With 8 highest peaks and many 8000 m and 7000 m peaks Nepal is considered the best destination for mountaineering in the world.
Mountaineering in Nepal is not only challenging but also very rewarding. Part of the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world lies in Nepal. Eight of the fourteen eight-thousander are located in the country, either in whole or shared across a border with China or India. Nepal has the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. The ultimate glory of mountaineering is reaching the summit of Mt. Everest, but there are other technical challenges like Lhose beside it or you can take on any of the other 326 climbing peaks that are waiting for you.
The most formidable mountain range in the world with nearly a third of the country lying above the elevation of 3,500 m. Eight of the world’s highest peaks lie within Nepal’s territory:
which are all over 8,000 m above sea level. Everest was first sumitted by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 with a Bristish Expedition led by John Hunt. While the first mountain to be climbed among them was Annapurna in 1950 by a French Expedition with Maurice Herzog as leader.
Besides these eight giant peaks, there are 326 other mountains within Nepal which are open for mountaineering expeditions and out of them, 103 have never been climbed before. Nepal offers mountaineers more opportunities than any other country in the world, and throws endless challenges at them including the less glorified trekking peaks which still require climbing gear and climbing skills if you want to climb them.
|Mount Everest||8,848||29,029||Khumbu||Earth’s highest from sea level|
|Kanchenjunga||8,586||28,169||Northern Kanchenjunga||3rd highest on Earth|
|Lhotse||8,516||27,940||Everest Group||4th highest|
|Makalu||8,463||27,766||Makalu Mahalangur||5th highest|
|Cho Oyu||8,201||26,906||Khumbu Mahalangur||6th highest|
|Dhaulagiri I||8,167||26,795||Dhaulagiri||7th highest|
|Annapurna I||8,091||26,545||Annapurna||10th highest|
|Gyachung Kang||7,952||26,089||Khumbu Mahalangur||between Everest and Cho Oyu|
|Ngadi Chuli||7,871||25,823||Mansiri||First ascent 1970|
|Nuptse||7,861||25,791||Everest Group||319 metres prominence from Lhotse|
|Jongsong Peak||7,462||24,482||Janak||#57 in the world|
|Nangpai Gosum||7,350||24,114||Khumbu Mahalangur||First ascent October 12, 1986|
|Gimmigela Chuli||7,350||24,114||First ascent 1995|
|Chamlang||7,321||24,019||Barun Mahalangur||#79 in the world|
|Langtang Lirung||7,227||23,711||Langtang||#99 in the world|
|Langtang Ri||7,205||23,638||Langtang||#106 in the world|
|Chamar||7,187||23,579||Sringi||First ascent 1953|
|Melungtse||7,181||23,560||Rolwaling||First ascent 1988|
|Pumori||7,161||23,494||Khumbu Mahalangur||First ascent 1962|
|Nemjung Manang||7,140||23,425||First ascent 1983|
|Gaurishankar||7,134||23,406||Rolwaling||First ascent 1979|
|Tilicho Peak||7,134||23,406||Annapurna||First ascent 1979|
|Api||7,132||23,399||Yoka Pahar Gurans||First ascent 1960|
|Baruntse||7,129||23,389||Barun Mahalangur||First ascent 1954|
|Nilgiri||7,061||23,166||Nilgiri Annapurna||First ascent 1962|
|Machapuchare||6,993||22,943||Annapurna||Sacred mountain, unclimbed|
|Kang Guru||6,981||22,904||Larkya or Peri||2005 avalanche kills 18|
|Ama Dablam||6,812||22,349||Barun Mahalangur||“Mother and her necklace”|
|Kangtega||6,782||22,251||Barun Mahalangur||First ascent 1963|
|Cho Polu||6,735||22,096||Barun Mahalangur||First ascent 1999|
|Lingtren||6,714||22,028||Khumbu Mahalangur||First ascent 1935|
|Num Ri||6,677||21,906||Barun Mahalangur||First ascent 2002|
|Khumbutse||6,640||21,785||Khumbu Mahalangur||First mountain west of Everest|
|Thamserku||6,623||21,729||Barun Mahalangur||First ascent 1964|
|Taboche||6,542||21,463||Khumbu Mahalangur||First ascent 1974|
|Singu Chuli||6,501||21,329||Annapurna||Trekking peak|
|Mera Peak||6,476||21,247||Himalayas||Trekking peak|
|Hiunchuli||6,441||21,132||Annapurna||Trekking peak (difficult)|
|Cholatse||6,440||21,129||Khumbu Mahalangur||Connected to Taboche|
|Kusum Kangguru||6,367||20,889||Barun Mahalangur||Trekking peak (difficult)|
|Om Parvat||6,191||20,312||Himalayas||Sacred summit|
