World’s Highest Mountains

Mountains are beautiful views to stare at. They are some of the best places to spend time and create beautiful memories. When you’re in the mountains, you get to try different exciting activities, feel closer to nature, and experience a whole lot of things. But what about really high mountains that people find hard to climb?

There are numerous mountains in the world; some are easy to climb, while some are dangerous. But what do you know about the highest mountains? Before we dive into discussing the world’s highest mountains, let us discover how mountains are formed.

How mountains are formed

Do you know it takes centuries for mountains to form? These tall mountains are formed through a process called plate tectonics ─ a process where plates (pieces of Earth’s crust) collide against each other. And it could take up to ten centuries or more.

No doubt there are many high-sight-catching mountains in the world. However, we’ll be considering nine of these tall giants.

You probably thought of Mount Everest when you heard “the highest mountains.” After all, almost everyone you ask will tell you Mount Everest is the highest mountain. But here’s the question, is Mount Everest really the tallest mountain? The answer is yes and no. Here’s why:

Most mountains are measured from “above” sea level. So, in this case, Mount Everest is undoubtedly the highest. However, that is not the only form of measurement. Another way to measure mountains is measuring from “below” sea level. In this case, Mauna Kea in Northcentral Hawaii emerges as the tallest.

However, let’s discuss mountains measured from above sea level. Here’s the first mountain you initially expected:

Mount Everest

This is one of the most popularly known Mountains in the world. Almost everyone answers “Mount Everest” when asked what the highest mountain is. Even a small child knows Mount Everest. Mount Everest, in East Asia, runs across Nepal, China, and the Tibetan border, and it stands at the height of 8,848.86 m (29,031.7 feet) above sea level. This tall giant, Mount Everest, is located in the Himalayan Mountains. Everest is known among Tibetans as Chomolungma, which when translated means “Goddess of the World or the Valley.” In 1852, it was dubbed the world’s tallest summit. However, it is astonishing that Everest has miraculously continued to grow, with tectonic plates allowing it to climb closer to the sky every year. 

According to records, more than 300 people have died in their attempt to climb the famous yet dangerous Mount Everest. Although, there have been successful ascensions. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Noragay accomplished the first ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953. They were the first individuals to stand atop the world’s tallest mountain in the 1900s, reaching a height of 29,035 feet.

K2 Mountain

K2 is the world’s second tallest peak, standing at 8,611 meters (28,252 feet) above sea level. K2 earned its name by being the tallest summit out of the two peaks in the Karakoram Mountains. The Karakoram Mountain Range runs across Pakistan and into China’s Kashmir area. “Dapsang” or “Chogori” (as the locals often call K2) is a rough and dangerous peak that’s vulnerable to violent storms, which makes it an unclimbable mountain. Although it has been ascended, it was with many casualties.

Kanchenjunga Mountain

Like Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga is also located in the Himalayas. (The Himalayan mountains actually house some of the world’s tallest mountains above sea level) Although the name “Kanchenjunga” may seem a bit difficult to pronounce, it also has its meaning which is “The five treasures of the high snow.” Kangchenjunga stands at 8,586 m (28,169 feet) above sea level. The Kanchenjunga is also challenging to climb because of its height. For this reason, only about 34 people ascend this tall giant every year.

Lhotse, the South Peak Mountain

The first three mountains were probably no news to you but is the Lhotse also a mountain you knew before? The name Lhotse you is a Tibetan word which, when translated means, “South peak.” 

Lhotse, at 8,516 m (27,940 feet) above sea level, is the world’s fourth-tallest peak. Lhoste is in China, near the Nepal-Tibet border, and is among the same mountain range where the world-famous Mt. Everest sits.

Lhoste is a climbable peak that is frequently used as a stepping stone before trying Everest. Even though it is not as challenging as Everest, it is nevertheless a steep ascent that is more demanding than the sixth tallest mountain — Cho Oyu. Climbing Lhotse is becoming more popular as it is less busy and less expensive than some nearby mountains. 

