World’s Highest Mountains - World’s Tallest Mountain – and World’s Largest Mountain

World’s Highest Mountain

The world’s highest mountain is Mount Everest at 29,029 feet. A mountain is a natural landform with an elevation of at least 1000 feet from the base and a slope of more than 2 degrees and a base (local) radius of 7 kilometres. A mountain is generally steeper and higher than a hill. Orography is the study of mountains. There seems not have a universally accepted definition of a mountain but ideally the elevation, volume, relief, steepness, spacing and continuity of the landform should be the criteria to be used for defining a mountain. If the local people believe a landform should be called a mountain, then it is a mountain based on their perception. MountDavidson in San Francisco is 990 feet and MountScott in Oklahoma is 824 feet. These two mountains are less than 1000 feet and because the local people have agreed they be mountains, then they are mountains and not two big hills.

Difference between Mountain and Hill

What is the difference between a mountain and a hill? A mountain is higher and steeper than a hill. Hills have a distinct summit, except in areas with dip topography; a hill is lower and less steep than a mountain. The distinction between a mountain and hill is subjective based on people in different continents. For example, the world’s tallest hill is Cavanal Hill in Oklahoma at 1999 feet. Compare this with MountScott in Oklahoma at 824 feet. In some countries, the distinction between a hill and a mountain is just in terms of land use and appearance and may have nothing to do with height. Those hills that are small are called hillock, knoll or knowe.

Highest May Not Be the Tallest

The highest mountain may not necessarily be the tallest mountain. The highest mountain refers to the height of the mountain above mean sea level. The tallest mountain refers to the height of the mountain above its base. The highest mountain may not necessarily be the largest mountain and neither should the largest mountain be the tallest. The largest mountain has the biggest volume or largest base area and height.

Highest, Tallest, and Largest Mountains

1. The highest mountain (based on height above sea level) is Mount Everest

2. The tallest Mountain (based on a base above sea level) is MountMcKinley followed by Mount Kilimanjaro and then MountNanga Parbat

3. The tallest mountain (based on a base below sea level) is MountKea

4. The largest mountain (based on base area and volume) is Mount Kilimanjaro

Mountain Range

A mountain range is actually a chain of mountains bordered by highlands or separated from other mountains by passes or valleys. The Himalayas is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau.

The Himalayas

The Himalayas has a chain of mountains that includes the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest with a peak at 29,029 feet. Other high mountains on the Himalayas ranges include the following: K2 (8,611 m in Karakoram, Pakistan), Kangchenjunga (8,586 m in Nepal-Sikkim), Lhotse (8,511 m in Nepal-Tibet), Makalu (8,463 m in Nepal-Tibet), Cho Oyu (8,201 m in Nepal-Tibet), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m in Nepal), Manaslu (8,163 m in Nepal), Nanga Parbat (8,125 m in Pakistan), Annapurna (8,091 m in Nepal), Gasherbrum I (8,068 m in Karakoram, Pakistan), Broad Peak (8,047 m in Karakoram, Pakistan), Gasherbrum II (8,035 m in Karakoram, Pakistan), and Shishapangma (8,012 m in Tibet).

Continents of the World

A continent is defined as a large continuous area of land on planet Earth. One third of the earth surface is covered by land whilst two thirds is covered by water. Two thirds of the land mass is in the Northern hemisphere. The Continents of the World are:

  1. Africa
  2. Americas
  3. Antarctica
  4. Asia
  5. Australia and Oceania
  6. Europe

Mount Everest - In Asia

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world with a peak at 29,029 feet. Mount Everest is a favourite for tourists some who well experienced mountaineers and others who are novice mountain climbers. To climb this mountain, you may need to hire a professional mountain guide who will guide you to make a successful climb. Professional mountain guides charges a substantial fee here in Nepal. In addition, you have to buy a license from the Nepal government at $25,000 per person to climb Mount Everest. Never mind this fee as God want people of Nepal to feed. Climbing Mountain Everest is difficult and dangerous with inherent dangers such as pressure/altitude sickness, weather and wind. Yes, you can get heart attack so make sure you buy the right insurance policy. Over 220 lives have been lost on Mount Everest because the conditions are very rough especially on the death zone which is 8000 metres and above – sometimes its better you just leave human corpse where they have fallen instead of trying to retrieve them. This means that as you climb, you might encounter some corpses, but this should not discourage you. Just climb on. Indeed, climbing Mount Everest is not for everyone but for those who have more than enough wealth. If you read the book High Crimes you will get to know more about unethical guides, frauds related to the sale of oxygen bottles, prostitution and gambling that goes on at Tibet Base Camp, Everest.

Mount Everest - Image Credit: Pavel Novak, Wikipedia Commons.
Mount Everest - Image Credit: Pavel Novak, Wikipedia Commons.

Mount Cerro Aconcagua – In South America

Mount Cerro Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia.It has a height of 22,841 feet above mean sea level. t), Mount Cerro Aconcagua is located in Andes mountain range, in Argentina. To experienced mountain climbers, Cerro Aconcagua is easy to climb from the northern direction. Like climbing any other mountain, the effects of altitude are severe with altitude sickness and one may need to use supplemental oxygen. To climb Cerro Aconcagua Mountain, one will need to purchase a license from Aconcagua Provincial Park authority.

