There are 14 peaks around the world that exceed the height of 8000 m. Among them, 8 of the 14 peaks lie in Nepal. These peaks are quite popular among the mountaineering community. They also make up most of Nepal’s mountaineering tourism. Every year myriad people from around the world rush to get permits from the government to climb these peaks in Nepal. The difficulty level of climbing or reaching these peaks vary. However, most of the difficulties and challenges of climbing the peaks are quite similar. If you are looking to climb mountains in Nepal but do not know where to begin, fret not.
Here we have a comprehensive list of the easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal. We will give a brief idea of what each 8000m peak of Nepal has to offer. The list will go on from the most difficult to the easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal. Get these deets and decide which peak you want to venture into.
Number 8 – Annapurna, 8091 m
Annapurna, the tenth highest peak in the world, is one of the wonders of the world that Nepal houses. The mountain range is majestic, and its vicinity is quite popular for trekking. Despite its aesthetic popularity, the ascent of this peak is quite unpopular. Annapurna is considered one of the most challenging peaks to climb in Nepal. Naturally, it comes as Number 8 among the easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal.
The ascent to Annapurna yields the least success rate compared to other 8000-meter peaks. The fatality rate of the Annapurna climb is up to 29%. This means out of every 100 climbers, 29 people have the probability of dying. Records from 1990 to the present show the death of around 72 climbers during their climb.
Despite the shared issues of harsh weather, remote location, etc., among the 8000 m peaks, Annapurna’s route is too technical. The peak was first summited back in 1950 by a French team led by Maurice Herzog. They climbed the peak via its north face, which is a rare route picked by climbers.
The south face route, which is the common route to climb the mountain, is considered moderately challenging. Despite it being the relatively easier route of the mountain, it is still considered of the biggest dangers in the world. It is highly treacherous as it has a huge steep wall of rock and ice. There are other routes to climb the peak as well. People consider these routes way more complicated than the South face. They require high levels of proficiency and experience to finish such technical parts of the peak.
To add more difficulties to such a scary ascent, there is the generic difficulty of mountain climbing. You have to make long days of hikes to reach the base camp. Health issues might occur; you might get altitude sickness, be a victim of harsh weather, etc. Hence, putting Annapurna at the bottom of the list of the easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal would be wise.
See more: Annapurna Circuit Trek
Number 7 – Everest, 8848 m
Everest, the peak of the world, is obviously included in this list. This peak is far from being the easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal. Everest is the second most difficult peak to climb on this list. The difficulty level of Everest is factored by many variables. One of the most common ones is the three major technical parts of its climb. Namely, the Khumbu Icefall, the Hillary Step, and the Lhotse Face.
The Khumbu Icefall is a glacier of crevasses that constantly shifts through a huge maze of ice blocks and seracs. It is quite prone to avalanches, and climbers must navigate the route through all sorts of danger here.
The other risky part of the climb is the Hillary step near Everest’s top. It is a vertical rock wall at a right angle that you need to climb to finish your summit.
The Lhotse face is another treacherous part of the climb. It includes a steep and icy slope that needs to be climbed after crossing the section of Western Cwm. You need fixed rope and have to navigate through icy sections during extreme winds and freezing temperatures.
People also unpopularly call the region above 8000 m of Everest the death zone. This is due to extremely high altitude and lack of oxygen in the air; it makes the environment very dangerous.
Along with these difficulties due to Everest’s natural structure, the popularity of Everest also accounts for its difficulty. Everest is swarmed with a high number of mountaineers. Before the COVID pandemic, there were almost 900 people who obtained permits to climb the mountain. Every year the popularity of climbing Everest gets higher, and the route gets packed. Navigating the technical routes of Everest is much more difficult due to the sheer number of people. Along with regular tourists, guides and porters hike and walk along with you. It makes the climb more difficult to organize. Hence, making Everest the second toughest mountain to climb in Nepal.
See more: Everest Base Camp Trek 14 Days Itinerary
Number 6 – Kanchenjunga – 8568 m
Kanchenjunga is the world’s third-highest mountain and the third most difficult mountain on this list. The difficulty of Kanchenjunga also consists of generic mountain climbing difficulties with the unique technical difficulty of the peak itself. The North Face route, the Yalung Glacier, and the Summit Ridge are the technical parts of this peak. They account for the peak is far from being one of the easiest 8000m peaks to climb in Nepal.
The North Face is considered very treacherous due to its steep ice and rock faces. You ought to climb through a very technical terrain with varied structures of mountain rocks. Very proficient experience and learned used equipment is necessary for it.
The Yalung glacier, on the other hand, is a challenging part of the climb that lies on the southern face of the mountain. It has a very complex glacier structure with crevasses, seracs, and ever icefalls. The Summit ridge of Kanchenjunga is also very deadly as it has exposed areas with narrow ridges and sharp traverses. You might easily get into accidents within these sections if you cannot navigate them well.
Knowing this fact, you will probably be wise not to really consider Kanchenjunga a very easy mountain to climb.
See more: Kanchenjunga Trekking Nepal
Number 5 – Dhaulagiri , 8167 m
Dhaulagiri is the seventh-highest peak in the world. The mountain is quite a challenging climb and not very preferable by much. Mountaineers with a lot of prior experience with peak climbing can definitely climb this peak.
