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Earth

Top 6 Highest Mountains In The World

Published May 18, 2016
Most people know that Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, but there over a dozen mountain peaks on earth higher than 8,000 m (26,247 ft). All of them are located in the two Asian mountain ranges the Himalaya and the Karakoram. Here are the world's six highest mountains.
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6. Cho Oyu, China (Tibet)/Nepal - 8,201 m (26,906 ft)

Like most of the mountains higher than 8,000 m (26,247 ft), the summit of Cho Oyu is divided by a border between two countries. In this case it's the border between Tibet (which has been seized by China) and Nepal, which runs through several 8,000 m (26,247 ft) summits in the Himalaya. Cho Oyu is located only 20 km (12 mi) west of Mount Everest, and is almost as busy with climbers as its neighbor. This is mainly due to the mountain's closeness to a large trade route and its relatively gentle slopes. Cho Oyu was first climbed in 1954 by Austrians Herbert Tichy and Joseph Jöchler and sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama. As of 2012, 2,668 people had summited Cho Oyu and 39 of all who had attempted had died (39 of 2,668 means a "death ratio" of 1.5 %.)

5. Makalu, China (Tibet)/Nepal - 8,485 m (27,838 ft)

Makalu is located only 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Mount Everest, but has few climbers. It is considered one of the toughest mountains to climb, due to its steep slopes and sharp, weather-beaten ridges. The last bit to the summit is shaped like a pyramide and requires technical climbing. Makalu was first climbed in 1955 by French climbers Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy. As of 2012, 234 people had summited Makalu and 26 of all who had attempted had died (a death ratio of 11 %). The photo shows Makalu in the background and Chamlang (7,321 m, 24,012 ft) in the foreground.
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4. Lhotse, China (Tibet)/Nepal - 8,516 m (27,940 ft)

The fourth tallest mountain in the world is Lhotse. Just like Cho Oyu and Makalu, Lhotse is in the vicinity of Mount Everest and has a summit divided by the Tibet-Nepal border. Lhotse is more or less attached to Mount Everest and they are only separated by a mountain pass 7,906 m (25,938 ft) high called South Col. Seen from the highest point of South Col, which is passed when climbing Mount Everest via the main route, the peak of Lhotse doesn't look as much. The summit is only 610 m (2,004 ) above this site. However, on the other side of the mountain, Lhotse drops 3,200 vertical meters (10,500 ft) in a horizontal distance of only 2,300 m (7,400 ft). This makes the south side of Lhotse one of the steepest faces in the Himalaya. Lhotse was first climbed in 1956 by Swiss climbers Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger. As of 2012, 221 people had summited Lhotse and 11 of all who had attempted had died (a death ratio of 3.4 %). The photo shows Mount Everest to the left and Lhotse to the right.

3. Kanchenjunga, Nepal/India - 8,586 m (28,169 ft)

Kanchenjunga is also in the Himalaya, but around 120 km (75 mi) east of Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Lhotse. This whole part of the Himalaya is called Kanchenjunga, and the name means "the five snowcats", after the five highest peaks in the area. Unlike Mount Everest there are no clear climbing routes to the summit of Kanchenjunga. Each expedition has to discover the dangers for themselves, and many has fallen victim to avalanches, falling rocks, crevasses and blizzards. Kanchenjunga was first climbed in 1955 by British climbers Joe Brown and George Band. As of 2012, 209 people had summited Kanchenjunga and 40 of all who had attempted had died (a death ratio of 21 %).

2. K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen), China/Pakistan - 8,611 m (28,251 ft)

The second highest mountain in the world also has the second highest death ratio of the eight-thousanders. K2, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen, has a death ratio of 23 %, which is second only to Annapurna's 38 % (the tenth highest mountain in the world, known for its avalanches). K2 stands for Karakoram 2, meaning that K2 was the second tall peak to be noted during the Britons mapping of the Karakoram range in the 19th century. K2 is thus not located in the Himalaya together with the other six highest mountains in the world, but in the Karakoram, which runs parallel to western Himalaya (sometimes the Karakoram is considered part of the Himalaya). The Karakoram is in its own glory full of peaks higher than 7,000 m (22,966 ft) and has the highest concentration of 8,000 m (26,247 ft) summits on earth. Still, K2 rises high above its surroundings, and its sides are steep like a pyramid's. Because of this, and its erratic weather and avalanches, many consider K2 the hardest mountain to climb in the world. K2 is also one of the few mountains that still hasn't been climbed during winter. K2 was first climbed in 1954 by Italians Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. As of 2012, only 284 people had summited K2 and 66 of all who had attempted had died (a death ratio of 23 %).

1. Mount Everest, China (Tibet)/Nepal - 8,848 m (29,029 ft)

Mount Everest is by a fairly large margin the world's highest mountain. The main climbing route of Mount Everest is not super steep, so the most dangerous things about Everest is the weather and the altitude. Few people have died by falling compared to by the cold and the altitude. When ascending Mount Everest climbers must spend a long time in the "death zone", which is the altitude where the oxygen concentration of the air is too low for the body to recover.

Mount Everest is very busy nowadays and there are plenty of ladders, fixed ropes and guides to help climbers to the summit. But it is still a dangerous mountain, something the world was reminded of in 1996 when eight climbers died the same night during a blizzard. The tallest mountain in the world was first climbed in 1953 by Nepalese climber Tenzing Norgay and New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary. As of 2012, 3,684 people had summited Mount Everest and 210 of all who had attempted had died (a death ratio of 5.7 %).
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