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Highest Peaks of Nepal

Abhishek Subedi July 11, 2020

Nepal is a tiny country with many amazing and stunning natural and cultural monuments. The country itself is surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills. LIkewise, there are a lot of Highest Peaks of Nepal. Nepal, a tiny landlocked country in-between two giant countries: China and India, is profoundly renowned as the land of the Himalayas due to the world’s highest mountain in Nepal, Mt. Everest.  The highest point on the Earth from sea level, Mt. Everest (8,848m) and more than the other 100 peaks have become the introduction of our country.

Among 14 peaks above 8,000m in the world, Nepal possesses eight (8) peaks which are enlisted in the top 10 world’s highest peaks. Synonym to Nepal: The Himalayas are standing tall and high under the canopy of blue sky and welcoming the adventurous mountaineers, travelers, and trekkers. Geographical diversity, cultural prolificacy, unspoiled nature, hidden lands, sapphire landscape, and dazzling mountains are some of the famous features appealing the tourists in Nepal.  

About the Highest Peaks of Nepal

Nepal is a country that is famous for its amazing Himalayan tapestry. The Mountains of Nepal are famous all over the world. With eight of the ten tallest mountain peaks lying within the nation, Nepal is a famous destination for mountain trekking and hiking journeys. With a diverse topography, Nepal has a wide variance of floral and faunal life residing within the country as well. The difference in the country’s climate and geography results in a variety of biomes where the heterogeneity of wildlife is flourishingly rich and diverse. Fertile plane lands occupy the southern region, isolated valleys located snugly amidst chartreuse hills are located between the southern and northern regions and the northern region is brimming with a mountainous topography that has many tall and magnificent mountain peaks in their acreage.  

Constituting the central portion of the Himalayan range originating in the Pamirs, the mountain region of Nepal has a natural landscape that includes tall mountain peaks, amazing glaciers, mountain lakes and alpine vegetation situated amidst remote Himalayan villages and secluded settlements. In general, the snow line occurs between 5,000 and 5,500 meters. The region is characterized by extreme cold climate, rugged topographic conditions, and human habitation with economic activities that are extremely limited and arduous. Indeed, the region is sparsely populated, and whatever farming activity exists is mostly confined to the low-lying valleys and the river basins, such as the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley as the frozen soils of the mountains are not suitable for farming. 

1. Mount Everest

The world’s tallest Mountain Peaks, Mount Everest is the epitome of grace and beauty. Called Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet and China, Mount Everest is a part of the Mahalangur range. The international border between China and Nepal runs across Everest’s summit point. Mount Lhotse, Nuptse and Changtse are the nearby peaks of Mount Everest. First climbed in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, Mount Everest since then has become a famous destination in Nepal for trekking journeys, with thousands of trekkers doing treks in the Everest region every year.  

Highest Peaks of Nepal

The Everest Base Camp is a famous trekking journey that people from all over the world come to Nepal to do. The youngest person to summit Mount Everest was American Jordan Romero, age 13 in 2010. Japanese Miura Yiuchiro, age 80, was the oldest. She summited Mount Everest in the year 2013. There are 18 different climbing routes on Everest. With 66% less oxygen in each breath at Mount Everest, altitude sickness is a common ailment that befalls trekkers. The Base Camp journey to Everest is filled with many Himalayan villages, the most famous ones being Namche Bazaar and Tengboche among many. Kalapatthar is a famous vantage point in the region that presents amazing panoramic views of the Mount Everest massif.

Despite initial attention received by Mount Everest after its first summiting, only about 200 people had climbed the peak by 1987. Everest remained a difficult climb for decades, even for serious attempts by professional climbers and large national expeditions, which were the norm until the commercial era began in the 1990s. When commercialization of trekking journeys took wind, base camp trekking to Mount Everest quickly grew in popularity and has now become one of the most famous trekking journeys on the planet. 

2. Kangchenjunga

The third  world’s highest mountain Kanchenjunga was claimed as the world’s highest peak from 1838 till 1849. Although Kanchenjunga is situated on the border of Nepal and Sikkim (India), the route to Kanchenjunga from the northeast side has been closed by the Indian government since 2000; so, Nepal is the only country with 3 alternative routes to ascend Mt. Kangchenjunga.  Many expedition teams attempted to scale Kangchenjunga since 1905, but the members of the British –Expedition team: George Band and Joe Brown officially became the first mountaineers to successfully ascend the peak in 1955. Kangchenjunga means: “The five Treasures of Snow,” as there are five peaks of Kanchenjunga massif: Kanchenjunga main (8,586m), Kangchenjunga West (8,505m), Kanchenjunga South (8,494m), Kangchenjunga Central (8,484m), and Kangbachen (7,903m). 

