An unforgettable feeling can only be experienced when standing in front of a giant snow-covered peak.
The technical challenges and climate changes they pose often make mountains life-threatening along with the delight.
Mountainous areas with strong storms have treacherous weather conditions. Several mountains have impassable cliffs. There are also some mountains where there is a risk of avalanches and rock falls on every step.
Here is a list of 10 of the hardest mountains to climb in the world when taking these risk factors into consideration. To know about 74 mountains in Asia, read this article.
There is no doubt that Annapurna I, the world’s 10th highest peak, is the hardest mountain to climb. The Himalayan mountain Annapurna rises to 8,091 meters and is equally fascinating and dangerous.
As opposed to Everest, it attracts only the best mountaineers. It is unfortunate that one third of them do not return home.
There have only been 191 climbers who have conquered Annapurna I – the main peak in the Annapurna massif. This mountain has seen 72 climbers die, bringing its death rate to 38%. There is no other mountain in the world with such a high fatality rate. Why is Annapurna so deadly?
The route contains many technically challenging sections. Climbers have to walk right under unbalanced ice walls and seracs that could collapse at any moment while they are ascending.
There are several avalanche-prone sections on Annapurna. There have been many avalanches in Annapurna that have killed climbers. Additionally, there are some sections that are extremely difficult and have led to many climbers’ deaths.
Many people have fallen into crevasses or off cliffs while climbing or descending mountains. It is also a challenging mountain to climb due to Annapurna’s fluctuating climate. The possibility of snowstorms at any time is real. The low visibility on the mountain can sometimes cause climbers to disappear.
The harsh climate at such high altitudes often causes climbers to suffer from complications like altitude sickness and pulmonary edema.
The difficult access and lack of local support make Annapurna harder to climb than other eight-thousanders.
Throughout mountaineering history, one in four climbers to K2 never returned. The death-to-summit ratio of this second tallest mountain is among the highest in the world.
With its extreme technicality, K2 offers deadly challenges. K2 sometimes remains unclimbed for an entire year, while around 500 people reach the summit of Everest every year. The mountain is nicknamed “Mountaineer’s Mountain” because it is only scaled by mountaineers of the highest caliber.
Climbers in the K2 mountain can be hit by bad weather and avalanches at any time. As the slopes are steep, the climb is technically challenging. This expedition is made more difficult by the fact that there are sections of rocks that may collapse at any time on climbers.
On K2, there is a deadly section called the bottleneck. Under an overhanging glacier, the climbers have to travel across a massive ice wall. There is an increased chance of avalanches in seracs because these slopes are unstable.
K2 is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. The death rate on K2 has not decreased, unlike on Annapurna, according to some climbers.
3. Nanga Parbat
The ninth highest mountain in the world is Nanga Parbat. Yet, when we consider its technicality, its difficulty level is close to that of Mount K2. Mountaineers call Nanga Parbat “The Man Eater” because of the difficulty the team experiences and the increasing fatality rate.
Among climbers on Nanga Parbat, avalanches are the major cause of death. Another major cause is exposure to cold and falls. Since this mountain is so cold, no climbers have attempted to summit it during winter.There are no other mountain faces bigger than this one on this entire planet. Nanga Parbat is known by its southern face, ” Rupal Face”, which rises 15,000 feet into the sky.
In 1953, Hermann Buhl became the first person to climb Nanga Parbat. However, it came only after 31 climbers died in attempts that ended in failure. There have been several disasters in Nanga Parbat during the climbing world’s history- in 1895, 1934, 1937, and 1970.
Several tragedies have occurred in recent years, including the disappearance of two climbers in June 2017 and the death of a Polish climber in January 2018. Currently, Nanga Parbat has a 22 percent death rate.
There are other factors that present a threat in Nanga Parbat besides the mountain. Nanga Parbat was attacked by terrorists in 2013. Eleven mountaineers were killed. From all of these past events, it’s clear why the climbing world refers to this peak as the hardest mountain to ascend.
