10 of the World’s Most Dangerous Mountains

10 of the World’s Most Dangerous Mountains

For some of us, mountains are the best places for a vacation, but for others is a way of living.

I’m talking about climbers that take their chances to make it “on top of the world”, conquering some of the highest mountains out there.

But some are not only after heights, they’re after the most dangerous mountains.

They need adrenaline, even if they have to pay with their lives and that’s why we decided to make up a list with the deadliest mountains in the world.

Here’s our list of World’s Most Dangerous Mountains:

ANNAPURNA (26,545 ft.)

(Central Nepal)

Highest point 
Elevation8,091 m (26,545 ft) 
Ranked 10th
Prominence2,984 m (9,790 ft) 
Ranked 100th
Parent peakCho Oyu
Coordinates28°35′46″N 83°49′13″E
28°35′46″N 83°49′13″E
LocationGandaki Zone ,  Nepal
Parent rangeHimalayas
First ascent3 June 1950
Maurice Herzog  and  Louis Lachenal
(First winter ascent 3 February 1987 Jerzy Kukuczka  and  Artur Hajzer )
Easiest routenorthwest face

On this mountain, the 10th highest in the world, about 130 climbers have summited the avalanche-prone peak, but 53 have died trying — making Annapurna’s fatality rate of 41% the highest in the world.

NANGA PARBAT (26,657 ft.)


Highest point 
Elevation8,126 m (26,660 ft) 
Ranked 9th
Prominence4,608 m (15,118 ft) 
Ranked 14th
Coordinates35°14′15″N 74°35′21″E
35°14′15″N 74°35′21″E
LocationGilgit–Baltistan ,  Pakistan Nanga Parbat lies approx 27km west-southwest of  Astore district , in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan
Parent rangeHimalayas
First ascentJuly 3, 1953 by Hermann Buhl
Easiest routeDiamir district (West Face)

Known affectionately as the Man Eater, this craggy monster in Kashmir is an enormous ridge of rock and ice.

The peak is the ninth highest in the world and its southern side features the tallest mountain face on the planet.

Nanga Parbat claimed 31 lives before it was conquered by Austrian Herman Buhl in 1953.

SIULA GRANDE (20,814 ft.)

(Peruvian Andes)

Highest point 
Elevation6,344 m (20,814 ft)
Coordinates10°17′S 76°53′W
10°17′S 76°53′W
Parent rangeAndes ,  Waywash
First ascentJuly 28, 1936
Easiest routeglacier/snow/ice climb

In 1985, the duo of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, whose journey was chronicled in the book and film Touching the Void, attempted the western face of Siula Grande: a sheer, vertical ascent that had never been completed.

They made it to the summit but Simpson fell during the descent, breaking his leg.

Then Yates, lowering the injured Simpson down by rope, lost sight of him over a cliff.

After an hour passed, with his position slipping away, and Simpson unable to secure himself, Yates cut the rope.

Incredibly, Simpson survived the 100 ft. fall into a crevasse.

Over the next three days he subsisted on melted snow and hopped the five miles back to camp, arriving shortly before Yates, assuming Simpson had perished, was due to depart for home.

K2 (28,251 ft.)

(Border of Pakistan & China)

Highest point 
Elevation8,611 m (28,251 ft) 
Ranked 2nd
Prominence4,017 m (13,179 ft) 
Ranked 22nd
Coordinates35°52′57″N 76°30′48″E
35°52′57″N 76°30′48″E
GeographyBaltistan ,  Gilgit–Baltistan ,  Pakistan
Tashkurgan ,  Xinjiang ,  China
Parent rangeKarakoram
First ascent31 July 1954
Achille Compagnoni
Lino Lacedelli
Easiest routeAbruzzi Spur

The second highest mountain in the world, this peak has a nasty reputation, especially when it comes to female climbers.

The first woman to reach the summit was the legendary Polish climber Wanda Rutkiewicz, who got to the top in June 1986. Over the next 18 years all five female climbers who summited this peak were killed.

Three died during the descent down K2, two others on nearby mountains. Rutkiewicz also perished close by, on Kangchenjunga in 1992.

The curse was finally broken in 2004 by Edurne Pasaban, a 31-year-old Spanish mountaineer, who remains alive to this day.

KANGCHENJUNGA (28,169 ft.)

(Border between India & Nepal)

Highest point 
Elevation8,586 m (28,169 ft)
Ranked 3rd
Prominence3,922 m (12,867 ft)
Ranked 29th
Coordinates27°42′09″N 88°08′48″E
27°42′09″N 88°08′48″E
LocationNepal–India border
Parent rangeHimalayas
First ascent25 May 1955
Joe Brown  &  George Band
(First winter ascent 11 January 1986 Jerzy Kukuczka  and  Krzysztof Wielicki )
Easiest routeglacier/snow/ice climb

In 1999, a new James Bond novel found the uber-agent trekking up its dramatic ridges.

