Nepal is home to some of the world's most famous mountains, including Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu, and Kangchenjunga. These Himalayan peaks are part of one of the world's major mountain ranges and have seen numerous daring ascents, some of which, sadly, have ended in disaster.
In this article, we'll explore the incredibly famous mountains in Nepal and what makes each one unique, starting with the most famous mountain in the world, and the tallest, Mount Everest:
Location: Border of Nepal and Tibet, Mahalangur Himal
Notable Features: The tallest mountain in the world
Mount Everest is known around the world as the tallest mountain in the world, at 29,029' or 8,848 meters. It is one of the Seven Summits or the highest summits on each continent. It was named for Sir George Everest, a British surveyor, in 1869 by the Royal Geographical Society. Its native names include Chomolungma and Sagarmāthā, meaning "Goddess Mother of the World" and "Goddess of the Sky."
Today, the mountain is perhaps best known as a hotbed for guiding companies and clients. It attracts inexperienced and experienced mountaineers who want to stand at the top of the world.
Most climbers approach from the Nepalese side of the mountain, known as the standard route. The mountain was first climbed in May 1953 by two of the world's most legendary mountaineers, Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay.
Location: Border of Tibet and Nepal, Mahalangur Himal
Notable Features: Proximity to Everest
Lhotse is the fourth-tallest mountain in the world, reaching 27,940' or 8,516 meters. The mountain is on the border between Tibet and Nepal. It is one of the famous eight-thousanders or mountains over 8,000 meters (or 26,000').
Lhotse is also famous for being so close in proximity to Mount Everest, which is just to the north. To the west is another well-known peak, Nuptse. Due to its proximity to Everest, it is regarded as the least prominent of all 14 mountains. The standard route is Reiss Couloir and is a relatively intermediate climb by eight-thousander standards.
For years, this middle peak was the largest unclimbed point in the world until its first ascent in 2001 by a Russian expedition, after attempts to climb it began in 1955.
Location: Mahalangur Himal, on the border of Nepal and Tibet
Notable Features: Native name means: "Turquoise Goddess."
The sixth-highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu, stands at an incredible 26,864' or 8,188 meters. The mountain has an impressive 7,600 feet of prominence. Although the mountain is at an incredible height and is an extremely dangerous mountain, it is considered to be the easiest 8,000-er to climb.
Interestingly, when it was first climbed, it was thought to be the seventh-highest mountain in the world after Dhaulagiri.
The mountain was first attempted in 1952 and was climbed two years later via the northwest ridge by an Austrian expedition. The mountain also has a low death-summit ratio and is believed to be the second-most climbed 8,000-er after Everest. The first winter ascent wasn't accomplished until 1985.
Location: Mahlangur Himal, on the border of Nepal and Tibet
Notable Features: The world's fifth-tallest mountain
Makalu is one of the world's tallest mountains and one of the most famous mountains in Nepal. It stands at an incredible 27,825' or 8,481 meters. The mountain is also part of the Mahalangur Himal, on the border of Nepal and Tibet.
Its southeast of Everest and Lhotse and is shaped like a four-sided pyramid. The mountain was first climbed in 1954 by a French team, including Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy.
Location: Taplejung District, Nepal and Sikkim, India
Notable Features: The Indian side of the mountain is off-limits.
Kangchenjunga is the third-tallest mountain in the world, reaching a remarkable height of 28,168'. It's regarded as an ultra-prominent peak, towering over 12,000' above its neighbors. Until 1852, it was believed to be the tallest mountain in the world. It was not until 1849 that Everest was awarded that title.
Kangchenjunga was first climbed in 1955 by a British expedition. The native name, Kangchenjunga, means "The five treasures of the high snow."
There are four climbing routes to reach the summit, three on the Nepal side and one on the Indian side. The Indian side of the mountain had only successfully been climbed three times before expeditions were banned. The route has been closed since 2000.
Location: Mansiri Himal in the Nepalese Himalayas.
Notable Features: Distinctive double summit
Manaslu, or Kutang (as it is known by the Nepalese), is the eighth-tallest mountain in the world, reaching 26,781' above sea level. The mountain is part of the Mansiri Himal in the Nepalese Himalayas. The name "Manaslu," as its known by most of the world, means "intellect" or "soul." It was first climbed in 1956.
The mountain has a stunning double summit with three steep sides.
Location: Khumbu, Nepal
Notable Features: Known as the "Matterhorn of the Himalayas."
Ama Dablam is much shorter than some of the other mountains on this list but is no less impressive. It is in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal and reaches a height of over 22,000'. The name means "Mother's necklace" and was inspired by the shape of the mountain's long ridges.
The mountain is also known, for its similar shape, as the "Matterhorn of the Himalayas." It was first climbed in 1961 by a mixed Us, NZ, and UK expedition.
Location: Mahlangur Himal
Notable Features: Distinctive flat summit
Gyachung Kang is a very tall mountain, over 26,000'. It is the fifteenth tallest mountain in the world, just off the list of the famous 14 eight-thousanders. It's the tallest mountain that is not quite 8,000 meters tall, falling short by only 42 meters. The mountain was first climbed in 1964, long after most of the eight-thousanders were climbed.
Location: North-central Nepal
Notable Features: Sixteenth tallest mountain in the world
Annapurna II is one mountain in the Annapurna mountain range. It sits at 26,040 feet, or 7,937 meters (meaning it, too, is just off the list of eight-thousanders). It is the sixteenth tallest mountain in the world, just a few meters shorter than Gyachung Kang.
The mountain is well known for its high level of avalanche danger. Large rockfalls and storms are also very common. The mountain was first climbed in 1960 by a British/Nepalese team.