The 8,000m limit attracts us magically. The challenge of the height, the challenge, getting to know your own border, the history of the ascents - many things attract us to the 8,000-meter-peaks. Here you will find an overview of the 14 classic 8km-mountains and our regular 8,000-m-expeditions.
SummitClimb has conducted a series of difficult 8,000m expeditions, many of our expedition leaders know the 8,000m like the back of their hand.
Climb Broad Peak, Picture: Felix Berg, 2014.
All 8,000m mountains
Mount Everest (8,848m)
Altitude: 8,848m / 29,029 ft
Location: Himalaya main ridge (border Nepal-China),
First ascent: 29 May 1953 (Norgay Tenzing, Sir Edmund Hillary)
Nepal, Hillary Step (8790m) and Rongbuk monastery, Tibet, Mount Everest (8848m).
Mount Everest is with 8,848 meters above sea level the highest mountain on earth. It is one of the 14 eight-thousand-metre peaks and, as the highest peak in Asia, one of the Seven Summits. The mountain was formed together with the rest of the Himalayas as a result of the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates. It is named after the British surveyor Sir George Everest. In Nepali it is called Sagarmatha, in Tibetan Qomolangma (German pronunciation "Tschomolangma"; English transcription "Chomolungma").
Mount Everest is located in the Mahalangur Himal in the Khumbu region of Nepal on the border with Tibet; the western and southeastern of its three summit ridges form the border. On the Nepalese side it is part of the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the northern side it belongs to the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve, which corresponds to the Qomoalangma Biosphere Reserve designated by UNESCO.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay succeeded in the first ascent of the "third pole" on 29 May 1953.
Altitude: 8,611 m / 28,251 ft
Location: Karakorum (Pakistan-China border)
First ascent: 31.July 1954 (Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli)
The 8611 meter high K2 or Lambha Pahar (in China officially: Qogir; also called Chogori, Mount Godwin-Austen or Dapsang), located on the border between Pakistan and China, is the highest mountain in the Karakorum. It belongs to the mountain massif Baltoro Muztagh, is the second highest mountain in the world and is considered by mountaineers to be far more demanding than Mount Everest, if not the most difficult of all fourteen eight-thousanders. With it as the second highest mountain in the world, the Karakorum is also the second highest mountain in the world after the Himalayas with Mt Everest. Moreover, directly south of K2, three mountains of the Gasherbrum group also reach an altitude of over 8000 m, so that nowhere else are there so many eight-thousanders on such a small area as in the central Karakorum. As the second highest mountain in Asia, K2 is one of the Seven Second Summits. The same applies to the K2: The style and the means of climbing are important. The normal route along the Cesen/Abruzzi route is the destination of many expeditions every year, which tackle the ascent with the help of fixed ropes and artificial oxygen. A pure alpine style at K2 is in principle only possible off the normal route. Here, the normal routes of some heavy 7000m peaks in alpine style certainly offer greater challenges. SummitClimb expedition leader Daniel Mazur, together with John Pratt, has climbed the West Ridge for the second time, making it one of the most difficult routes on K2. Whichever ascent is chosen, the K2 is much more challenging than Mount Everest, and has a sobering death statistic. After a little over 200 summit ascents (as of 2010), over 20 mountaineers died in an accident during the descent. An ascent of the K2 should be taken very seriously, solid technical skills and many years of experience in high-altitude mountaineering are absolutely necessary.
Altitude: 8,586m / 28,169 ft
Location: Karakorum (border Nepal-Sikkim/India)
First ascent: 25 May 1955 (George Ban and Joe Brown)
Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world and the most easterly located eight-thousander. Over its summit runs the border between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim.
Until 1852 it was believed that Kangchendzönga was the highest mountain on earth. Only the calculations of the trigonometric survey of India by the British in 1849 proved that Mount Everest and K2 are even higher and that Kangchendzönga is thus the third highest mountain on earth.
The Kangchendzönga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by George Band and Joe Brown. The British honoured the faith of the inhabitants of Sikkim, who worship the summit as a holy place, by stopping a few steps before the actual summit. Many successful ascents have followed this tradition ever since. The last meters of altitude do not offer mountaineering difficulties any more.
