Climbing Nepal’s +8000 meter Mountains

Climbing Nepal's +8000 meter Mountains

Nepal has 8 out of the in total 14 mountains in the world which are higher than 8,000 meter. The country also has access to a very large part of the Himalayas, making the country an absolute mecca for climbers.

Mountain climbing is simultaneously one of the most thrilling and perilous activities available to mankind. The difficulty of climbing a steep mountain slope one tired step at a time is only surpassed by the joy of reaching the peak and feeling the rush of adrenaline pump through your veins for having conquered the majestic natural challenge!

In this article, we have compiled a list of the six most climbed +8,000 meter mountains in Nepal, with a short description of each of them including the number of successful summits and each mountain’s summit-to-death-ratio, giving a good indication of how difficult each mountain is.

The mountains are listed in ascending order in terms of number of successful summits.

Mt Annapurna I

Mt. Annapurna 1
Image by: Arite

With a fatality rate of one per every three climbers, Annapurna I is the most dangerous mountain to climb in the world (with K2 in Pakistan as number 2). Situated in the western part of Nepal, and rising to a staggering height of 8,091 meters, this mountain peak was first climbed by a French expedition on June 3, 1950. Nestled among 13 peaks over 7000 m and 16 peaks over 6000 m, Mt. Annapurna is located amidst fantastic trekking terrain and close to the beautiful Pokhara valley. “Annapurna”, which means “Goddess of harvest” in Sanskrit, also translates to “the mother who feeds”. The entire Annapurna region falls under the Annapurna Conservation Area, which was established to protect the natural heritage of the region.

  • Mt. Annapurna I – number of successful summits: 221 (until beginning 2013)
  • Mt. Annapurna I – number of deaths: over 60
  • Mt. Annapurna – death-to-summit-ratio: 27%

Mt. Makalu

Mount Makalu
Image by: Ben Tobby

The fifth highest mountain peak in the world, rising to 8,463 meters above sea level, Mt. Makalu is a massive natural wonder situated in the Khumbu region of Nepal. It is only 22.5 km away from Mt. Everest. This spectacular mountain with its four sharp ridges is actually a double peak, with the secondary peak, called Chomolonzo separated from the main summit. Lying at the border between Nepal and Tibet, this giant mountain is considered to be a difficult climb even for seasoned mountaineers. Mt. Makalu was first climbed in 1954, soon after the ascent of the Everest.

  • Mt. Makalu – number of successful summits: 376 (until beginning 2013)
  • Mt . Makalu – number of deaths: over 30
  • Mt. Makalu – death-to-summit-ratio: 8%

Mt. Dhaulagiri

Mount Dhaulagiri
Image by: Solundir

At a staggering height of 8,167 meters, the Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain peak in the world. This beautiful mountain was first climbed on May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition. The name “Dhaulagiri” literally means “dazzling mountain”. True to its name, the Dhaulagiri, neatly tucked in among other Himalayan peaks, is a superbly majestic peak, whose slopes are as deadly as they are beautiful. Having claimed over 70 lives, the Dhaulagiri has a higher death rate than most other mountain peaks in the Himalayan range.

  • Mt. Dhaulagiri – number of successful summits: 451 (until beginning 2013)
  • Mt. Dhaulagiri – number of deaths: over 70
  • Mt. Dhaulagiri – death-to-summit-ratio: approx. 8%

Mt Lhotse

Mount Lhotse
Image by: Indiver Badal

A close neighbour of the Everest, and rising to a height of 8,516 meters, Mt. Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain peak in the world. The term “Lhotse” translates to “south peak” in the Tibetan language. Connected to the Everest by the South Col., this mountain peak is completely surrounded by high altitude terrain and rises only 610 meters above the actual Col. The southern face of Lhotse is possibly the steepest mountain slope among peaks over 8000 meters high. The most common route is therefore from the northwest. Besides the main Lhotse summit, climbers also have the opportunity of scaling the Lhotse Middle (East) at 8,414 m and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 m respectively. Mt. Lhotse was first climbed on May 18, 1956 by a Swiss expedition.

  • Mt. Lhotse – number of successful summits: 479 (until beginning 2013)
  • Mt. Lhotse – number of deaths: over 20
  • Mt. Lhotse – death-to-summit-ratio: approx. 4%

Mt. Manaslu

Mount Manaslu
Image by: Ben Tubby

Located in the west-central part of Nepal, Manaslu, which means “Mountain of the Spirit” in Sanskrit, is the eighth highest mountain peak in the world, rising to a height of 8,156 meters above sea level. Mt. Manaslu is situated in the Lamjung district and is a close neighbour of the Annapurna range, situated only 64 km away from it. This mountain is surrounded by the Manasalu Conservation Area, which was established to protect the flora and fauna of the region. This is an extremely popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers alike. First climbed in 1956 by a Japanese expedition, the Manasalu is a fairly dangerous mountain that has claimed over 65 lives. The beautiful long ridges and numerous glaciers make this mountain a true spectacle of nature.

  • Mt. Manaslu – number of successful summits: 844 (until beginning 2013)
  • Mt. Manaslu – number of deaths: over 65 (data from 2011)
  • Mt. Manaslu – death-to-summit-ratio: 7%

Mt Everest

Everest Base Camp

Everyone has heard about Mt. Everest. At 8848 meters above the sea level, it is the highest point on Earth. So, it comes as no surprise that it is also the most climbed mountain peak in Nepal. Called “Chomolungma” in the Tibetan language, this peak was known as Peak XV before being named Mount Everest after the Englishman Sir George Everest. Every year Mount Everest attracts many mountaineers eager conquer the greatest natural challenge of them all. It is, however, a risky business – over 200 people have lost their lives on the slopes of this majestic peak. The bodies of many who have perished on the Everest are still there, buried in the ice, because recovering them is too difficult. Mt. Everest was first successfully climbed by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953.

  • Mt. Everest – number of successful summits: 3844 (until beginning 2013)
  • Mt. Everest – number of deaths: over 200
  • Mt. Everest – death-to-summit-ratio: 2-4%

Want to read more about climbing a +8,000 meter peak? Read Azim Afif’s account of Climbing Mt. Cho Oyu in late 2014:

Want to learn about Nepal’s best climbing peaks (primarily for beginners). Check out the top 10 climbing peaks in Nepal.

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