The fatality rate of other mountains is declining significantly with advanced climbing gear. With the increase in fatalities, Kanchenjunga is becoming more dangerous than ever before. Kanchenjunga’s fatality rate has risen to 20 percent since 1990.
How can this mountain be so dangerous?
According to the death records for Kanchenjunga climbers, falling was the most common cause of death. A difficult terrain may also be a contributing factor. In addition, there are a number of other reasons why Kanchenjunga is so dangerous.
Kanchenjunga is too far away. Base Camp is reached in around two weeks. As a result, you are fatigued before you start your climb.
Aside from these, the main danger lies on the mountain itself. Throughout the hike, you’ll have to climb several short technical ascents. You have to walk right under overhanging glaciers and seracs that could collapse at any moment.Hence, the avalanche is one of the main risks involved in climbing this mountain. A section of the mountain is 45° – 50° steep, so climbers need to be careful.
Furthermore, a steep section above Camp IV has claimed so many lives of climbers while trying to return from the summit. Hence, descending down from the summit appears more challenging than reaching the summit.
Kanchenjunga is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world due to the bad weather, avalanche-prone areas, and steep climbing slopes.
5. The Eiger
The tallest mountains are not always the most dangerous. The mountain, which rises just 3,970 meters from the sea-level, is one of the hardest mountains in the world to climb.In the Bernese Alps, the Eiger towers over the small settlement of Scheidegg. As compared with other huge mountains, it seems so small and accessible. But don’t be fooled by the Eiger’s size or accessibility- it’s one of the world’s most dangerous mountains.
Nordwand, also known as the north face, is a huge wall of shattered limestone. The north face of this 1800-meter high wall is the largest in the Alps. As a result of its difficulty and hazards, climbers have called it “Murderous Wall.” Many climbers have died while trying to scale the Eiger through this section.
There are several technical sections on the north face. As the snow melts, there is a high risk of rock falls, ice falls, and avalanches. Climbers have retraced their steps after being hit by rocks and ice a few hundred meters short of the summit.
August 1858 marked the first time Swiss guides Almer, Bohren, and Barrington reached the summit of the Eiger. It has been successfully scaled by over 700 climbers.
However, the mountain has claimed the lives of many climbers. On the northern face of the Eiger, more than 50 climbers have died. They were many of the best climbers in their generation.
6. Baintha Brakk
Baintha Brakk, commonly known as “The Ogre” in Pakistan, is a steep and craggy mountain. As a steep, rocky granite tower rising to 7,285 meters in height, it has a high altitude.
The steepness and rocky terrain make it one of the most dangerous mountains. Nevertheless, it attracts elite climbers.
Over 3,000 meters of the south face of Baintha Brakk rise above the Uzun Brakk Glacier. It is a huge challenge to traverse through the ice slopes above the death valley before you reach the peak.
Climbers must often walk directly under unstable ice walls that could collapse at any time. As a result of the technical difficulties, the unpredictable weather, and the altitude, Baintha Brakk remains a dangerous climb.
There is no record of Baintha Brakk being climbed earlier. A handful of climbers conquered the toughest of the eight-thousanders of the Himalayas during the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, it was not until 1971 that any climbers dared to challenge this giant.
The two Britons who took on Baintha Brakk over the course of a week-long descent suffered broken legs, broken ribs, and pneumonia on their trip down following prior unsuccessful attempts in 1971 and 1976.
There have been nearly two dozen attempts, but only three have been successful. As you can see, climbing Baintha Brakk can be quite difficult.https://2c62ef22fe9f7703cc7df2e7c483e6bd.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
The Matterhorn is an iconic mountain in the Alps standing at the border between Switzerland and Italy. Each year, it draws around 3000 mountaineers because of its pristine beauty.
Even though Matterhorn is breathtaking, it is equally dangerous. It has claimed the lives of more than 500 climbers to date.
It was not until 1865 that the Matterhorn was conquered. Since then, climbers have rushed to summit this beauty. Nevertheless, this challenging mountain has killed many climbers and the overcrowding also contributes to some deaths.