James may have stopped to admire the gorgeous view, but, as our hero knows well, looks can be deceiving.

Avalanches and bitter colds have made this one of the deadliest mountains in the world.

THE MATTERHORN (14,691 ft.)

(Border between Switzerland & Italy)

Highest point 
Elevation4,478 m (14,692 ft)
Prominence1,042 m (3,419 ft)
Isolation13.8 km (8.6 mi)
Parent peakWeisshorn
Coordinates45°58′35″N 7°39′30″E
45°58′35″N 7°39′30″E
NamingTranslation: Peak of the Meadows
LocationAosta Valley ,  Italy
Valais ,  Switzerland
Parent rangePennine Alps
Topo mapSwisstopo   1347 Matterhorn
First ascentJuly 14, 1865 by
Edward Whymper
Charles Hudson
Francis Douglas
Douglas Robert Hadow
Michel Croz
Peter Taugwalder (father)
Peter Taugwalder (son)
Easiest routeHörnli ridge (AD, rock/mixed climb)

These days the principle danger on the Matterhorn is its popularity, with overeager tourists sending loose rocks onto the heads of fellow climbers below.

EVEREST (29,029 ft.)

(Border between Nepal & China)
mt everest

Highest point 
Elevation8,848 m (29,029 ft)
Ranked 1st
Prominence8,848 m (29,029 ft) 
Ranked 1st
(Notice special definition for Everest)
Coordinates27°59′17″N 86°55′31″E
27°59′17″N 86°55′31″E
LocationSolukhumbu District ,  Sagarmatha Zone ,  Nepal ;
Tingri County ,  Xigazê ,  Tibet Autonomous Region ,  China
Parent rangeMahalangur Himal ,  Himalayas
First ascent29 May 1953
Edmund Hillary &  Tenzing Norgay
(First winter ascent 1980  Leszek Cichy  and  Krzysztof Wielicki)
Normal routesoutheast ridge (Nepal)

With its marquee status, it would be easy to assume that this is the deadliest mountain of them all. But pound for pound, Everest claims a fairly small percentage of climbers (9%), considering the number that attempt it every year.

MT. WASHINGTON (6,288 ft)

(New Hampshire)

Highest point 
Elevation6,288 ft (1,917 m)   NAVD 88
Prominence6,148 ft (1,874 m)
Coordinates44°16′14″N 71°18′12″W
44°16′14″N 71°18′12″W
LocationSargent's Purchase ,  Coös County , New Hampshire ,  U.S.
Parent rangePresidential Range
Topo mapUSGS  Mount Washington
First ascent1642 (first recorded)
Easiest routeHike , ride  cog railway , or drive via Mount Washington Auto Road .

To experience a killer mountain a little closer to home, look no further than this New Hampshire peak.

The rapidly shifting weather, hurricane force winds, and summer ice pellets scouring this slope have claimed more than 100 lives.

Temperatures at the peak can descend to -50 degrees Farenheit.

In fact, the strongest wind gust ever measured on Earth was recorded on this peak, a gale of 231 mph.

DENALI (20,320 ft.)


Highest point 
Elevation20,310 ft (6190 m) top of snow NAVD88
Prominence20,146 ft (6140 m)
Isolation4629 mi (7450 km)
Coordinates63°04′10″N 151°00′27″W
63°04′10″N 151°00′27″W
LocationDenali National Park and Preserve , Alaska ,  U.S.
Parent rangeAlaska Range
Topo mapUSGS Mt. McKinley A-3
First ascentJune 7, 1913 by
Hudson Stuck
Harry Karstens
Walter Harper
Robert Tatum
Easiest routeWest Buttress Route (glacier/snow climb)

The mountain is prone to earthquakes.

And the combination of high altitude and extreme latitude also means altitude sickness kicks in much faster.

(At the equator, a peak this size would have about half as much oxygen at the summit than at sea level; because of the latitude, the percentage on Denali is far lower.)

Mt. Fuji (12,388 ft.)

Mt. Fuji

Highest point 
Prominence3,776 m (12,388 ft)
Ranked 35th
Coordinates35°21′29″N 138°43′52″E
35°21′29″N 138°43′52″E
Topo mapGeospatial Information Authority 25000:1 富士山
50000:1 富士山
Mountain typeStratovolcano
Last eruption1707 to 1708
First ascent663 by an anonymous monk
Easiest routeHiking
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official nameFujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration
Criteriaiii, vi
Designated2013 (37th session)
State PartyJapan

Sometimes you don’t have to be a tall mountain to be a lethal one.

Take Mt. Fuji, for example. At its base sits the Sea of Trees, a large expanse of cedar, pine, and boxwood trees that was the only area not overrun by lava and ash during a massive eruption in 1707.

This forest, know as Aokigahara, has attained cult status among Japanese as the perfect place to die.

Rumors about the woods abound: locals speak of magnetic fields that disorient search and rescue operations; the forest’s population is said to consist of snakes, wild dogs, and the occasional demon.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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