Top 10 Highest Mountains in the World (With Countries)
As a mountaineer, there are many impressive mountains to summit. This includes the deadliest mountains to climb, as well as the tallest mountains in the world (which are not always on the same list).
If you’re looking to tick some seriously impressive mountains off your climbing list, then here are the highest mountains in the world.
1. Mount Everest
Height: 8,848.86 meters (29,031.7 feet)
Mount Everest, known as Sagarmatha in Nepali and Chomolungma in Tibetan, stands tall as the highest peak on Earth and one of the most famous mountains of the world. Situated in the Himalayas, its sheer magnitude and awe-inspiring beauty make it an ultimate goal for adventurers and mountaineers.
The summit is shrouded in an ethereal atmosphere and boasts a harsh climate with extreme temperatures and treacherous terrain.
While the summit is out of reach for most mountaineers, visitors to the area can still enjoy a moderate trek to Everest base camp (situated at just over 5,000 metres / 17,000 feet) on one of our Nepal tours here at Skyhook.
Climbing Everest is an arduous and demanding endeavour, requiring technical skill, physical endurance, and mental fortitude.
The journey involves acclimatization periods, navigating the Khumbu Icefall, the perilous Hillary Step, and enduring the "Death Zone," where oxygen levels are dangerously low. The climb demands respect for the mountain's power and nature's unpredictability.
2. K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen)
Height: 8,611 meters (28,251 feet)
K2, the second-highest peak globally, is notorious for its steep slopes, unpredictable weather, and challenging climbing routes. It’s certainly one of the hardest mountains to climb.
It's part of the Karakoram Range and stands as an emblem of extreme mountaineering and one of many epic mountains to climb in Nepal. The mountain's jagged edges and icy faces contribute to its formidable reputation.
Climbing K2 is a daring and technically demanding feat, often considered more challenging than Everest due to its steepness and harsh conditions.
The ascent involves traversing icefalls, and steep ridges, and facing unpredictable weather patterns that can change rapidly, posing significant risks to climbers.
Height: 8,586 meters (28,169 feet)
Kangchenjunga, nestled in the eastern Himalayas, boasts a majestic presence with its five peaks resembling a crown. It’s also one of the top 4 highest mountains in the world.
The mountain, revered by locals, holds spiritual significance. Its remote location and challenging terrain add to its allure and mystique.
Climbing Kangchenjunga is not just a physical feat but also a test of reverence for local beliefs, as climbers often respect the wishes of the local communities to not ascend all the way to the summit, stopping just shy of it.
The climb is demanding, with steep slopes, icefalls, and harsh weather conditions that make it a formidable challenge.
Height: 8,516 meters (27,940 feet)
Lhotse, adjacent to Mount Everest, shares its base and showcases immense vertical walls and steep terrain. It ranks as the fourth highest peak globally and is a prominent part of the Everest massif.
When looking at a list of the tallest mountains in the world, Lhotse is certainly one of the most impressive. Yet, it’s often overlooked by climbers who are more interested in summiting neighbouring Everest.
Climbing Lhotse is often coupled with an Everest expedition as the peaks share a significant portion of the route.
The climb to Lhotse's summit involves scaling challenging icefaces, navigating crevasses, and enduring the extreme conditions synonymous with the Everest region. It’s not only one of the top highest mountains in the world, but it’s also one of the most challenging to climb.
Height: 8,485 meters (27,838 feet)
Makalu, standing proudly as the fifth highest peak, showcases a distinct pyramid shape with its four sharp ridges. The mountain is part of the Makalu-Barun Valley, a remote and pristine wilderness area.
Beyond being one of the largest mountains of the world, Makalu is also one of the most beautiful and is incredibly rewarding to witness in person.
Climbing Makalu demands technical expertise and adaptability to tackle steep rock faces, hanging glaciers, and notoriously unpredictable weather. Its isolation and challenging access contribute to its reputation as a formidable climb.
6. Cho Oyu
Height: 8,188 meters (26,864 feet)
Cho Oyu, often regarded as a preparatory climb for Mount Everest, stands as the sixth-highest peak in the world. Its broad icy slopes and gentle inclines contrast the harsher, steeper peaks in the region.
Being in the list of the highest 10 mountains in the world, Cho Oyo is a summit that needs to be taken seriously. Beyond the altitude, the climb also presents many unique challenges.
Climbing Cho Oyu demands technical skill in navigating its icy terrain. The climb typically involves traversing through crevasses and seracs, providing climbers with a challenging yet less technical ascent compared to some of the neighbouring peaks.
7. Dhaulagiri I
Height: 8,167 meters (26,795 feet)
Dhaulagiri I, part of the Dhaulagiri massif, stands as the seventh-highest peak globally. The mountain's name translates to "white mountain," reflecting its stunning snow-covered peaks.
It may be one of the biggest mountains in the world, yet it's often overlooked by climbers who are more interested in summiting the better-known Nepal mountains to climb.
Climbing Dhaulagiri I involves technical climbing skills, navigating through icefalls, and scaling steep slopes. Its challenging conditions and remote location make it a significant undertaking for experienced mountaineers.
Height: 8,163 meters (26,781 feet)
Manaslu, revered as the "Mountain of the Spirit," presents a formidable yet breathtaking peak in the Nepalese Himalayas. Its name translates to "mountain of the spirit" in Sanskrit.