The Matterhorn is prone to avalanches and rockfalls that have taken the lives of many climbers. Moreover, storms and bad weather have also contributed to the deaths of some climbers. Due to the falls, even the first attempt resulted in the deaths of three climbers.
On average, there are about 12 deaths per year on Matterhorn. Despite the fact that many climbers have successfully scaled this pyramidal peak, there is no denying its life-threatening nature.
8. Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc has the luring factor to entice climbers to its summit because it is Europe’s tallest mountain. More than 30,000 mountaineers have summited Mont Blanc due to its popularity.
Mont Blanc expedition appears quite straightforward based on these statistics. In spite of this, there have been several fatalities atop it, making it one of the hardest peaks to climb. The Mont Blanc claims the lives of 100 hikers a year on average.
Mont Blanc is not too technical or too difficult, to be honest. A large number of fatalities in Mont Blanc can be attributed to the large number of experienced and inexperienced climbers.
Peak season sees crowds of more than 200 people on any given day at Mont Blanc. When so many climbers are at the same place at the same time, some climbers are at risk.It is known that certain sections of Mont Blanc are prone to rockfalls and avalanche breakdowns. On the Le Gouter route, there is a section called the “Grand Couloir,” infamous for rocks falling from above.
In some sections, climbers must deal with giant chunks of ice that could crumble at any moment.
In the same vein, the “Grand Mulet” route has dangerous crevasses and cracks.
The snowpacks soften in warm weather, allowing them to slide down and cause avalanches.In addition, the weather at the top of Mont Blanc is quite unpredictable. It is still quite cold at the top of Mont Blanc during the warm season too. Wind speeds of 60km/hr can easily turn a normal situation into a worse one.
As a result, many climbers have died while summiting Mont Blanc in recent years. The majority of them, however, are novice climbers.
9. Mount Everest
This is the tallest mountain in the world, as you probably guessed. Mount Everest is technically not as difficult to climb as the other mountains on this list, but it still remains one of the most challenging mountains on Earth.
Since 2000, Mount Everest has had 1.4% of fatalities and nearly 300 people have died on Everest.
The weather on Everest is extremely cold and harsh, rising over 8,848 meters from the sea level. Death Zone, the section above 8000 meters, is extremely dangerous and has claimed the lives of numerous elite climbers.
When you are at such altitude, you lose all sense of touch and experience extreme cold. Climbers often experience health complications such as altitude sickness, pulmonary edema, heart attacks, cerebral thrombosis, and more.
At such high altitudes, it is impossible or at least too difficult to bring down a climber who is experiencing some medical problem. As a result, many mountain climbers die and their bodies remain on the mountain forever.
Altitude sickness, extreme cold temperatures, fluctuating weather, falls, avalanches, crevasses, and even summit fever are major difficulties in climbing Everest. Almost all climbers have died in Everest after being caught in an avalanche, exposed, or falling.
As a result of the many risks involved, Mount Everest remains the most difficult mountain to climb.
Dhaulagiri is a tall mountain that towers proudly just west of Annapurna, the world’s seventh tallest peak. Elite climbers from around the world have also been attracted to this peak.
The summit has been conquered by more than 480 people. More than 73 climbers have died on this mountain, while more than 73 have perished while attempting to climb it.
What is the reason for such a high death rate on Dhaulagiri?
The avalanche and bad weather as well as the high altitude contribute to many deaths in Dhaulagiri. On the way to the summit, there are several areas susceptible to avalanches and objective dangers.
The mountaineers conquered Dhaulagiri in 1960. It took more than a decade for mountaineers to climb this mountain again, even after their first ascent.
With a height of 8,167 meters, Dhaulagiri is not an easy mountain to climb. Dhaulagiri’s sheer faces, the isolated area, and the steep elevation rise to the summit make it a challenging mountain to conquer.
Climbing these mountains is among the most dangerous and difficult tasks. To stand on these summits is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Despite this, it is still a challenge.
Before going to one of them, make sure you have the necessary mountaineering experience, logistics, mountaineering gear, determination, as well as physical and mental wellbeing.
As well as choosing the right people and time, you do not want to end up doomed in a mountaineering disaster.