Highest Mountains in the World. Top 10

  • 29 January 2020
Highest mountains in the world

Whether people want to climb to the peak, or stand at the base and simply gaze at their beauty and grandeur, mountains have captivated humans since time immemorial.

In this article we will introduce you to the 10 highest mountains in the world. All the locations mentioned are considered independent, as opposed to the peak of another mountain.

If you are interested in visiting some of the highest peaks in the world you will likely find yourself in Central and South Asia. In fact, 8 of the top 10 highest mountains are located in the Himalayas.

1. Mount Everest

Mount Everest
Mount Everest. Pavel Novak via Wikimedia
Height 8848 m | 29029 ft
Parent mountain none
Massif Mahalangur Himalaya
First summited May 1953
Countries Nepal, China

The tallest mountain in the world is Mount Everest, which reaches 8,848 meters above sea level. Everest’s got its name from Sir George Everest, who initially surveyed the land to locate the peak. The mountain is also called ‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepali or ‘Chomolungma’ in Tibetan. It is located on the international border between Nepal and China.

With winds that can reach over 200 mph, and a temperature that can dip to -80°F, this is by far one of the most dangerous treks in the world. This does not discourage climbers, and there are estimated to be over 200 dead bodies preserved in the snow and cold of this peak.

The first successful climbers were Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay from Nepal, who reached the summit in May of 1953.

2. K2

K2. Svy123 via Wikimedia
Height 8611 m | 28251 ft
Parent mountain Mount Everest
Massif Baltoro Karakoram
First summited July 1954
Countries Pakistan, China

The second tallest mountain in the world is K2, also known as Mountain Godwin-Austen, or Chhogor. The name K2 is derived from the initial survey’s done by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of British India. This mountain is 8,611 meters tall and is located on the border of China and Pakistan.

K2 has been called the Savage Mountain since 1952, when it was given the name by George Bell, a climber from an American expedition. Its status as the deadliest climb in the world is proven by the fact that for every four people that reach the peak of this summit, one person dies.

There were many attempts before the first official expedition to the summit in 1954. The successful group was comprised of Ardito Desio, Lino Lacedelli, and Achille Compagnoni.

3. Kangchenjunga

Kangchenjunga. Neuda4nik via Wikimedia
Height 8586 m | 28169 ft
Parent mountain Mount Everest
Massif Kangchenjunga Himalaya
First summited May 1955
Countries Nepal, India

Coming in at number three is Kangchenjunga which reaches heights of 8,516 meters high. This summit is located between Nepal and India, with three of the five peaks directly on the border.

Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the tallest mountain in the world. Until more precise measurements were gathered as part of the Great Trigonometrical Survey, and a new list was released which placed Kangchenjunga in the number three spot.

The first successful expedition took place in 1955 by British citizens Joe Brown and George Band. It is interesting to note that all climbers of Kangchenjunga stop short of the actual summit, as part of a tradition honoring the Chohyal, or the former monarchs of the region which now comprises India.

4. Lhotse

Lhotse Uwe Gille via Wikimedia
Height 8516 m | 27940 ft
Parent mountain Mount Everest
Massif Mahalangur Himalaya
First summited May 1956
Countries Nepal, China

Number four on our list is Lhotse, which is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet. In addition to the main summit of 8,516 meters, the mountain also includes the smaller peak of Lhotse Middle (8,414 m).

Interestingly, despite being shorter than the main peak, Lhtose Middle was not summited until 2001. This portion of the mountain is commonly considered to be the most dangerous climb over eight thousand meters.

The main summit was first climbed in 1956 by a Swiss expedition.

5. Makalu

Makalu Ben Tubby via Flickr
Height 8485 m | 27838 ft
Parent mountain Mount Everest
Massif Mahalangur Himalaya
First summited May 1955
Countries Nepal, China

The fifth highest mountain in the world is Makalu, reaching 8,485 meters above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas, on the border of Nepal and China.

This mountain is famous not only for its picturesque pyramid shape, but also as one of the most difficult mountain treks in the world. Up close, the pyramid shape becomes steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that leave climbers with no protection from the harsh elements.

Due to this, there were many attempts to climb the mountain before it was summited. The first successful expedition was in 1955 by Lionel Terray, Jean Couzy, and Jean Franco.