If you ever get to see Manaslu in person, you’ll instantly realise that it’s one of the highest mountains in the world, as the scale of the mountain is simply enormous.
Climbing Manaslu requires traversing varied terrain, including snowfields, glaciers, and technical sections with icefalls.
The ascent poses challenges in terms of altitude and technical climbing skills, attracting experienced mountaineers seeking a formidable yet less crowded alternative to Everest.
9. Nanga Parbat
Height: 8,126 meters (26,660 feet)
Nanga Parbat, known as the "Killer Mountain," stands tall in the western Himalayas. Its immense, snow-capped peaks and challenging climbing routes contribute to its fearsome reputation.
Climbing Nanga Parbat is a serious endeavour due to its steep faces and unpredictable weather conditions.
The mountain's deadly reputation arises from its challenging climbs and tragic history, attracting experienced climbers seeking a significant challenge.
10. Annapurna I
Height: 8,091 meters (26,545 feet)
Annapurna I, part of the Annapurna massif, stands as the tenth-highest peak. It is renowned for its stunning beauty and the difficulty it presents to mountaineers.
Annapurna is one of the highest mountains in the world, as well as being one of the most respected by serious climbers.
Climbing Annapurna I is a daunting task due to its technical difficulties, avalanche-prone slopes, and unpredictable weather.
The mountain's steep faces and challenging terrain make it a formidable climb, requiring both technical expertise and adaptability.
Climbing the Highest Mountains in the World: What You Need to Know
Climbing to the summit or hiking to base camps of the highest mountains in the world is a formidable challenge.
It demands meticulous planning, physical preparation, and a deep understanding of the risks involved. This is certainly not something that any everyday mountaineer or hiker can accomplish.
Whether it's Mount Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, or any other peak, here's what you need to know before trying to climb the highest mountains in the world.
1. Physical Fitness and Training
Being physically prepared is essential for climbing the highest mountains in the world. There are two things you need to consider when preparing your body for these climbs:
Endurance and Strength: Climbing the highest mountains requires excellent physical fitness. Engage in rigorous training, including cardio, strength, and endurance exercises, to prepare your body for the strenuous demands of high-altitude climbs.
Altitude Acclimatization: Gradually acclimate your body to higher altitudes to mitigate the risks of altitude sickness. Practice ascending and descending at a steady pace to allow your body to adjust to reduced oxygen levels.
2. Technical Skills and Experience
Acquire technical skills necessary for high-altitude climbing, such as using crampons, ice axes, and ropes, and understanding glacier travel and crevasse rescue techniques.
Attempting the highest peaks is not ideal for beginners. Gain experience by tackling smaller peaks and progressively challenging routes to build confidence and competence.
3. Equipment and Gear
Invest in high-quality gear suitable for extreme weather conditions. This includes insulated clothing, sturdy boots, a reliable tent, sleeping bags rated for sub-zero temperatures, and specialized climbing equipment.
Carry essential safety gear like a first-aid kit, satellite communication devices, oxygen tanks (if necessary), and navigation tools.
4. Experienced Guides and Support Teams
Consider hiring experienced local guides who possess in-depth knowledge of the terrain, weather patterns, and cultural insights. They can provide invaluable support and enhance safety during the expedition.
Joining reputable expedition teams like ours here at Skyhook Adventure can offer a structured and safer approach to climbing the highest mountains. These teams often provide logistical support, guidance, and a network of experienced climbers.
5. Environmental Considerations and Respect for Local Culture
Adhere to responsible environmental practices to minimize your impact on the fragile ecosystems of these mountains. Pack out all waste and respect the natural surroundings.
Understand and respect the local customs, traditions, and beliefs of the communities living in and around these mountains.
6. Risk Management and Decision-Making
Continuously assess risks associated with weather changes, avalanches, rockfalls, and health issues. Be prepared to make informed decisions, including turning back if conditions become unsafe.
Climbing the highest peaks requires mental resilience. Be prepared for unexpected challenges, delays, and uncertainties inherent in high-altitude mountaineering.
Embarking on an expedition to climb the highest mountains in the world is a monumental undertaking. Prioritize safety, preparation, and a deep appreciation for the natural beauty and challenges these mountains present.
However, all of these mountains can be climbed. If you’re serious about reaching one of these summits on a climbing adventure with us here at Skyhook Adventure, then start your planning and preparation now.
With the right motivation, anyone could stand on top of these impressive peaks.
Highest Mountains in the World FAQs
Where are the highest mountains in the world located?
The highest mountains in the world are primarily located in the Himalayas and the Karakoram ranges in Asia. Mount Everest, K2, and other tallest peaks are situated within these mountain ranges, spanning countries like Nepal, China, India, and Pakistan.
What are the two highest mountains in the world?
The two highest mountains in the world are:
Mount Everest - Located on the Nepal-China border in the Himalayas, it stands at 8,848.86 meters (29,031.7 feet) above sea level, making it the tallest peak globally.
K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen) - Situated on the Pakistan-China border in the Karakoram Range, it reaches an elevation of 8,611 meters (28,251 feet), making it the second-highest mountain on Earth.
Where are all the 8000-meter peaks?
The majority of the world's 8000-meter peaks, which are mountains that exceed 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) in elevation, are located in the Himalayas and the Karakoram ranges in Asia. These peaks are spread across countries such as Nepal, China (including Tibet), India, Pakistan, and Bhutan.