Mount Cho Oyu

Cho Oyu from Gokyo Ri

Cho Oyu from Gokyo Ri Photo: McKay Savage

Mt. Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth highest peak stands at 8,188m above sea level. It is located on the Tibet-Nepal border. At the Khumbu sub-section of the Mahalangur Himalaya, it is the westernmost major peak, 20km west of Mt. Everest.

It is claimed to be the easiest eight thousander to summit due to its relatively easy access and minimal technical sections.

 

Death Rate Cho Oyu 1.4%

Mt. Cho Oyu has had about 3,138 successful ascents with 44 fatalities recorded. It has a death rate of 1.4% which is the least among the 14 – eight thousander peaks. Most of these deaths have been caused by falls, avalanches and altitude sickness. Other minor causes are exhaustion, hypothermia and crevasse falls.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Cho Oyu

There are two seasons, pre-monsoon and post-monsoon. The months of May through to June are warmer, however there’s time limitation considering the upcoming monsoon.

The post-monsoon (September-October) offers more stable weather conditions with clear skies. You may need to watch out for the ferocious winter storms though.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Cho Oyu

There have been successful winter attempts and ascents, but some have resulted in tragedy. Frost bite and rapid weather changes are not to be risked during winter.

 

Mount Gasherbrum II

Mount Gasherbrum II

Mt. Gasherbrum II is the world’s 13th highest mountain with an elevation of 8,035m above sea level.

It is located in the Karakoram Range on the Pakistan-China border in Gilgit-Baltistan Province and Xingjian, respectively.

It is also Gasherbrum massif’s third- highest peak.

It is claimed to be the most straight-forward of the fourteen peaks above 8,000m and climbers enjoy a reasonable summit success rate.

It was first climbed in 1956 by an Austrian expedition.

 

Gasherbrum II Death rate 2.3%

Gasherbrum II has had 930 successful ascents with 21 fatalities. Its current death rate is 2.3%

Most of these deaths have been caused by falls and avalanches. Heart failure, extreme cold and exhaustion are other additional causes. Others disappeared.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Gasherbrum II

In Pakistan, summer season is the best to attempt a climb. The season starts in May all through to early September.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Gasherbrum II

The first documented winter summit took place in 2011. Winter has always been said to be the worst time to climb this peak. However, a few successful attempts have been made despite the huge risks.

Unless you are an experienced mountaineer, stick to the summer season.

Mount Lhotse

 

Lhotse 8516 metres

Lhotse and his big neighbour Everest Photo by Guillaume Baviere

Mt. Lhotse lies on the Tibet-Nepal border and stands at 8,56m above sea level. It is the world’s fourth highest mountain. The east-west crest of this mountain lies on the south side of Mt. Everest and has been mostly mistaken as the Everest massif’s south peak.

It has three main summits; Lhotse Main, Lhotse Middle and Lhotse Shar.

The first climbing attempt was in 1955, while the first summit was in May, 1956.

 

Mount Lhotse Death rate 2.8%

In 2008, the total number of climbers who had successfully summited the mountain was 271. 20 deaths had been recorded by the said period. In the years 2014-2016, climbing escapades had been halted due to a series of fatal incidents but were later resumed in 2017.

About 27 people have lost their lives to date.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Lhotse

Like many other Himalayan peaks, the best climbing periods are before the monsoon season begins, that is April to May. The post-monsoon season can also be ideal in the months of September through to October.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Lhotse

Winter season is normally the worst time to climb any Himalayan peak. This means that Mt. Lhotse too is off limits at this time.

 

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

Mt. Everest – the world’s highest peak above sea level, stands at a whopping 8,848m. It is located on the border between China and Nepal. It mainly consists of rocks that have been faulted southwards, both metamorphic and sedimentary.

Mt. Everest Death rate 6.0%

Due to this peak’s elevation, many climbers have found themselves under its magnetic allure. Many experienced climbers attempt the summit. However, there are many dangers that are associated with the climb. Most accidents happen during the descent.