Highest Peaks of Nepal

It is also believed that the peak is religiously sacred which is the home of the Kangchenjunga Demon: Yeti. Located in the Taplejung district of Province no.1, the Kanchenjunga massif is in the bucket list of many mountaineers as well as Trekkers. There are numerous adventurous trekkers who dream to experience the unique features: picturesque valleys, coruscating peaks, beguiling nature and several species of flora and fauna of this region.

According to local myth, the area around Kanchenjunga is said to be home to a mountain deity, called Dzö-nga or “Kangchenjunga Demon”, a type of yeti or rakshasa. For generations, there have also been legends recounted by the inhabitants of the areas surrounding Mount Kanchenjunga, both in Sikkim and in Nepal, that there is a valley of immortality hidden on the slopes of Mountain. Raymond Benson, the author of the James Bond books, has also penned down a James Bond adventure in the Kanchenjunga Mountain in High Time to Kill. 

3. Lhotse

With the elevation of 8,816 m from sea level, Lhotse is Nepal’s third and world’s fourth-highest peak. It is situated in the Khumbu region. Being the part of Mahalangur Himal, Lhotse is sometimes mistakenly considered as the south peak of Everest massif but Lhotse is an autonomous peak that consists of three peaks: Lhotse main (8816m), Lhotse Shar (8,383m) and Lhotse middle (8,414m). Lhotse came in limelight after the peak was successfully scaled by Ernest Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger in 1956.

Highest Peaks of Nepal

Moreover, Lhotse has gained its popularity as the Lhotse route follows the same Everest route up-to Yellow band beyond EBC Camp 3. The Lhotse peak is one of the most difficult and rarely attempted peaks above 8000m due to deadly rocks, dry surface and prone to rock falls. Lhotse can be the adventurous mountain expedition for the economical mountaineers who want to accomplish mountaineering in half of the Everest price.

4. Makalu

The fifth highest mountain in the world, Mount Makalu is a part of the Mahalangur Himalayas that lies southeast of Mount Everest on the border between Nepal and China. An isolated peak, Makalu’s shape is a four-sided pyramid. Kang Chun Tse and Chomo Lonzo, the two notable subsidiary peaks of Mount Makalu also add an ethereal feel to the peak. Makalu was first submitted on May 15, 1955 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a French expedition. Makalu is one of the harder eight-thousanders, and is considered one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb. The mountain is notorious for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are completely open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid also involves technical rock/ice climbing. Notable feature of visiting Mount Makalu is the beautiful Makalu-Barun Valley. 

Makalu
About the Makalu

A Himalayan glacier valley situated at the base of Makalu in the Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal. The Makalu Barun Valley lies entirely inside the Makalu Barun National Park. Brimming with stunning contrasts, where high waterfalls cascade into deep gorges, craggy rocks rise from lush green forests, and colorful flowers bloom beneath white snow peaks. The valley has a unique landscape that shelters some of the last pristine mountain ecosystems on Earth. Relatively undisturbed by human kind, rare species of animals and plants flourish in diverse climates and habitats. 

With its name derived from the Sanskrit word “Maha Kala”, Makalu is a name of the Hindu God Shiva that translates to “the Big Black” in literal English. Due to its isolation, Mount Makalu receives few trekkers- making it an off-the-beaten-paths destination. With Gurung, Rai and Sherpa people inhabiting the region, Makalu Base Camp Trek is a journey that is culturally rich and provides unique biological and traditional treasures of the Makalu Barun area. Barun Valley is also a sanctuary for animals like wolves, lynxes, foxes and beautiful snow-leopards.

5. Manaslu Mountain

The eighth highest peak in the world, Manaslu, is the highest peak of Gorkha massif. It is one of the 8thousander peaks which is entirely situated in Nepal. Manaslu is the name derived from Sanskrit which means Mountain of spirits. Likewise, Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu from the Japanese expedition were the first to successfully ascend the peak in 1956. But before them, H.W Tilman and the team explored the peak and the route during their unsuccessful attempt of Annapurna IV in 1950. The peak is one of the most dangerous peaks. So, some locals also name it Killer Mountain due to the high number of the death toll on this peak.

