5 Mt. Everest
Mt. Everest may have been climbed by thousands of people by now, but is has also killed hundreds, including several incidents where many people died in the same incident. The current body count for Everest is around 230 dead climbers, and it has only been 60 years since the summit was first reached by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. In the years before their triumphant expedition in 1953 many tried and failed to reach the top, and many have tried and failed since. Death has been a leading cause of these failures.
4 Mt. Washington in New Hampshire
At just a little over 6,200 feet high at the summit, Mt. Washington in New Hampshire might not seem like an impressive mountain, but don’t let it hear you say that, because it will kill you. The danger on this Northeastern peak comes not from the mountain itself, per say, but from the rapidly, radically shifting weather. Temperatures near the peak routinely drop to dozens of degrees below freezing, and hurricane-force winds buffet the granite monolith. In fact, the single strongest wind gust ever was a stunning 230-mph blast recorded right on good old deadly Mt. Washington.
3 Mont Blanc in the French Alps
Lovely, iconic Mont Blanc in the French Alps kills about 100 hapless hikers each year. This is largely because of the thousands of naïve tourists who ride gondolas up to nearly 10,000 feet of elevation, then think they can go scrambling on up toward the peak with their nifty new hiking boots and a fanny pack. Between changes in the weather, avalanches, and occasional accidental cliff diving, this is one “tourist trap” best left to the people who are in fact mountain climbers, and not, in fact, tourists.
K2 is often thought of as “the climber’s mountain” now that summiting Everest has become almost routine. But many people also think of K2 as “the dead climber’s mountain” because so many climbers have died trying to reach its summit. Currently, for every four people who try to climb the world’s second highest mountain, one will die.
1 Annapurna in Nepal
Proportionally, Annapurna in Nepal is the world’s most deadly peak. The mountain is nearly 26,500 feet tall, which makes it the tenth highest summit in the world. Only 130 mountaineers have reached the summit, while 53 have died during the attempt; that gives you about a two in five chance of dying on this mountain. Any bookie will tell you those aren’t the best odds when gambling with your life.