5 Nepal/China — Makalu
Makalu Mountain is considered spectacular because of its almost perfect pyramid shape. Makalu, also on the border of Nepal and Tibet, is the fifth highest peak at 27,825 feet. Two geniuses, wanting to make scaling this peak as dangerous as possible, climbed it in winter. Their fun consisted of being picked up by the wind and being tossed about. Sounds like a blast. The first successful climb to the summit was in 1955. An expedition to the top takes 60 days, and the death rate is 8.5 percent. Makalu Mountain is in a Nepal national park. Naturalists enjoy the assortment of wildflowers and unusual plants found there.
4 Nepal/China — Lhotse
Lhotse Mountain, on the border of Nepal and Tibet, is the fourth highest peak at 27,940 feet. The first successful climb to the summit was in 1956. An expedition to the top takes 60 days, and the death rate is 2 percent. But if you want to make the climb as difficult as possible, take the Khumbu Icefall. It’s the most dangerous section. People have tried to climb the south face, one of the Himalaya’s most impressive walls, for many years. Some died trying. A Russian team was successful in 1990. They determined the south face is impossible to climb by a single person.
3 India — Kangchenjunga
Kangchenjunga Mountain, which means “Five Treasures of the Great Snow” in reference to its five summits, is the third highest peak at 28,169 feet. But this one seems to be cursed or something. Most mountain fatalities lessen over time as folks learn from the mistakes of others. But not here. Someone does not want people climbing Kangchenjunga, and fatalities are increasing from the high threat of avalanche and other weather hazards, almost as if it’s being controlled “Hunger Games” fashion. Maybe you should take the hint before trying this one. The first successful climb to the summit was in 1955. An expedition to the top takes 65 days, and the death rate is 22 percent. But people try it probably because the east ridge of Kangchenjunga is said to be the most beautiful mountain in the world.
2 Pakistan — K2
The name K2 Mountain in Pakistan sort of evokes elementary school — kindergarten to grade 2. And you probably have similar decision-making skills a child that age has if you decide to scale this crazily dangerous peak, one of the most dangerous in the world. K2, the second highest peak at 28,251 feet, is technically the most difficult to scale, according to folks who have been compelled to try. Some icy slopes angle more than 45 degrees, and sudden storms often make the weather there life threatening. The first successful climb to the summit was in 1954. An expedition to the top takes 75 days, and the death rate is 19.7 percent.
1 Nepal — Everest
Though this is THE peak to scale if you’re the type who needs to one-up everyone around you, be prepared to step over about 200 dead bodies along the way. And Everest is not even the most dangerous mountain to scale! Everest Mountain in Nepal has the highest peak in the world at 29,035 feet. News flash: There’s not too much oxygen up that high. Be prepared for exhaustion and altitude sickness. Sounds like a whole lotta fun. The first successful climb to the summit was in 1953. An expedition to the top takes 65 days, and the death rate is 4.4 percent.