The king of the world’s hardest climbs, K2, is located on the border between China and Pakistan. It is 8611 meters high, which means that it’s the second highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest. K2 is also known as Savage Mountain due to the fatality range, 2nd highest in the world. For every four climbers that reached the summit, one has died trying. The routes are cold and unpredictable, so it has never been climbed in winter. In mountaineers world it’s well known that reaching world’s highest peak makes the climber great, but scaling K2 makes him or her true climber to other climbers.
Located in Nepal, Annapurna is series of peaks in Himalayas, which highest one is the tenth in the world with 8091 meters. It is famous due to its extremely high fatality rate – even more than 40%. There are 103 successful summit attempts, but also even 56 lives were lost. Most of them died to the avalanches, which make the mountain famous. Annapurna was the first over 8000 meters high peak climbed ever. It lasted for three years, until the ascent of Mount Everest.
3. Nanga Parbat
World’s ninth highest peak, Nanga Parbat, is considered as one of the deadliest climbing mountains. It is located in Kashmir, an area between India and Pakistan, and is also known as “Killing Mountain” or as a “Man Eater” due to its great mortality. Mountaineers had tried to climb it since 1895, bit it took 31 lives before it was climbed for the first time in 1953. Although peaks are more and more reachable for today’s climbers, it’s still a serious challenge even for the best.
Kanchenjunga is located on the border between Nepal and India and is the third highest peak on Earth with 8586 meters. The name means “The five treasures of snow,” as it contains five peaks, four of them above 8450 meters. Although it’s pretty normal climb, the final ascent is extremely hard. It is an almost vertical pyramid, over 3000 meters high. At attitude of 5000 meters it’s not an easy challenge. Kanchenjunga was the last over 8000 meters high peak conquered by woman. The heroine was Ginette Harrison in 1998. Until then, it was the only eight-thousander that was not reached by woman.
Pomiu is a peak on the Four Girls Mountain (Siguniang), located in Sichian Province in China. It is part of Nature Reserve full of sharp edged rocky peaks, lakes and marshes. The very first ascent on Pomiu was made not so long ago, back in 1984, the second one only a year after. In 2005 it was climbed it from the south west ridge, which is considered as toughest one. Although “only” 5413 meters high, there are not too much attempt’s for ascending attempts on Pomiu.
Lhotse is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet and is 8516 meters high. It’s the fourth highest peak on Earth. It is connected with Mount Everest via vertical ridge that never drops below 8000 meters. Although it’s often seen as relatively easy reachable eight-thousandth, numbers say something different. Lhotse’s peak rises amazing 3.2 km in only 2.25 km of horizontal distance.
7. Gasherbrum IV
If there’s any mountain that could be harder to climb than K2, that’s definitely Gasherbrum IV. The 7925 meters high peak is located in Pakistan. Its name derives from the word “rgasha” which means beautiful mountain. However, things are not so beautiful for those who try to climb it. The weather is very unstable and the sheer rocks hide a lot of dangers, so only the technical well ready climbers can get the job done.
8. Baintha Brakk
Baintha Brakk, or The Ogre, is an extremely steep 7285 meters high peak in Pakistan. It is considered as one of the toughest climbs in the world between mountaineers, reachable only for the best technicians between them. The first ascent was in 1977, but the second one was even 24 years later, in 2001, after over 20 unsuccessful expeditions. It is hard due to the combination of altitude, height above local terrain and steepness. The peak rises over 3000 meters on only 2000 meters of horizontal distance. Despite the craggy terrain, according to climbers additional problems are the hungry bears that could make a lot of problems in camps.
9. Cerro Torre
Not all hard climbs are located in Himalaya region. Cerro Torre is in Patagonia, between Argentina and Chile. Unlike the Asian sky-reaching peaks, this one is high only 2685 meters. Nevertheless, it’s considered as one of the toughest by the climbers. It is covered with ice, which form could be change by the strong winds. Despite the horrible weather conditions, Cerro Torre is an extremely technical climb.
It’s North America’s hardest climb, no doubt. It’s not the craggiest and the most technical to climb, but there are some other problems for mountaineers. The weather is horrible throughout the whole year, the mountain is prone to earthquakes. But the biggest problem is the oxygen. It’s very hard to breath there. Due to the combination of extreme latitude and high altitude the air is very thin and the altitude sickness kicks in much faster.