Mountaineering is not only an adventure activity, but a very dangerous one of all. While many mountain climbers rise to fame by their daring mountain-climbing feats, many fall to their deaths while they try to tame these mighty mountains.While Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world, there are various other mountains which might not be as tall as Mount Everest, but their difficulty level is borderline dangerous and deadly and far more challenging than climbing Mount Everest itself. Not comparing, but here are the 6 most difficult mountains to climb in the world.
Or Mt. Godwin-Austen is the second highest peak in the world and is located on the China-Pakistan border. K2 is also popularly called as the “Savage Mountain” due to the level of difficulty in ascent. It is more difficult to climb the mountain from the Chinese side, hence mountaineers usually climb it from the Pakistan side. Wikipedia states, “With around 300 successful summits and 77 fatalities; about one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit.” Now with this level of danger, K2 is a popular mountain for mountaineers who are great adventure and adrenaline seekers.
In 1954, Italian climbers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni were the first to conquer the harsh dangers that the mountain had to offer and reach the summit of K2.
Also known as Mt. Diamer, is the seventh highest peak in the world. It is located the Diamer district of Pakistan and is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. Due to several mountaineering deaths in the early 20th century, Nanga Parbat was nicknamed “Killer Mountain,” Nanga Parbat has tremendous vertical relief over local terrain in all directions, making it a notoriously difficult mountain to climb. But then again, if thrill is what you seek and the adrenaline rush is your drug, Nanga Parbat is a peak you will want to conquer.
The first to reach the summit of Nanga Parbat was an Austrian climber named Hermann Buhl in 1953. He reached the summit dangerously late at around 7pm and descended without a crampons as he’d lost it.
If you’re wondering what a massif is, it is a compact group of mountains. The Annapurna Massif, located in the Himalayas in the north-central Nepal is known to be the world’s most difficult mountains to climb. Even though according to recent data, Kanchenjunga is believed to have the highest fatality rate, Annapurna’s difficulty level is still hard to match. In October 2014, around 43 people died while climbing the Annapurna Massif due to snowstorms and avalanches. This was Nepal’s worst ever trekking disaster. The famous Cho Oyu peak is the parent peak of this Massif.
Annapurna I was the first peak to be climbed in the Massif in 1950. Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal were French climbers who successfully managed to climb the summit and descent even though it was a very difficult feat to achieve.
It is a relatively smaller mountain in the Bernese Alps. It is located in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland. Even the most experienced of the mountaineers fear to climb the Eiger for its scary reputation. With extreme cold and a steeping rocky body, the Eiger is Europe’s most difficult mountain to climb. In 1959, Heinrich Harrer published a book called “The White Spider” which describes the first successful attempt to reach the summit of the Eiger. The book also records the dangers of the mountain.
The first ascent of the Eiger was made by two Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren. They were accompanied by an Irish climber, Charles Barrington. The trio climbed the mountain from the west flank inn 1858. The Eiger has since been highly publicized for the many tragedies involving climbing expeditions.
It is the mountain of the Alps, located between the borders of the countries- Switzerland and Italy. Matterhorn is known for its peculiar, near-pyramidal peak. Due to its shape, Matterhorn is known to be one of the most difficult and dangerous mountains in the Swiss Alps. Since it was first climbed, Matterhorn has become the mountaineering hotspot of the region and many climbers from around the world try to attempt to climb the mighty peak.
The first ascent to the summit here was made by a party led by Edward Whymper. This incident was made into various movies as four members of the party had fallen off and died.
It is the third highest mountain in the world. It lies between Nepal and Sikkim in India and is the pride of India. Until 1852, Kanchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain peak in the world, but then readings were calculated properly and now Mt. Everest holds that title. If you believe in mythology, the famous Kanchenjunga Yeti is believed to be a resident of the mountain and it only adds to the level of danger to this mountain. Kanchenjunga has the highest fatality rate as compared to any mountain in the world!
Kanchenjunga was first climbed in 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were a part of a British expedition. Even with a high fatality rate, this peak continues to draw mountaineers from around the world.
Difficulty and danger is just a challenge to those who seek the adrenaline rush. Mountaineering is a dangerous activity in itself and these peaks just adds to the thrill. Challenges are meant to be overcome and fears are to be tamed. There is nothing that is impossible in this world and these mountaineers who continue to reach the summit of the various mountains they thread, are the real heroes.