Avalanches, high speed winds, icefall, altitude sickness and crevasses are among the fatal hazards climbers encounter. The mountain has claimed almost 300 lives as of 2017. Most deaths occur during descent.

Its current death rate is 6.0% with about 5,700 successful ascents. [2018 red.]

Best Time to Climb Mt. Everest

The period between April and May are ideal to summit Mt. Everest. Most attempts are made in the month of May before the monsoon season begins. The high speed winds are reduced when the jet stream shifts upwards.

September and October can also be ideal periods to summit after the monsoon.

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Everest

The autumn period is said to be the most dangerous time to attempt a climb. This is because it is after the monsoon season when lots of snow has been deposited and the weather is mostly unstable. High summit weather conditions can be quite unpredictable as well.

Mount Broad Peak 

Broad Peak

                  

Broad Peak – the world’s 12th highest mountain, lies in the Karakoram Range, 8km from Mt. K2 on the China-Pakistan border. It has an elevation of 8,047m above sea level.

The mountain is home to several summits including Broad peak, Broad Peak Central, Broad Peak North, Rocky Summit and Kharut Kangri.

It was first climbed in 1957.  The name is in reference to the similarly named Breithorn in the Alps.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Broad Peak is 5.3%

Broad Peak has a death rate of 5.3%. It has had 404 successful summits with 21 fatalities.

A large number of these deaths have been caused by falls and avalanches. 3 climbers lost their lives during descent due to extremely bad weather. 2 of them drowned in a glacier stream. Exhaustion and pulmonary edema claimed 2 more lives. Others just disappeared.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Broad Peak

The months of June through to September are ideal to summit Broad Peak.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Broad Peak

The first winter summit took place as recent as 2013. A Spanish team had earlier attempted an ascent in 2003 but was forced to turn back due to extreme winds and cold temperatures.

Several camps got destroyed but no lives were lost.

Despite a few winter successes, you are advised to stay away from these Himalayan peaks.

 

Mount Shishapangma     

Shishapangma mountain

photo by John Town

         

Mt. Shishapangma has an elevation of 8,027m above sea level. It is the world’s 14th highest mountain after Gasherbrum II.

Also known as Gosainthan, it is the highest peak in Langtang Himal and the last peak of the 14 eight-thousanders to be climbed.

It is located in the south-central part of Tibet about 5km from the Nepal border. It is the only peak among “the fourteen” that is entirely within Chinese territory.

It was first climbed in 1964 by a Chinese expedition.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Shishapangma is 8.4%

Mt. Shishapangma has a current date rate of 8.4%. It has had 302 successful ascents with 25 fatalities.

Most of these deaths have been attributed to avalanches and falls. Crevasse falls and altitude sickness have also claimed a number of lives. Others disappeared.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Shishapangma

The pre-monsoon season of the months of April through to May are ideal for summiting this peak. Possibly the beginning of June as well. The second season for expeditions is the month of October after the monsoon.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Shishapangma

The first documented winter summit took place in 2005. The unstable weather conditions during winter make it the worst time to attempt an ascent.

Mount Makalu 

Ben Tubby

Makalu photo by Ben Tubby

Mt. Makalu is the world’s fifth highest peak standing at  8,463m above sea level. This magnificent mountain lies 19km south east of Everest in the Mahalangur Himalayas, specifically in the Khumbu region on the Tibet-China-Nepal border.

This mountain is spectacular due its perfect pyramidal shape accentuated by the four sharp ridges.

Its first summit ascent was in 1955 after Everest was conquered in 1953.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Makalu is 8.9%

This peak is a technical climb with only 5 successful ascents of the first 16 attempts.

A total of 22 fatalities have been recorded and successful ascents to date are 206. The deaths have been linked to crevasse falls, exhaustion, rock falls, altitude sickness, avalanches, falls and pneumonia.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Makalu

Best time to attempt a summit is in the months of April and May (pre-monsoon season) and from late September through to October (post-monsoon season).

