing with challenging terrain and weather, requiring advanced climbing skills.

18. Gangkhar Puensum

  • Location: Bhutan-China border, Himalayas

  • Challenges: Gangkhar Puensum poses challenges due to its remote location, limited access, and governmental restrictions on climbing. It presents technical difficulties, steep slopes, and unpredictable weather conditions.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Gangkhar Puensum involves negotiating technical rock and ice sections, managing remote logistics, and dealing with uncertain weather conditions, requiring specialized mountaineering skills.

19. Pumori

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal

  • Challenges: Pumori presents challenges such as steep faces, technical climbing sections, and the risks associated with high-altitude mountaineering. Climbers face icy terrain, crevasses, and unpredictable weather.

  • Technical Aspects: Ascending Pumori involves technical ice and rock climbing, navigating crevasses, and dealing with harsh weather typical of the Himalayas.

20. Kanchenjunga (Main Peak)

  • Location: Himalayas, Nepal-India border

  • Challenges: Kanchenjunga's Main Peak is the third-highest mountain in the world and poses challenges due to its remote location, harsh weather, and complex terrain. Climbers face high altitudes, crevasses, and technical difficulties.

  • Technical Aspects: Climbing Kanchenjunga involves navigating challenging mixed terrain, steep slopes, and complex glacier systems, demanding high-altitude mountaineering skills and experience.

The Himalayas are some of the hardest mountains to climb in the world.


Deciding on the hardest mountain to climb is no easy thing. However, there are many hard mountains to climb, with each one presenting its own unique challenges. 
Attempting to summit any of these bucket list mountains to climb requires serious skill, preparation, and determination.
However, if you do manage to summit them, it will be an incredible climbing adventure with us at Skyhook that few people in the world get to experience.

Read More Mountains Articles

More Climbing And Hiking Tours From Skyhook