Manaslu Mountain

Trekking in this region is prohibited for solo Trekkers. As the region is a restricted land and requires a special permit pass; so this mountain is in low priority of mountaineers. Manaslu region is the unexposed treasure hidden in the Himalayas.

6. Annapurna Mountain

Annapurna, the first-ever 8thousander peak to be successfully climbed, is in the list of the tenth  world’s highest peaks. The mountain was named after a Hindu Goddess of food and grains. Annapurna which is derived from Sanskrit words ‘Anna’ meaning food and ‘Purna’ meaning full. Although Annapurna I is the deadliest mountain above 8000m. As it has the highest fatality rate, this mountain is the first-ever 8thousander to be climbed. Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal were the pioneer mountaineers who introduced the Mt. Annapurna by successfully scaling the peak in 1950, three years before Mt. Everest was ascended.

 Annapurna Mountain

The Annapurna massif is 55 kilometers long including numerous peaks that are protected under Annapurna Conservation Area. Moreover, the massif is entirely located in Nepal and is surrounded by Kali Gandaki. Gorge on West, Marsyangdi River on East and Pokhara valley on South. The Annapurna Region got popularity only after legendary mountaineer. Colonel Jimmy Roberts introduced the details about this region in his journal ‘Mountain Travel” in 1965. Trekking on the base camp of the Annapurna I is an equally fascinating and marvelous endeavor. 

7.  Cho Oyu Mountain

Cho Oyu is the sixth highest peak in the world located 20 km west of Mt. Everest in the Khumbu sub-section of Mahalangur Himalaya. The peak is the second most climbed 8thousander after Everest. So, it is also considered as the easiest peak to be climbed above 8,000m. Famously known as “Turquoise Goddess” in Tibetan language, Cho Oyu is in the expedition list of enthusiastic mountaineers.

 Cho Oyu Mountain

This peak was first attempted in 1952 by the British expedition as a trial of Mt. Everest, but the successful attempt was made only in 1954 by Hebert Tichy, Pasang Dawa Lama, and Joseph Jochler. Similarly, Cho Oyu peak has two main routes to reach the top among which Nang La Pass. It is the easiest route of the trail. Due to the easy accessibility of the peak, it is also considered as the “Trekking peak”. It is famous among mountaineers and Trekkers.

8. Dhaulagiri

The massif of Dhaulagiri extends from the Kali Gandaki River to Bheri. Bounded on the north and southwest by tributaries of the Bheri River. Mount Dhaulagiri massif is a famous mountain range in the Annapurna region. Dhaulagiri I is the seventh highest mountain in the world. The name of the mountain comes from two combinations of Sanskrit words. “Dhavala” meaning “dazzling, white, and beautiful” and “Giri” meaning “mountain”. Dhaulagiri I is also the highest point of the Gandaki river basin. Annapurna I lies 35 km east of Dhaulagiri I. It is creating the world’s deepest gorge- the Kali Gandaki Gorge, between these two mountains. The Kali Gandaki River flows through the gorge. The sudden rise of Dhaulagiri I from the lower ridges of the terrain is spectacular. With few trekkers visiting the area, Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an off-the-beaten-paths trekking journey of the region. 

 Dhaulagiri

The Dhaulagiri massif includes the mountains of Dhaulagiri III, IV and V, the main Churen Himal, east Churen Himal, west Churen Himal, Dhaulagiri VI and VII, Gurja Himal, the False Junction Peak, Peak Hawley and the Hiunchuli Patan. Likewise, on clear weather, the peak of Dhaulagiri I is also conspicuous from northern Bihar in India. Its rise from the Kali Gandaki River is quite notably impressive. It’s along with the south face of the Gurja Himal in the same massif.

Its location is also responsible for creating rain-shadow zones in the areas adjacent to the mountain like Mustang and Dolpo. Similarly, the blockade of rain clouds by the Dhaulagiri massif. It creates dry and arid environments in Mustang that results on corroded hills and a badland-like environment. Mount Dhaulagiri is also a very popular Mountain range in the Annapurna. And its sight from the Lake-side city of Pokhara is also a grand affair.

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