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Makalu

Winter season in the Himalayas region is a dangerous period to attempt an ascent. Mt. Makalu is no exception. High speed winds near the summit can be fatal during winter. Plus low atmospheric pressure and highly unpredictable weather decreases your chances of a successful climb.

Mount Gasherbrum I   

Gasherbrum

Gasherbrum I photo by  Ivan Zhdanov

Mt. Gasherbrum I – the beautiful mountain, has an elevation of 8,080m above sea level. It is located on the China-Pakistan border, in Xingjian and Gilgit-Baltistan regions, respectively.

Also known as Hidden Peak, it is the world’s 11th highest mountain after Annapurna I. It is also the second highest peak in the Karakoram Range.

Mt. Gasherbrum I is home to 6 peaks and is the venue of the first pure Alpine Style climb of the world’s 8000m. This means it was climbed from the bottom with no supplemental oxygen, just personal gear. Whoa!

It was first climbed in 1958.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Gasherbrum I is 8.9%

Mt. Gasherbrum I has had 334 successful summits with 29 fatalities. It has a current death rate of 8.9%.

These deaths have been highly attributed to avalanches, falls during descent, crevasse falls, pneumonia and pulmonary edema. Others just disappeared.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Gasherbrum I

The months of June through to September are the normal periods for expeditions. The days are warmer and weather conditions more stable.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Gasherbrum I

The first winter summit took place as recent as 2012. Despite these few successes, winter is still off limits for inexperienced climbers.

Mount Manaslu   

Manaslu mountain                      

Mt. Manaslu is the world’s eighth highest mountain with an elevation of 8,163m above sea level after Mt. Dhaulagiri I. It lies in the west-central part of Nepal, Nepalese Himalayas in Mansiri Himal. Its name means “mountain of the spirit”.

Mt. Manaslu is also the highest rock in the District of Gorkha and lies 64km east of Annapurna.

Its long ridges and valleys make it approachable from all angles.

Its first ascent was recorded in 1956 and the first winter ascent was in 1984.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Manaslu is 9.9%

Mt. Manaslu has had 661 successful ascents with 65 deaths recorded. It has a current death rate of 9.9% from 35% before the year 1990.

95% of these deaths were caused by avalanches. Others were caused by falls, exhaustion and altitude sickness.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Manaslu

The best time to summit is during the months of April through to May (pre-monsoon).

Also the period starting late September through to early October (post-monsoon season) can be ideal.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Manaslu

Despite a few successful winter attempts, this is still the worst time to climb any Himalayan peak.

Avalanches, high speed winds and unpredictable weather conditions above 7,000m are quite a threat to climbers.

 

Mount Kangchenjunga            

Mt. Kangchenjunga at 8,586m above sea level is found partly in Nepal and the other section lies in Sikkim, India. It is located on the east-south-east, 125km of Mt. Everest. It is the world’s third highest peak after Mt. K2 and Mt. Everest. It is also the highest mountain in India and ranks 4th in the Himalaya among the most prominent peaks.

It is home to five high peaks and four glaciers.

 

Death rate on Mt. Kangchenjunga is 14.5%

This mountain has a high death rate of about 15%. Since 1955, there have only been 243 successful ascents recorded. The main reason for these fatalities has been linked to falls especially during descent. Some have been caused by exhaustion, suffocation, hypothermia, ice falls and avalanches.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Kangchenjunga

The spring and fall seasons are the best for attempting this summit, especially the month of April.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Kangchenjunga

Mt. Kangchenjunga is the second least attempted peak among the 14 peaks above 8,000m. Avalanches are quite prone among the other common hazards associated with high altitude mountains such as altitude sickness, extreme storms and high speed winds. The worst time to climb is during winter.

 

Mount Dhaulagiri I                    

Mt. Dhaulagiri I is located on the central west part of Nepal. At 8,167m above sea level, it is ranked 7th among the world’s highest peaks.  Within the borders of a single country, it is the highest mountain.

It is commonly known as the White Mountain.

