Are you an avid climber and looking for new adventures to push your climbing abilities to the limit a little more? Well in this blog, we are going to be exploring and discovering some of the world’s most dangerous mountains and we will be talking about what obstacles may lay in the way of being able to summit some of these giants!
El Capitan, California, USA
This mountain is one of the most challenging rock climbs in the world, no doubt about it! It stands over 7000 feet tall and has a sheer vertical cliff face...so make sure you have a strong stomach and head for heights if you’re looking to summit this beast!
It can take up to 4 to 5 days to reach the top...this means climbers hang hammocks from pitons on the cliff side to catch some shut-eye and rest up before they continue their ascent! *Gulp* This really isn’t for the faint-hearted! Some of the most experienced climbers like to push the challenge further by ascending the cliff side just using their hands and feet….now that is h-a-r-d-c-o-r-e!
This mountain is the tenth highest in the world and approximately 150 people have attempted to climb Annapurna. Unfortunately, approximately 53 of these people died at their attempt! This has mainly been a result of avalanches which are of great occurrence at this destination. In 2014 a massive snowstorm hit Annapurna causing roughly 6 feet of snow to fall, which in turn led to over 500 people needing rescuing. Annapurna peaks at over 26000 feet and makes for a popular hiking spot! Unfortunately, it is known by many as ‘Nepal’s worst ever trekking disaster’!
K2, China/Pakistan Border
The second largest mountain in the world, peaking at 28251 feet, K2 is one of the world’s most difficult, dangerous and deadly climbs. It has steep sections of rock face which are interwoven with ice pillars, which are prone to collapsing without warning! Be prepared for encountering frequent storms on this mountain too making the climb to the summit even harder!
K2 is tarred with the legend that this mountain is cursed for female climbers...the first female climber to summit this mountain was back in 1986. The years that followed after this, 5 more female climbers successfully made the ascent to the summit...3 of these female climbers unfortunately died on the descent from the summit of K2 and the other 2 died on nearby mountains.
The Matterhorn, Switzerland/Italy Border
Located in the Alps, The Matterhorn straddles the border between Switzerland and Italy and peaks at 14692 feet making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and in Europe. It consists of 4 steep faces and makes for one of the hardest climbs, with frequent avalanches occurring...throw in the regular rock falls that occur too, this makes for one mountain with the highest fatality rates in the Alps.
The Matterhorn is an isolated mountain and where it is positioned on the Alpine watershed, combined with it’s great height, this means that the mountain is exposed to rapid changes in weather. Given the growing popularity of the Matterhorn, it now means that climbing routes of this mountain are becoming dangerously overcrowded!
Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, USA
Peaking at approx 6288 feet, Mt Washington is the highest peak in the North East of The USA. Although this mountain may not be one of the tallest in the world, it’s treacherous rocky terrain, combined with its erratic weather, makes for one of the deadliest climbs.
Be prepared to encounter hurricane force winds here combined with ice pellet rain, even in the glorious summer season! To give you an idea of just how strong some of these hurricane winds are, the strongest wind ever recorded ON EARTH occurred on Mt Washington, measuring at 231 mph!!!....sod that!!! And just to top it all off nicely, at the summit of this mountain, temperatures can reach as low as -45 degrees celsius!!! So I mean, why would you NOT want to attempt to summit this mountain!?
Mt. Everest, China/Nepal Border
Naturally, we have to give a mention to Everest...it is the highest mountain in the world after all! It peaks at 29029 feet(!!) and attracts many climbers from all over the world who attempt to ascend to the summit. There are many challenges and dangers that climbers will face as they ascend this mountain. Climbers often suffer from altitude sickness, as well as experiencing bad weather and strong winds, i.e. blizzards. Oh and not forgetting the significant hazards from avalanches too!
Over 300 people have died on Everest, and sadly, many of those bodies still remain on the mountain. Some of those bodies are used as ‘way points’ on the higher altitude sectors of the mountain, in order for climbers to gauge how near to the summit they are. To climb this giant, most experienced climbers will spend a long time thoroughly planning and preparing for their expedition. In order to reach the summit of Everest, due to the sheer altitude, approximately 95% of climbers need to use bottled oxygen in order for them to successfully ascend to the peak!
So there we go, just a small insight into some of the world’s most dangerous mountains! Have any of our fellow outdoor adventurers been to any of these destinations? Have you climbed any of these mountains and reached the summit? Let us know in the comments, we would love for you to share your experiences with us, here at Awesome Outdoors!
Author: Gemma Johnson