I’m going to continue with this month’s mountain theme, as it seemed to be really loved (even more will follow after this). In the previous post I wrote, with the 5 highest mountains in the world I felt bad because I didn’t have the chance to mention two mountains which fascinated alpinists from all around the world ever since they were discovered. Also, most people believe that Everest or K2 are the hardest mountains to climb; while they may be the highest mountains, they’re not even in the top 3 deadliest mountains.

The top 2 spots are taken by the two death twins, as they are sometimes called: Nanga Parbat and Annapurna. These legendary peaks have attracted adventurers and climbers for so so many years, and the interes isn’t slowing down.

Annapurna

annapurna

Annapurna(left); Seems really peaceful sometimes. By Curr_En

Annapurna in fact represents a series of peaks in the Himalaya, but we’re only going to refer to its highest point; at 8,091 meters, it’s the 10th largest in the world. Located in central Nepal, it’s ironically the first mountain over 8000 meters to ever be climbed. The thing is, about 130 climbers have succombed to the avalanche-prone mountain, but 53 have died trying — making the fatality rate of 41% the highest in the world.

annapurna

Annapurna doesn’t seem so peaceful now; really massive and humbling. By Cervusvir

A fascinating real story marks the epic struggle of the man to climb this peak: Herzog and Lachenal were nearing the top of Annapurna, when Lachenal felt that his feet were not going to last much longer, so he asked Herzol:

“If I go back, what will you do?”

Without even thinking of abandoning the mountain, Herzol replied:

“I shall go on by myself.”

Lachenal understood that this would mean certain death for him, so he climbed along, unwilling to let Herzol go for a solo ascent. Both men lost their toes to frostbite, and Herzog, who had dropped his gloves, lost all his fingers as well.

Nanga Parbat

nanga parbat

Simply fan-tas-tic! By Heartkins

Nanga Parbat means “Naked Mountain” in Urdu, but it’s also called sometimes Diamir, which means “The King Mountain”. It’s the ninth highest mountain on Earth, and considered by many to be the hardest, because to the south Nanga Parbat boasts what is the highest mountain face in the world. Climbers also called affectionately the Man Eater.

nanga parbat

The Man Eater seems from another world; by Heartkins again – you rock dude

Nanga Parbat took 31 lives before it was climbed by Austrian Herman Buhl in 1953. Buhl was the first to bring the alpine way of ascent to the Himalaya – fast, light, and without oxygen. He began with a team of ten, but they all slowly backed down. Not one to cave to peer pressure, Buhl continued to the top solo, in what is the most impressive mountain ascents ever.

nanga parbat

Photo from wikipedia.

He is the only man ever who has made the first ascent of a summit this large by himself. It must have been a unique feeling: staring the monster in the face and facing it. But the reward… is just incredible. Also, when he returned darkness had fallen, and so Buhl spent the night alone, bearing the howling of the mountain by himself. There ain’t no stronger feeling.

nanga parbat

Staring the beast in the face by aamir567

Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!

Like us on Facebook