Since the former Kingdom of Sikkim joined the Indian Union in 1975, Kantsch, as it is often called in mountaineering jargon, has been the highest mountain in India.
Many mountaineers (including Reinhold Messner) described the Kantsch as the most dangerous and one of the most difficult of all 8000m peaks. The name in Tibetan "Gangs chen mdsod Inga" means as much as "The five treasure chambers of the great snow" and thus already provides the explanation for the dangers: The 5-peaked mountain (all over 8000m high) lies completely in the east of the Himalaya and gets as the first big mountain the full power of the monsoon to feel. From it partly massive new snowfalls result. The normal way over the southeast side, a huge 3000m flank, is dominated by snow and ice avalanches. The other climbs are all technically much more demanding. SummitClimb has conducted two expeditions to the north side of Kangchendzönga so far.
Lhotse (8,516 m)
Altitude: 8,516 m / 21,939 ft
Location: Himalaya (border Nepal-China),
First ascent: May 18, 1956 (Fritz Luchsinger and Ernst Reiß)
Lhotse lies in the Himalayas on the border between Nepal and China as a neighboring mountain of Mount Everest. It is connected to Mount Everest by the 7986 metre high South Saddle. With a height of 8516 meters it is the fourth highest mountain in the world. The Tibetan name Lhotse means "southern peak" and indicates that it belongs to the Everest massif. From Lhotse and Lhotse Shar over 3000 m high rock walls fall in southern direction. Due to the enormous difference in altitude and the extreme sea level, these are among the most difficult and most dangerous climbing walls on earth. The Lhotse itself can be described as "moderately difficult" and "high" 8000m. The normal route is over long distances (up to below the Lhotse flank at approx. 7300m) identical with the south ascent at Mount Everest. The ascent via the normal route is technically not much more difficult than the south route at Mount Everest.
Cho Oyu (8,201m)
Altitude: 8,201 m / 26,906 ft
Location: Himalaya (border Nepal-China)
First ascent: October 19, 1954 (Tichy Expedition)
Im Aufstieg am Cho Oyu (links) und am Gipfel (rechts, 8201m)
Cho Oyu or Qowowuyag (Goddess of Turquoise) is located in the central Himalayas only 20 km west of Mount Everest and Lhotse and represents the western cornerstone of the Mahalangur Himal in the Himalayan main ridge. The border between China and Nepal runs over the summit of Cho Oyu. Since the altitude difference to the next higher mountain is more than 250 meters and the last camp for the summit ascent can be chosen much lower, Cho Oyu marks the border to the "low" 8000m peaks. The ascent is considered to be the "easiest" of all 8000m peak in the world. Due to the relatively uncomplicated journey and the small technical difficulties this classification is justified. At SummitClimb we offer two expeditions to Cho Oyu (post- and pre-monsoon) every year.
Altitude: 8,167m / 26,794 ft
Location: Himalaya (Nepal),
First ascent: May 13, 1960 (Kurt Diemberger, Peter Diener, Ernest Forrer, Albin Schelbert and the two Sherpa Nawang Dorje and Nyama Dorje)
Dhaulagiri I, named the "White Mountain", is the highest peak of the Dhaulagiri Himal. With its height of 8167 meters it is the seventh highest mountain in the world. The Annapurna rises about 35 km east of the Dhaulagiri, separated by the Kali-Gandaki valley. The height of the Dhaulagiri was measured in 1809 by Lieutenant William Spencer Webb and Captain John Hodgson at 8190 meters. It was the first discovered eight-thousander and from then on until the measurement of the Kangchendzönga in 1838 it was considered the highest mountain on earth. The Dhaulagiri is considered to be a medium-heavy 8000m peak, but is to be classified as very dangerous. In snowfall, huge avalanches can develop quickly. Summit Climb participant and expedition professional Ivan Vellejo climbed his 14th eight-thousander with the Dhaulagiri: For him personally a very heavy mountain, as several attempts were necessary. The normal route leads over the northeast ridge.