6. Cho Oyu

Cho Oyu
Cho Oyu
Height 8188 m | 26864 ft
Parent mountain Mount Everest
Massif Mahalangur Himalaya
First summited October 1954
Countries Nepal, China

Number six on our list is Cho Oyu located in Nepal and China. This peak stand 8,188 meters above sea level, and is located only 20 km West of Mount Everest. The name of this peak is commonly translated from Tibetan as “Turquoise Goddess”.

The first ascent of this mountain was completed in 1954 by Joseph Jochler, Herbert Tichy, and Pasang Dawa Lama. Though hardly a small feat, Cho Oyu has been rated one of the easiest 8,000 meter mountain treks due to its generally moderate slope of its Northwestern ridge.

7. Dhaulagiri I

Dhaulagiri I
Dhaulagiri I Solundir via Wikimedia
Height 8167 m | 26795 ft
Parent mountain K2
Massif Dhaulagiri Himalaya
First summited May 1960
Country Nepal

The seventh highest mountain in the world is Dhaulagiri, which stands 8,167 meters above sea level. The name of this mountain is a combination of the Sanskrit words ‘dhawala’ (meaning dazzling, white, beautiful) and ‘giri’ (meaning mountain).

Dhaulagiri is surrounded by the tributaries of the Bheri River and Myagdi Khola. It is also said to be the highest point of the Gandaki river basin.

This peak was first summited in the 1960s by an expedition including Swiss, Australian, and Nepalese nationals.

8. Manaslu

Manaslu Hemanta Kumari Chaudhary via Wikimedia
Height 8163 m | 26781 ft
Parent mountain Cho Oyu
Massif Manaslu Himalaya
First summited May 1956
Country Nepal

Number eight on our list brings us back to the Napalese Himalayas, to the west-central area of Mansiri Himal. Located here is Manaslu which reaches a total height of 8,163 meters above sea level. The name of this mountain originates from the Sanskrit word ‘manasa’, meaning intellect or soul. Manaslu is often translated as “mountain of the spirit”.

Though there were recorded attempts to climb the mountain beginning in the 1950s. It was first summited by a Japanese expedition including Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu in 1956.

The geography of this mountain, with its various long ridges and valley glaciers, offer climbers a number of possible routes. The most stunning aspect of Manaslu is its peak which dominates the surrounding landscape.

9. Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat Daniel Martin via Wikimedia
Height 8126 m | 26660 ft
Parent mountain Dhaulagiri
Massif Nanga Parbat Himalaya
First summited July 1953
Country Pakistan

Number nine on our list is Nanga Parbat, also known as Diamer, which is located in Pakistan.

This mountain has a dramatic peak reaching 8,126 meters above the surrounding terrain. For climbers, this peak is known as a notoriously difficult climb. Due to a history of mountaineering deaths, this perilous climb has gained the nickname “Killer Mountain”.

10. Annapurna I

Annapurna I
Annapurna I Sudan Shrestha via Wikimedia
Height 8091 m | 26545 ft
Parent mountain Cho Oyu
Massif Annapurna Himalaya
First summited June 1950
Country Nepal

The tenth highest mountain in the world reaches over 8,091 meters and is located in Annapurna in the Himalayas of north-central Nepal.

This mountain gets its name from Annapurna, the Hindu goddess of food and nourishment. The word itself is derived from two Sanskrit words, ‘purna’ (meaning filled), and ‘anna’ (meaning food), and is often translated as “everlasting food”.

The peaks in this area are known for being some of the most dangerous mountains to climb in the world.

The immense summit of Mount Everest has inspired other contrasting comparisons. One observation is that the peak of Everest is the earth’s highest point above sea level.

Despite the height of this mountain, it does not claim every record. For example, if we adjust our point of interpretation to instead consider the farthest point from the center of the earth, this record would go to the Chimborazo mountain in Ecuador.

Due to the fact that the Earth is not an absolute sphere, and instead has a more oblate shape, depending on where you are in the world geographically the distance between ‘sea level’ and the equator fluctuate. If you are near the equator, sea level becomes more distant from the center of the earth. So, even though Chimborazo is only 6,384 m tall, due to its geographic location, it is the farthest point from the centre of the earth.

This also affects the measurement of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. When measured from its base it reaches over 10,200 m tall, however, its base lies at the level of the mid-ocean floor. Mauna Kea only attains 4,205 m above sea level.