10 Highest Mountains in the World
Can you name the top ten highest mountains in the world? You can probably name Everest, and if you are clued in, maybe K2. But can you list any of the others? Most people can’t. That quickly changes for travelers to the mountains of southern Asia.
Yes, when it comes to spectacular peaks, you really don’t have to scour the world to find them. In fact, you could theoretically complete your collection with a visit to just two countries, Nepal and Pakistan. Throw in visits to Tibet and India, and you can take in all the best views.
Having said that, it’s not exactly what you would call “easy.” You will have to get out on some of the world’s roughest roads and even more of the world’s highest trekking routes. Moreover, you need to pray for cooperative weather. In our eleven months exploring the Tibetan plateau, we racked up quite a collection. Each of the pictures below is OURS… no stock photos here, baby! However, you will notice two mountains are sadly still missing.
1. Mount Everest – Nepal / Tibet
8,850 m (29,035 ft)
We’ve viewed Mt. Everest from tons of viewpoints. We took in the spectacular views from Pang La Pass and North Face base camp in Tibet. And across the border in Nepal, we got some great views from Gokyo Ri, Kala Patthar, Renjo La, and Scoundrel’s Viewpoint while doing the Everest base camp trek. Unfortunately, it was not visible when we were in Darjeeling, India. The best view of the highest mountain is definitely from the base camp in Tibet, but the trek in Nepal is WAY more rewarding.
2. K2 – Pakistan
8,612 m (28,253 ft)
Alas, we haven’t been to Pakistan to see K2… yet!
3. Kangchenjunga – Nepal / India
8,586 m (28,169 ft)
We got great views of Kangchenjunga from our window in Darjeeling where the mountain seems especially massive rising up from the deep valleys of West Bengal. On top of that, we scored some very impressive, up-close views of one of the highest mountains in the world in Gantok and Pelling in Sikkim. This is definitely one of the more spectacular mountains.
4. Lhotse – Nepal
8,501 m (27,890 ft)
We got our best view of Lhotse as we approached and departed Chukhung Valley in Nepal’s Everest region. The view from Chukhung Ri is phenomenal! We also saw the tip of the mountain from Gokyo Ri as well as a side view from Gorakshep.
5. Makalu – Nepal
8,462 m (27,765 ft)
Our best view of Makalu was also from Chukhung Ri, but we saw the mountain from the Gokyo Vally as well, most notably from Renjo La. On top of that, we were able to catch a glimpse of Makalu’s peak off in the distance from Pang La Pass in Tibet. Unfortunately, it was not visible from Darjeeling while we were there. 🙁 Maybe next time!
6. Cho Oyu – Nepal / Tibet
8,201 m (26,900 ft)
Cho Oyu is not only one of the highest mountains in the world, it is also one of our favorite mountains! We first spotted it from Pang La Pass in Tibet and mistook it for Everest!!! In fact, Everest almost felt disappointing next to Cho Oyu. We also got great views from throughout the Gokyo Valley in Nepal. We even trekked the extra 20 km to the unused Nepali base camp just for some close-up views and a couple of avalanches!!!
7. Dhaulagiri – Nepal
8,167 m (26,794 ft)
We had spectacular views of Dhaulagiri while trekking the Annapurna Circuit after the Thorong La Pass. There were also excellent mountain views on trails connecting Tatopani and Ghorepani. This one is hard to miss.
8. Manaslu – Nepal
8,163 m (26,781 ft)
Although Manaslu is quite close during the first third of the Annapurna Circuit, we were only able to see it from Chame and from the upper regions of the Manang Valley. It looks quite spectacular rising up behind the jagged stone wave called Paungi Danda.
9. Nanga Parbat – Pakistan
8,126 m (26,660 ft)
We’ll get to Pakistan someday!!!
10. Annapurna I – Nepal
8,091 m (26,545 ft)
Last but not least on our list of the highest mountains in the world is Anapurna I. We enjoyed spectacular views from various points along the Annapurna Circuit as well as from the base camp on the Annapurna Sanctuary trek. We’ve seen this mountain from all imaginable angles!