Altitude: 8,163m 26,781 ft
Location: Himalaya (Nepal)
First ascent: 9 May 1956 (Yuko Maki Expedition)
At 8163 metres, Manaslu is the eighth highest mountain in the world. The Manaslu group, which also includes Ngadi Chuli (7871 m) and Himal Chuli (7893 m), is also known as the Mansiri Himal or Gurkha Himal and is located in the Gorkha district. In the northwest lies the Annapurna massif, in the southeast the Ganesh Himal. The first ascent took place over the northwest wall, which is still used today for most of the ascents. The ascent is to be classified as "moderately difficult" and there is a considerable danger of avalanches. Whether Manslu is not ranked 7th and Dhaulagiri 8th on the list of heights cannot be said for sure due to the small difference (5m) of the official survey. The nearly 8000m high east summit was climbed for the first time in 1986 by Jerry Kukuczka.
Nanga Parbat (8,123m)
Altitude: 8,123 m / 26,650 ft
Location: Himalaya (Pakistan)
First ascent: July 3, 1953 (Herman Buhl)
Nanga Parbat (Urdu for "Naked Mountain") - also known as Diamir ("King of the Mountains") - is located in Baltistan, the formerly Northern Areas Pakistani part of the controversial Kashmir region. With a height of 8125 metres it is the ninth highest mountain in the world.
The "Fate Mountain of the Germans": Before the spectacular first ascent by the exceptional alpinist Hermann Buhl, the mountain was already visited by a number of Herrligkofer expeditions. In 1934 a catastrophe occurred during a German expedition. From now on the Nanga Parbat became known by the NSDAP as the "Schiksalsberg of the Germans". In 1937 there was another German catastrophe and the mountain claimed 16 lives. The Nanga Parbat belongs to the group of the difficult 8000s. There is no easy normal way. The original route of Herman Buhl is hardly used anymore. In the meantime most aspirants follow the Kinshofer route in the Diamir flank. With his first solo ascent of 6900m in 41 hours without artificial oxygen to the summit and after an emergency bivouac back to the camp, Hermann Buhl was far ahead of his time: It was only in the 1970s that similar achievements were achieved for sporting reasons (and not too seldom sold as a new idea).
Altitude: 8,078m / 26,503 ft
Location: Himalaya (Nepal)
First ascent: June 3, 1950 (Maurice Duke, Louis Lachenal)
At 8078 metres, Annapurna I is the tenth highest mountain in the world. Its name is composed of anna (food) and purna (full of), Annapurna is the food-giving goddess or the goddess of abundance. The Annapurna I is the main summit of the Annapurna Himal. This mountain massif stretches in a west-eastern direction and consists of several independent mountains. Annapurna I is located at the western end of the mountain range, which bends here to the south and ends in Annapurna South. To the east of the main summit, another ridge branches off to the south, which finally rises to the 6993 m high Machapucharé.
Gasherbrum I (8,068m)
Altitude: 8,068 m 26,469 ft
Location: Karakorum (Pakistan-China border)
First ascent: July 5, 1958. (N. Clinch, Pete Schoening, Andy Kauffman)
Gasherbrum I, also called Hidden Peak, is the main peak of the Gasherbrum group and with 8080 meters the eleventh highest of all eight-thousanders. The Gasherbrum IV was originally known as the Gasherbrum - or beautiful mountain in German - and is visible from afar. As the highest mountain of the massif the Hidden Peak got the name Gasherbrum I, the other mountains were numbered according to their height. The name Hidden Peak comes from the British explorer William Martin Conway, who travelled the Baltoro area in 1892. It was chosen because the mountain cannot be seen from the Baltoro glacier and to distinguish it from its neighbour, Gasherbrum II. Previously, the mountain was called K 5, which originated with T. G. Montgomerie. The ascent is considered "moderately difficult" and is more technically and conditionally demanding than the ascent to G II.