Makalu Mountain

Welcome, you’ve arrived at the middle of the world’s highest mountain. Oh! This is no mountain climbing; it’s rather a discovery of the tallest peaks.  Makalu Mountain ranks fifth in the world’s highest mountains. Makalu stands at 8,485 m (27,838 feet) above sea level in the Mahalangun region of the Himalayas in Northeast Nepal and South Central Tibet, China. It was named after a Hindu god. The peak is notable for its steep rock formations. And compared to Lhotse, it is one of the most difficult to climb mountains. 

The Makalu-Barun valley, a Himalayan glacier valley inside the Makalu National Park, is located underneath the peak. The valley is full of spectacular grandeur, with tumbling waterfalls and some of the world’s deepest gorges, all tucked beneath the white ice caps above.

Cho Oyu Mountain

Cho Oyu is one of the giant Himalayan formations located on the west side of the Everest region, at an altitude of 8,188 m (26,864 feet). Cho Oyu is the world’s sixth-highest mountain above sea level. 

The Tibetan name Cho Oyu translates, “turquoise Goddess.” Cho Oyu is less difficult to climb and is believed to be safer than some other Himalayan peaks. It could take about six weeks to ascend Cho Oyu.

Dhaulagiri Mountains

This is another noteworthy Himalayan summit. The name of this formation comes from a Sanskrit word, which means “Dazzling or beautiful white mountain.” With an altitude of 8,167 m (26,795 feet), Dhaulagiri is the world’s seventh-tallest mountain above sea level. And unlike many Himalayan peaks that share borders, Dhaulagiri lies entirely inside Nepal’s borders. 

Dhaulagiri is also unique in that it is a folded formation, meaning it was constructed by two massive tectonic plates being forced together to form a new shape. Dhaulagiri is hard to climb, but there have been more than 500 successful ascents.

Manaslu Mountain

Welcome to Manaslu Mountain, the world’s eighth tallest mountain above sea level. Manaslu stands at the height of 8,163 m (26,781 feet). It is part of the western Nepalese Himalayan Mansiri Himal. Manaslu translates to “mountain of the spirit” from the Sanskrit word “Manasa” (spirit). The tallest peak in Nepal’s Gorkha District is the massive Manaslu.  When viewed from a distance, Manaslu appears to be a sky-high wall of snow and ice. About 60 people who attempted to reach the summit lost their lives. For this reason, the locals dubbed Manaslu the “Killer Mountain.’

Nanga Parbat; another Himalayan Mountain

Nanga Parbat, at 8,126 m (26,660 feet) above sea level, is the world’s ninth-highest mountain summit. In the western Himalayas, it is found in the Damer District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Its name, as Sanskrit words put it, is “Nanga” and “Prava.” However, the Tibetan sub name is called “Diamer,” which is translated as “Huge Mountain.” Just like Manaslu, numerous deaths of people who attempted to conquer Nanga Parbat have earned it the name “Killer Mountain.” 

Why not make the list of the Mountains ten? Let’s do it!

Annapurna Mountain

As you expected, Annapurna is the world’s tenth highest peak, standing at 8,091 m (26,545 feet) above sea level. This breathtaking mountain is also found in Nepal’s Himalayan Mountains. Annapurna is a Sanskrit word which, when translated, means “the giver of food and nourishment.”

Annapurna is brimming with natural wonders such as waterfalls, caves, and many other attractions. The Annapurna sanctuary’s ecosystems vary due to the valley’s short 7-hour exposure to sunlight. The locals held this location in high regard and believed it was a place of worship for their gods and a safe haven for treasures. 

About hundreds of people have reached the peak of Annapurna. The first person to arrive at the peak of Annapurna was Maurice Herzog, a french native. More than 200 people have also successfully ascended the peak of Annapurna. However, 54 persons didn’t make it back.

Annapurna is also a dangerous mountain, and it has a specific recommended scheduled climbing season.

Welcome from the long journey. You’ve just toured the world’s highest mountains using your imaginations. And now, you’ve probably added to the list of mountains you once knew. Mountains are indeed beautiful summits. Most times, however, it is better to admire them from the base. 

Akshay Dinesh

As a student, I am passionate about writing articles that educate and guide others. I have a diverse range of interests and try to cover a variety of topics in my writing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at akshay[at]

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