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The Five Most Challenging Mountains To Climb

Mountain climbing is one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges in the world and scales so widely from small foothills to some of the highest peaks on the planet.

However, challenge comes from more than just height, and the following mountains are those that test the winter mountaineering skills of expert climbers to and in some cases beyond their limits.

It is interesting to look at these incredible peaks to look at the capability of people if they set their mind to complete a task, and there are some incredible stories of people who went from walking around the neighbourhood to climbing some of the highest and most challenging mountaintops.

5: Mount Everest

Proving that height does not inherently mean difficulty, the highest point on Planet Earth is not its most challenging peak, and part of that is the fact that it is so tall.

The mountain attracts so many expeditions from people who want to try and reach its summit, which means that there are sherpa services that mean climbers are not alone in their attempts and have food, people to help carry their supplies and a personal medic.

However, these provisions are offset by the hundreds of climbers that attempt Everest each year, some of which are unfortunately dangerously unprepared for the extreme cold, high winds and low oxygen that are experienced at the 8000m death zone.

Whilst it may not be the single most challenging peak, being the fifth most challenging still puts it in the top 1 per cent of extremely dangerous mountains to climb.

4: Baintha Brakk

Despite not being one of the eight-thousanders, the mountain often nicknamed simply “The Ogre” is an incredibly difficult 7,200m climb, and has become a deeply revered and highly sought after peak for skilled mountaineers.

The issue with it is that its inclines are exceptionally steep and intricate, which requires highly skilled rock climbing at 7,000m, This was more than many other famously challenging mountains.

Interestingly, the first two successful ascents were 24 years apart, with the first in 1977 and the second in 2001.

3: Kangchenjunga

Kangchenjunga is a mountain so challenging and dangerous that it is said that a demon (the rakshasa) lives on the mountain and eats people who dare to challenge its summit.

It is the third highest mountain in the world and is of deep spiritual significance to Buddhists who believe it to be a valley of immortality. As a result, most climbers leave the actual summit untouched.

2: K2

The second highest peak in the world is also the second most challenging peak in the world and has been described as the Savage Mountain that has it out for anyone who tries to climb it.

There are a few reasons why it is more dangerous than Everest; the weather is far more treacherous to the point that the first successful winter ascent only happened in 2021, it shares the same death zone at 8000m as Mount Everest but has more dangerous terrain and more technical rock climbing.

The most famous obstacle, however, is the infamous Bottleneck, a thin wall of ice at 8200m which places climbers close to a wall of overhanging ice.

1: Annapurna

This climb in Nepal, which is just an eight-thousander, is the most dangerous and technically difficult climb on Earth by a considerable margin even to K2.

Part of this is caused by the dangerous 3000m steep South Face, as well as the eternal threat of storms and avalanches.

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