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What Are The Five Highest Mountains In The World?

Updated on June 19, 2013

As human's we have a propensity to want to achieve greater things than those previous to us have achieved. By this I mean that we are always trying to better our accomplishments in the hope of furthering our species. The climbing of mountains is no exception to this rule.With hundreds of different mountain ranges spanning across nearly every continent it may be seen that man has never been short of something to climb.

However, there aren't many who can say that they have scaled the peaks of one of the five highest mountains in the world. But, what are they?

View from the south west
View from the south west

5. Makalu (Nepal/Tibet)

At number five on our list of the five tallest mountains in the world we have Makalu at 8481 metres tall (27 825 feet). It is only one of only fourteen mountains in the world that are over the height of 8000 metres tall.

Located in the Himalayas near Nepal, it was first successfully climbed in the summer of 1955 by a French led expedition team. However, due to the apparent complexity of climbing it, the west face of this mountain was not able to be successfully climbed until 1997. It is considered by climbers to be one of the harder mountains to climb out of the fourteen that are all over 8000 feet. This is in part due to the fact that it has many steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are completely open to the elements.

4. Lhotse (Nepal/Tibet)

At number four on our list of the tallest mountains in the world is Lhoste which is again located in Nepal. The name 'Lhoste' in Tibetan means 'south peak'. This is because it is south of the main peak in the area (i.e. Mount Everest). Its main summit is 8,516 metres (27,940 ft) above sea level. The main summit of this mountain was first climbed by Swiss duo Fritz Luchsinger and Ernst Reiss in 1956.

Because of its close location to Mount Everest it is often climbed by those on route to the mountain.

3. Kangchenjunga (India/Nepal)

It may seem like a bit of a trend now but the third tallest mountain in the world Kangchenjunga is located in the Himalayas on the border of India and Nepal. Two of its five peaks are in Nepal whilst its other three peaks are on the border of North Sikkim (India) and Nepal. It is called Five Treasures of Snow by the locals after its five high peaks, and has always been worshipped by the people of Sikkim. The main peak of this mountain is 8,598 m (28,209 ft) and is said to be the largest peak in India.

What's funny is that it was considered the tallest mountain in the world until 1852. This is because calculations about its height had been inaccurate. It was only in 1856 that it was fully recalculated and moved into the spot of the third tallest mountain in the world.

Kangchenjunga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of a British expedition. However, they stopped just short of the summit following a promise to the Maharaja of Sikkim that the top of the mountain would remain inviolate. As such, every subsequent climber (or group of climbers) to have attempted this mountain have upheld this promise.

2. K2 (Pakistan/China)

At number two on our list of the five tallest mountains we have K2 (also known as Mount Godwin-Austen). With a main peak height of 8,611 m (28,251 feet), it is located on the border of Pakistan and China. It is the highest point of the Karakoram mountain range and is also said to be the highest point in Pakistan.

The pyramid shape of this mountain makes it one of the hardest mountains in the world to climb. As such it has developed the nickname Savage Mountain due to the difficulty of ascent and the fact it has the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. For every four people that have reached its summit one has died trying. The Chinese side of K2 is harder to climb and so most of the time it is attempted from the Pakistani side. Its name 'K2' was given to it by the first team to survey the mountain in 1856 as it was the second peak in the Karakoram mountain range.

The first successful climb of this mountain was in 1954 by an Italian expedition. However, there had been numerous previous attempts that had resulted in casualties and fatalities. It was only in 2007 that its most dangerous face was first climbed.


1. Everest (Nepal/Tibet)

At number one on our list is Mount Everest which is situated in the Himalayas near Nepal.At 8848 metres (29 029 ft) it is over 200 metres taller than the previous mountain K2. It was the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India in 1856 that established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft (8,840 m). In 1865, Everest was given its official name after Sir George Everest, who was the surveyor general working for the British in India previously. It was Everest who had prompted the idea of surveying the heights of the mountains in the survey.

The first successful people to climb to the very top of this mountain was the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali sherpa climber from Darjeeling, who were both part of a British led expedition in 1953. They reached the summit at 11:30 am local time on 29 May 1953 via the South Col Route.

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