The Himalayan Mountain Range is home to some of the highest peaks in the world. Although they can all seem somewhat the same—freezing cold and daunting—each mountain is unique and has its own claim to fame. Read on the learn about the top ten peaks in the Himalayas.
- Mount Everest
Mount Everest towers above the world at 29,002 feet above sea level. As the holy grail of summits, the top of Everest has attracted thousands of climbers around the world and claimed hundreds of lives. A few thousand people have actually reached the peak of the world’s highest mountain, risking life and limb in the process. People continue to train and try for the summit, hoping to see the view from the top of the world. And what a magnificent view it is!
K2 may be shorter than Everest at 28,251 feet, but it is much more difficult to summit. For every four successful climbers, one person makes his grave on its freezing slopes. Climber, author, and humanitarian Greg Mortenson describes his unsuccessful climb in his book Three Cups of Tea. A chilling scene from the book describes the horror of the trekkers as they stepped over frozen bodies on the way to the top.
Kangchenchunga stands at just above 28,000 feet. It has one foot in India and the other in Nepal, forming a natural and formidable border. The mountain has five peaks; because of this, it is nicknamed “The Five Treasures of Snow.” Because of its stunning magnitude and beauty, the mountain is considered a holy mount, worshipped by people of both Darjeeling and Sikkim.
- Nanga Parbat
“Killer Mountain” is located in Pakistan and, true to its nickname, is not easy or safe to summit. At a towering 26,660 feet, Nanga Parbat has a striking appearance from all directions. It’s perpetually snow covered heights contrast beautifully against Pakistan’s summers. In winter, the mountain looms impenetrably in a blanket of ice.
This 27,838-foot mountain is located on the border between China and Nepal. It has been the subject of many climbing attempts and summits, although they have been publicized and celebrated than those of other Himalayan mountains. Perhaps the most interesting part of Makalu is its glacially-fed valley below. The Makalu-Baron Valley is a seemingly magical place filled with soaring cliffs, crashing waterfalls, and blooms of brilliant colour among the green grasses of the valley.
At 27,940 feet above sea level, Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world. Fewer than 400 people have ever reached the top of Lhotse, and those who do must scale its sheer face of glacial ice in the process. Sherpa guides have attached ropes to the face, and climbers must pull themselves up by the rope. Lhotse is not one of the most popular peaks to summit, but it is one of the most challenging.
Everest may have been conquered by the British, but Manaslu was conquered by the Japanese. This mystical mountain with its otherworldly, pointed peaks is a beauty from any angle, but nothing can beat the view from the top. Manaslu is one of the best mountains for trekking, partly because there are so many ways to ascend the mountain. It is by no means an easy climb, but it is a beautiful one with many options.
- Cho Oyu
Cho Oyu is the peak to climb if you want to summit a big one but don’t have the guts to try Everest or K2. This mountain, standing at 6,864 feet, it considered the easiest of the 8,000 meter mountains to climb. Despite its atedative ease (a term we use loosely), there have still been tragedies on the mountain.
- Nanda Devi
There are two summits on Nanda Devi. The higher western summit is separated by a long ridge from the eastern summit. They are known by the religious faithful of the region as Nanda and Sunanda, two goddesses in the ancient belief system.
Although Shishapangma is the 14th highest mountain in the world, it was the last of the 8,000 meter peaks to be summited. This was for mainly political reasons. Shishapangma is located within Tibet, where travel restrictions have been much higher than restrictions in other surrounding countries. There are different routes that climbers can take to reach the summit.