Mount Cerro Aconcagua - Image Credit: Sergio Schmiegelow, Wikipedia Commons
Mount Cerro Aconcagua - Image Credit: Sergio Schmiegelow, Wikipedia Commons

Mount Mckinley - In North America

MountMckinley is also known as Denali which means the high one. MountMckinley is in Alaska, USA. MountMckinley is the highest mountain in USA with a height of 20,320 feet above mean sea level. The Denali mountain catchments also include the DenaliNational Park and Preserve. The MountMckinley is taller than Mount Everest but Mount Everest is higher than MountMckinley (based on height above mean sea level). One devilish thing about this mountain is that temperatures can drop to a low range of –ve60 to –ve85 degrees Celsius. To experienced mountain climbers, MountMckinley is easy to climb. Like climbing any other mountain, the effects of altitude are severe with altitude sickness and one may need to use supplemental oxygen, in addition to being extra careful of the low temperatures.

Science and Meteorology

In science and meteorology, the higher in altitude you go the cooler it becomes. The higher in altitude you go the lower the pressure becomes. The farther you go in latitude, the lower the pressure becomes. This means that a mountain with equivalent height to MountMckinley at the equator has more oxygen (pressure) than MountMckinley in Alaska.

Mount Mckinley in Alaska. Image Credit:  Derek Ramsey, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ram-Man , Wikipedia Commons
Mount Mckinley in Alaska. Image Credit: Derek Ramsey, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ram-Man , Wikipedia Commons

Mount Kilimanjaro – In Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa with a height of 19,334 feet above mean sea level. Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro is the 4th highest freestanding mountain in the world. Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s largest mountain. It’s important to note the difference in the usage of the words ‘highest’, ‘tallest’ and ‘largest’ as pertain to mountains. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is easy and will take about 7 days. Like climbing any other mountain, the effects of altitude are severe with altitude sickness, and one may need to use supplemental oxygen.

The Cradle of Mankind

The Swahili word for a mountain is Kilima. Njaro is a word for the local people that mean white. Kilimanjaro means the White Mountain. To the West of Kilimanjaro is the Serengeti National Park that continues further North in Kenya to join the Maasai Mara National Reserve. To the south-east of Serengeti National Park is Ngorongoro Conservation Area. To the eastern Serengeti is Oldupai Gorge which is historical site known as The Cradle of Mankind. The Oldupai Gorge is the site where Louis and Mary Leakey discovered stone tools used by the earliest man more than 2.6 million years ago.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Image Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim - www.micro2macro.net , Wikimedia Commons
Mount Kilimanjaro, Image Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim - www.micro2macro.net , Wikimedia Commons

Mount Elbrus – In Europe

Mount Elbrus is located in western Caucasus mountain range, Russia. Mount Elbrus is 18,510 feet above mean sea level and it’s the highest mountain in Europe. Climbing Mount Elbrus during the winter months is extremely very difficult and can only be climbed by very experienced climbers. To climb Mount Elbrus, you need to buy a license and several permits for you to go to any area south of Baksan. In addition, you have to register with Visa and Registration department. It is said that the world’s nastiest outhouse is to be found in Mount Elbrus.

Mount Elbrus, Image Credit: JukoFF, Wikimedia Commons.
Mount Elbrus, Image Credit: JukoFF, Wikimedia Commons.

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Comments 13 comments

sree1987 profile image

sree1987 6 years ago from India

Ha ha.. Reading this takes me back to the geography classes I had in school.. But yours is dense and really informative. I didn't know much about ranges other K2 Godwin and Kanchenjunga. But as I read this I was able to recollect what I knew and also fed with useful information.

Thanks for sharing this.

Stay Happy forever

- Sree


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Well research and appreciated. Thanks for sharing!


ZarkoZivkovic profile image

ZarkoZivkovic 6 years ago from Serbia

i just wish i can visit some of these mountains one day, i love camping and I love mountains, but besides Balkans I never went camping or mountain climbing in any other region.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Great research put together and giving so much information. Thank you very much fro a great lesson.


culturespain 6 years ago

As a rock climber, I am passionate about mountains so this was great to read - with some fantastic pictures. Did you know that Spain (surprisingly) is the 2nd most mountainous country in Europe?


s.prakash 6 years ago

Great information with well research.


Ornov.dm99 profile image

Ornov.dm99 5 years ago from Bangladesh

Wow dear friend Ngureco, its a so great and excellent hub site.i like so much this hub site.Thanks for sharing this hub site.

friend you will get new another hub site about this ..

http://hubpages.com/travel/Mount-Everest


Ornov.dm99 profile image

Ornov.dm99 5 years ago from Bangladesh

Wow dear friend Ngureco, its a so great and excellent hub site.i like so much this hub site.Thanks for sharing this hub site.

friend you will get new another hub site about this ..

http://hubpages.com/travel/Mount-Everest


Cottagerelief profile image

Cottagerelief 4 years ago from Newmarket, Ontario

The wife and I will be going to Banff in alberta canada.

Can't wait, horseback riding in the rockies, sleeping at the base of a mountain. Nice Hub


Jason Matthews profile image

Jason Matthews 3 years ago from North Carolina

A beautiful hub! Thanks for sharing!


Jim Jim 3 years ago

When did the "Americas" become one continent?


Anonymous wanderer 2 years ago

For your information

K2 or Godwin Austen is in POK( pak occupied kashmir) which means it is basically India and not Pakistan... During 1948, UN ordered the countries to return to their original position after the war, but India's PM in a fit to end the contention, did not claim back POK...i.e 1/3 area of India's state J&K... so practically its in India.


Kirkwood 8 days ago

Have read that it's possible to stand in the Indus river valley and look up 23,000 vertical feet to see top of Nanga Parbat. Also, all 22,800+ feet of Aconcagua is supposedly visible from off shore in the Pacific Ocean. Tallest visible vertical rise might be considered when defining "tallest".

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