Broad Peak (8,048m)
Altitude: 8048m / 26,404 ft
Location: Karakorum (Pakistan-China border)
First ascent: June 9, 1957 (Hermann Buhl, Kurt Diemberger, Fritz Wintersteller and Marcus Schmuck)
Im Aufstieg über dem Col, ca. 7850m Höhe. Team auf dem Gipfel bei der 2014 Besteigung
Broad Peak (Falchan Kangri) is with 8051m height the twelfth highest mountain on earth. It lies in the Karakorum on the border between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China. It belongs to the Gasherbrum group, which joins in the south. Its northern neighbour is K2, from which it is separated only by the Godwin Austen glacier. The Broad Peak got its name in 1892 from William Martin Conway, the leader of a British expedition in the Karakorum, because of his over a kilometre long almost gradiensless summit ridge. Conway was reminded of the Breithorn in the Valais Alps when he saw the mountain. Conway's naming of Concordiaplatz on the Aletsch Glacier was also inspired by the Alps. The name Falchan (or Phalchan) Kangri is the translation of the English name into the Balti language and is not accepted by the population.
The first ascent took place during a small Austrian expedition by Hermann Buhl, Kurt Diemberger, Fritz Wintersteller and Marcus Schmuck on 9 June 1957 in Alpine style. The most frequently used route leads with minor technical difficulties up to the summit structure and over this (places in the rock) to the summit plateau, from where a long traverse leads to the actual summit. Broad Peak is considered one of the easier 8000m peaks.
Gasherbrum II (8,035m)
Altitude: 8,035m / 26,361 ft
Location: Karakorum (Pakistan-China border)
First ascent: July 7, 1956 (Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch, Hans Willenpart).
Tunc on the Summit of Gasherbum II
At 8034m height Gasherbrum II (former K4) is the thirteenth highest mountain on earth. It belongs to the Gasherbrum group, which lies southeast of K2 in the border area of the People's Republic of China and Pakistan. Gasherbrum II is the main summit of the Gasherbrum group. It extends in a west-eastern direction and forms a 7,600m high ridge on which the pyramid of Gasherbrum II is enthroned in the middle. In the west, the summit pyramid of Gasherbrum III, which is regarded as the secondary summit of Gasherbrum II, sits on this mountain ridge. To the east of the G-II summit follows Gasherbrum II East, which has a rounded summit shape. The secondary peaks G III and G East are occasionally referred to as relatively independent main peaks. The east ridge descends to Gasherbrum La, an approximately 6,500 m high pass that connects Gasherbrum II with the north face of Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak). In the west, Gasherbrum IV follows G III, an independent mountain which also belongs to the Gasherbrum group. The first ascent was made on 7 July 1956 by three participants of an Austrian expedition led by Fritz Moravec. In addition to Moravec himself, Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart also reached the summit. Although the ascent leads over partly very exposed ridge passages, the GII belongs to the group of the "easy" 8000m peaks. Easy in this case does not mean "walk".
Shisha Pagma (8,013m)
Altitude: 8,013 m / 26,289 ft
Location: Himalaya (Tibet)
First ascent: 2 May 1964 by 10 Chinese mountaineers
Shishapangma is with 8027m the lowest of all eight-thousanders and therefore the fourteenth highest mountain on earth. But the altitude is different between 8013 and 8046m. Recent measurements have shown a height of 8027m. The Tibetan name shi sha sbang ma means "the area above the grass-covered plain" and describes exactly the view that is offered to the observer when approaching from the north. It lies in the Langtang-Himal (Himalaya) 5 km east of the Chinese-Nepalese border and is thus the only eight-thousand-metre-high mountain that lies completely on Chinese territory (in the Tibet Autonomous Region).
On May 2, 1964, ten mountaineers set foot on the last eight-thousander that had not been climbed before as part of an expedition comprising 195 participants from China. With the size of the expedition, the group is the largest in the history of Himalayan mountaineering to date. The Shishapangma was only opened to foreign mountaineers in 1978. The lowest 8000m is often mistakenly sold as a light 8000m, but this only applies to the secondary summit (approx. 8000m). The adjacent ridge to the main summit is very demanding, long and often not passable due to the danger of avalanches. The ascent of the Shisha Pagma has to be classified as moderate. At SummitClimb we often organize expeditions to the Shisha Pagma side summit (8005m), from which a descent on skis is also possible and extremely worthwhile.
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