Mountains have always fascinated me… ever since I was a little kid. Although I can’t say that I’ve climbed really big mountains or did some extraordinary cliff hanging, I’ve had my share of mountain events, but at an amateur level. Even now when I look at a peak I feel like it’s reaching out towards the sky… even in a metaphorical way. So it was quite unpleasant a few years ago to realize that I don’t know the 5 tallest mountains (knew 3 though). So it took a while, but I found them. Here’s a list for you (with pics) so you know something about then and don’t have to look them out yourself.

5. Makalu – 8,485 meters

makalu

Photo by arjayempee

In Nepal it’s officially मकालु; in China it’s officially Makaru, or 马卡鲁山… Just thought it’d be cool to know. The first time anybody tried to climb it was in the spring of 1954. The expedition was turned back, and it was first climbed in 1955 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a French expedition led by Jean Franco. As you can (partially) see, it’s a four sided pyramid, which bears a single isolated peak. Also, it’s neam represents spiritual destiny.

4. Lhotse – 8,516 meters

lhotse

Photo by mbollino 

Keepin up the fun stuff: in Nepal officially ल्होत्से, in China officially Lhozê. First climbed in May 18, 1956 by the Swiss team of Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger from the Swiss Mount Everest/Lhotse Expedition. Its long east-west crest is located immediately south of Mount Everest, and the summits of the two mountains are connected by the South Col, a vertical ridge that never drops below 8,000m and makes it really hard to climb. The name means South Peak.

3. Kanchendzonga (wikipedia calls it Kanchenjunga, but all the atlases I’ve seen call it this way) – 8,586 meters

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kanchendzonga

Photo by aluytenuk

In my opinion, this is the most beautiful mountain in the world. I can’t put 1000 pics in here so you could see for yourself… but do a search on google, wikipedia, flickr or whatever… it will be worth it! It’s the highest mountain in India, and it’s name is just as fascinating as the mountain “him”self: “The Five Treasures of Snows”, as it contains five peaks, four of them over 8,450 metres; the treasures are gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books. Still not convinced? What if you knew that due to the difficult access and the Indian government it has retained pretty much all of its pristine charm, making it the most “natural” mountain above 8000 m ? Anyway… the way it rises as if from the clouds is just fantastic. Pure beauty!

2. K2 – 8,611 meters

k2

Photo by Tree elf

The mountain was first surveyed by a European survey team in 1856. Ever since, it remained a fascination, because of the difficulty of its climbing and the numerous deaths that occured. Still, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have the highest mortality rate (stay tuned with the feed for that story in a couple of days); it’s just the image that the media has created. But don’t think it’s not dangerous! It’s reaaaaally dangerous! (really, it is!) Just not the most in the world; in the pic it’s enveloped in mist, and stands without its usual sheath of ice and snow in the Karakoram summer.

1. Everest – 8848 meters

everest

Photo by Carpe Feline

Here it is ladies and gents, the champs! Without doubt the most famous mountain, Everest is worth it’s fame, quite frankly because it’s the biggest. Even if it were just a feet taller, it would still be the biggest. It’s also called Chomolungma (=Goddess Mother of the Earth) or Sagarmatha (=Goddess of the Sky). First climbed by Edmund Hillary in May 29, 1953, it remains a symbol, and it will always be something more than a mountain.

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