|Kongde Ri||6,187||20,299||Barun Mahalangur||Trekking peak (difficult)|
|Imja Tse||6,160||20,210||Khumbu Mahalangur||Also known as Island Peak. Popular trekking peak.|
|Lobuche||6,145||20,161||Khumbu Mahalangur||Trekking peak|
|Pisang Peak||6,091||19,984||Annapurna||Trekking peak|
|Nirekha||6,069||19,911||Khumbu Mahalangur||Trekking peak (difficult)|
|Baden-Powell Peak||5,825||19,111||Jugal||Formerly known as Urkema Peak|
|Pokalde||5,806||19,049||Khumbu Mahalangur||Trekking peak (moderate)|
|Tharpu Chuli||5,663||18,579||Annapurna||Trekking peak|
|Kala Patthar||5,545||18,192||Khumbu Mah||Popular hiking peak below Pumori|
|Gokyo Ri||5,357||17,575||Khumbu||Popular hiking peak|
Nepal’s climbing history goes back a long way starting with the early explorers from British India who were lured by lofty peaks and the challenges of climbing virgin peaks where no human had set foot before. By the 1960s Nepal’s trekking and mountaineering industry was well establishhed with private companies providing all logistics including porters and guides for a full expedition that would spend months in the mountains.
Since ancient times, people have viewed mountain peaks as towering objects of myth, spiritual inspiration, and romantic beauty. Early people made ascents only to hunt game, to rescue lost or strayed animals, or to gain a military advantage over an enemy. Eventually, the unknown and inaccessible ceased to be something to be feared and avoided, and the conquest of the major mountain peaks and ranges of the world began. Mountaineering as a sport was born on 8th Aug 1786, with the first ascent of Mont Du Blanc (4807 m / 15,771 ft), one of Europe ‘s tallest peaks. Since that ascent, mountain climbing has evolved into three related sports: alpine climbing, ice climbing, and rock climbing. These sports require the same fundamental techniques.
Today there are many companies that will take care of every aspect of mountain climbing and all the mountaineer has to do is arrive in good shape physically and mentally, prepared to take on the challenge and not worry about equipment and supplies. Most of the Everest expeditions are handled by well-known and trusted private companies.
The reputation of the Sherpas is built on mountaineering with many of these mountain people achieving glorified status with their multiplt climbs of Everest and other 8000 m peaks. Most expeditions wouldn’t go up without the loyal, hardy and extremely reliable sherpas. They risk theiir lives for their clients and are often called upon to rescue a climber in trouble. Although today there are many other ethnic groups involved in the service, they are generally referred to as Sherpas.
Despite all the attention being grabbed by mountains like Everest and Annapurna, the latter more for trekking than climbing, there are other peaks being climbed on a regular basis but don’t make headline news. Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Manaslu are also climbed often besides trekking peaks like Mera, Island and Yala peaks which are quite popular. Ther are also climbers looking to climb virgin peaks as Nepal from time to time, opens up new, unheard of peaks for climbing and who wouldn’t want to be the first to climb!
Nepal has designated the Annapurna, Manaslu and Kanchenjunga regions as Conservation Areas while Sagarmatha (Everest), Langtang and Shey-Phoksundo (Dolpo) are national parks while other mountain areas might not fall into these categories but are designated as ‘Restricted Areas’ as they are close to Nepal’s northern border. While the infrastructure of, and accessibility to Sagarmatha, Annapurna, Manaslu and Langtang are well developed and easily accessible enabling mountaineers and expeditions to make quick progress to their base camps the remaining areas, including the restricted areas are still very remote, where rescue or help from external sources will be difficult or unlikely and access to these areas is complex and at times difficult. Expeditions into those areas require a completely different approach, level of commitment and organizational ability to succeed on their chosen summit.