It was first summited in 1960 and its winter ascent was first recorded in 1985.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Dhaulagiri I is 15.7%

Mt. Dhaulagiri I has a current death rate of 15.7%. Before 1990, the death rate stood at a whopping 31%. 69 fatalities have been recorded to date, with 448 successful ascents.

Avalanches have been the major cause of these deaths. Falls, exposure and exhaustion are among the minor causes – about 5%.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Dhaulagiri I

The months of May through to June (pre-monsoon season) are ideal to attempt a summit. It is however important to watch out for the approaching monsoon dangers.

Post-monsoon months of September and October are also recommended as the best time to climb Mt. Dhaulagiri I.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Dhaulagiri I

Due to heavy snow deposited on this massif, winter season is the worst time to attempt an ascent. Avalanches are a sure threat. Although a few winter ascents have been attempted before.

 

Mount Nanga Parbat               

Mt. Nanga Parbat, also known as Diamer, is a dramatic peak rising at 8,126m above sea level. It lies in Diamer District, northern Pakistan and is the western anchor of the Himalayas.

Mt. Nanga Parbat is the world’s ninth highest mountain after Mt. Manaslu and the second highest peak in Pakistan after Mt. K2.

Its first ascent was in 1953.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Nanga Parbat is 20.7%

Before 1990, Mt. Nanga Parbat had the highest death rate of 77% among the 14 – 8000m peaks. Its current death rate stands at 20.7% with 335 successful ascents and 68 fatalities.

Most of these deaths are attributed to avalanches and quite a number of climbers were killed by Talibans at the Diamir Base Camp. Other minor causes were falls, exposure, lightning, pneumonia and frostbite. Others just disappeared.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Nanga Parbat

The months of June through to September are the best to summit this peak.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Nanga Parbat

Its first winter ascent was as recent as 2016. Before that no winter attempt was ever recorded in Pakistan among the seven 8000m peaks climbed during winter.

Snow at high altitudes is the major threat during winter.

 

Mount K2                                  

K2 which also goes by the name Chhogori has a height of 8,611m above sea level, making it the world’s second highest mountain after Mt. Everest. It is situated on the Pakistan-China border, Xingjian County, China.

It mainly consists of metamorphic rocks.

 

Death rate on Mt. K2 is 29.5 %

K2 is nicknamed the Savage Mountain because of its high death rate and the extremely difficult ascent. Actually, it ranks second on the summit fatality rate chart of the eight thousanders after Mt. Annapurna. A summit success rate of 300 has been recorded along with 77 fatalities. This means that for every 4 people who attempt the summit, 1 person never returns home.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. K2

Many attempts are made on the Pakistan side since the Chinese side is more hazardous. The months of June, July and August are the warmest hence, the most ideal periods to attempt a summit.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. K2

Winter season is the worst time to attempt an ascent. High altitude, low atmospheric pressure, long durations of extreme storms and steep elevations make this escapade a daunting one. No winter ascent has been successful despite a number of trials. Descents are equally difficult as ascents.

 

Mount Annapurna I                  

Mt. Annapurna I rises to an elevation of 8,091m above sea level, making it the tenth highest mountain in the world. It was the first eight-thousander to be climbed.

It lies in the Himalayas region in north-central Nepal. It is home to 6 major peaks that are above 7,200m above sea level.

Its first summit was in 1950 and was not summited again till 1970.

 

Death Rate on Mt. Annapurna I is 38%

In 1999, during autumn, 200 climbers set off to conquer this massif. 106 successfully summited while the remaining 54 climbers never saw the light of day again. As of 2009, there were 157 successful ascents and 60 fatalities.

To date, there have been 191 successful ascents and 61 deaths.

With a current death rate of 38%, Annapurna I is ranked to have the highest fatality-to-summit ratio among the 14 peaks above 8000m.

Most deaths were caused by avalanches. Falls and exhaustion were minor causes.

 

Best Time to Climb Mt. Annapurna I

October and November are the best months to summit this peak.

 

Worst Time to Climb Mt. Annapurna I

The monsoon season is the worst period to attempt an ascent. Extreme cold, leeches and heavy rain are a major threat.

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