The hidden valley is one most technical parts of the mountain. You encounter this part earlier in your journey as they are found before you reach the base camp. The hidden valley is an area that is isolated and has steep slopes and loose scree routes. Walking past such roads to reach the mountain makes the ascent much more gruesome.
The Dhaulagiri icefall, summit edge, and sharp traverse are also quite challenging. Navigating these structures with proficient climbing experience is quite important.
The mountain has several routes of ascent. They are the Southwest Ridge, the Northeast Ridge, and the East Face. The Southwest Ridge is used the most and likely the easiest out of the three tough routes. The Northeast Ridge route takes a long time to travel. The east face is very tough, and people rarely choose this path. All in all, the Dhaulagiri is as challenging as any 8000m peak would be. However, it seems to have a little less structural danger compared to mountains like Annapurna, Everest, or Kanchenjunga. However, it is still far off from being the easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal.
See more: Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Itinerary
Number 4 – Lhotse, 8516 m
Lhotse or Lhotse Face is the fourth highest peak in the world. It is also the fourth peak on our list. The mountain is often summited as a collective part of the Everest expedition. High levels of physical fitness and experience are important if you plan to climb this mountain.
The Lhotse face is a significant part of the mountain that brings technical challenges. It lies in the south col route, which is the most common route taken to climb this peak. The Lhotse face houses a huge ice wall that extends from camp 3 of the peak at 7950 m to the South col at 7900 m. This 50 m wall is a steep 50 to 60 degrees incline, which is tricky to navigate.
After the Lhotse face, you will reach the peak’s summit ridge, leading to the main summit. This part of the climb is also a bit challenging. The summit ridge is quite narrow and export, so you need to walk here very carefully. High levels of caution and great climbing skills are necessary to summit the peak.
Despite these challenges, there are fixed lines of ropes that aid in an easier journey. Climbers need to fix ropes along the route of the Lhotse face to climb it. This makes the steep icy slopes a bit more approachable. Tools like ice axes, crampons, etc., are necessary to make the climb.
These mentioned challenges account for Lhotse being number 4 on the list. It is not very approachable. However, a lot of people aiming for Everest climb this peak.
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Number 3 – Makalu, 8481 m
Number 3 on this list is the fifth tallest mountain, Mount Makalu. Among the eight-thousanders, it is a technical climb. However, it does not seem as challenging as most of the peaks. The mountain lies in the Mahalangur Himalayan range bordering Nepal and China. It lies east of Everest by approximately 22 km.
The easier aspects of the trek can be narrowed down to its relatively simpler treks. Climbing the mountain will obviously be challenging. However, treks throughout the Himalayan terrains of Nepal are quite a journey. Along with the treks to base camp, climbing up to camp 1 and camp 2 of the mountain is also relatively easier. The mountain does not have many technical structures up to this point of the mountain.
However, the peak gets more technical as you go higher. The Makalu La and the summit ridge are the most challenging parts of this climb. Makalu La, also named the West Col, is a section of the climb that stretches between Makalu and Everest’s neighboring peaks. It has very steep icy slopes that need a very experienced mountaineer to navigate. The same applies to the summit ridge. The summit ridge is narrow, exposed, and gets a lot of strong winds. Hence, approaching the summit of the mountain must be done with a lot of caution.
On average, around 300 to 400 people attempt to summit this peak. Factoring in these data and facts of the climb, we conclude Makalu is the 3rd easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal.
See more: Makalu Base Camp Trek
Number 2 – Manaslu, 8163 m
Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain lying in central west Nepal, comes at Number 2 on our list. The difficulty of climbing Manaslu is mainly accounted for by harsh weather conditions and seasons. It poses less threat as there isn’t much technically difficult structure at this peak. The summit ridge is the most difficult part of the mountain climb. Like any other eight-thousanders, the summit ridge of the peak is narrow and exposed. It makes the final few steps of the climb tough to navigate.
Other than this technical part of the climb, the Manaslu climb is simpler, especially for experienced mountaineers. The mountain has less dangerous but prominent glaciers, steep and icy walls, glacier rocks, etc. However, they appear to be more manageable than other peaks.
People also consider the treks to the base camp much more accessible in the case of Manaslu. The base camp is more facilitated in the case of Manaslu compared to other 8000 m peaks. Hence, this makes Manaslu number 2 on our list of the easiest 8000m peaks to climb in Nepal.
See more: Manaslu Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Number 1 – Cho Oyu, 8188 m
Cho Oyu, the sixth tallest peak in the world, lies at number one on our list. Since Cho Oyu does not have many technical structures, it is less objectively dangerous. The general dangers of mountain climbing certainly persist here. However, the risks are lesser. Climbers consider the technical difficulty of Cho Oyu moderate. The peak only has two prominent parts that climbers must consider.
The Yellow band and the summit ridge are the two most significant parts of the Cho Oyu summit. The yellow band is a section of rock that lies between 7400 m to 7600 m. It is yellowish in color and is a little tough to navigate while climbing this peak. Similarly, the summit push of the climb is also tough to navigate. Other than that, the mountain is relatively simple to climb for experienced climbers compared to other 8000-m peaks.
Although Cho Oyu is the easiest 8000m peak to climb in Nepal, it is still very challenging. You could use it as a base for climbing other 8000m peaks in Nepal. But it definitely needs a mountaineer’s practice and experience to summit this peak as well.