The snowy peaks appear only like nature’s remarkable piece at a lower altitude, particularly on the ground. However, the same noteworthy piece can kill people, especially those climbers who are brave enough and courageous to summit the tall peaks by tackling all the technical difficulties en route. And the worst situation arises as the climbers climb up the peak where the oxygen level becomes too low, avalanches appear like time bombs, and storms with freezing temperatures become enemies.
But among so many peaks of Nepal, which are considered the most technically challenging mountain to climb and, of course, the most threatening one too?
Most of the mountains with technical difficulties come under eight-thousander peaks. It’s not the height that defines the mountains’ technical difficulty. Other factors, like avalanches, routes, and unprecedented snowfalls, make a climbing expedition a huge risk here.
Here we will look for five mountains with technical difficulty to climb in Nepal. The mountains we are discussing here have technical challenges every mountaineer must overcome to reach their peaks. So stick with us and get your answer about “What is the most technically difficult mountain to climb?”
Annapurna I (8,091 meters / 26,545 ft)- The deadliest mountain
At 8,091 meters, Annapurna I is the tenth-highest and most dangerous peak to climb globally. With this in mind, Annapurna I climbing expedition is known as the biggest mountain climbing challenge due to its high fatality rate and technical difficulties. The peak has a fatality rate of 32%, which makes it the world’s most difficult and dangerous mountain to climb.
It lies towards the northeastern Himalayan range called the Annapurna Himalayan range of north-central Nepal, Gandaki Province, within the Annapurna protected area of the alpine jungle.
The peak is known to be more fatal and difficult, all thanks to its tallness and routes. Annapurna I rise above 8,091 meters, and with such great height comes many unknown technical difficulties that climbers must face for a successful ascend. Similarly, the duration of the expedition, lasting up to months, is another factor that makes the climbing more difficult here.
Along with these difficulties during the expedition, one technical difficult section of Annapurna I is the North-west face. This part of Annapurna I climbing is considered tough due to its 2,500 meters high steep icy wall from the base camp steep. Besides these, the North-west faces comprise a complicated maze of rocks, ice, icefalls, crevasses, and seracs.
Crossing this difficult section involves walking uphill and climbing the layers of ice with the help of axes. Likewise, you must use your skills to climb through the steep snowy layers.
Mt Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters/28,169 feet)- 3rd highest peak
Mt Kanchenjunga, at 8,586 meters (28,169 feet), is the third highest mountain after Everest in Nepal and K2 in Pakistan. It lies in the borders of Nepal and Sikkim states of India and is part of the Himalayas bounded by the Tamur River in the west Lhonak River and Jongsang La in the north, and the Teesta River in the east.
Its high altitude, frequent avalanches, and death rate make it one of the most challenging mountains to climb, with technical difficulties en route. Similarly, the fatality rate of this mountain is 29%, making it the second most challenging mountain to climb in Nepal. Kanchenjunga is one of the eight-thousanders and is notorious for its killing nature due to lack of oxygen, frequent avalanches, falling rocks, and exposure.
There is no such thing as an easy route during the Kangchenjunga expedition. Similarly, each climber in the expedition must be well skilled to develop their strategies and make hard life/ death decisions while crossing the technical section and when the unfavorable weather blows in. Therefore for this expedition’s success, climbers must be with a commercial team proficient in fixing ropes, as a single mistake can claim a climber’s life here.
In addition, the remote location of Mt Kanchenjunga makes the expedition more complicated here. This means If climbers face injuries and, let’s say, they reach the base of the mountain base, the situation will still be dangerous for them due to the lack of infrastructure.
Moreover, most of the parts of the mountain are covered by glaciers and terrain, so to make a successful attempt, you need to have enough technical knowledge.
Everest (8,848.86 m) – The tallest Peak in the World)
The third one on the list is the world’s tall mountain (8,848.86 m). It’s a 60 million-year-old peak in Nepal’s Himalayas, particularly towards the northeastern section. Everest is the world’s tallest peak, so it’s evident that the climb to the peak will be a technical one with many difficulties en route.
Considering the threats of climbing Everest, it has had a fatality rate of 1% since 1990. Every climber should pass through many sections of Everest, making the climb more technical, like The Khumbu Icefall, Hillary Step, and the Lhotse Face. Among these three, the first technical challenge you will face is the Khumbu icefall between the Everest base camp and Camp 1.
The main reason for its technical difficulty is its route, characterized by sliding ice blocks, cobwebs of crevasses, and ice towers. To cross this section, climbs must take with the support of various ladders and fixed ropes with other mountaineering equipment.
After the Khumbu icefall, the second part is The Lhotse face, a steep ice slope between base camps 3 and 4 of Everest at 1,125 meters high. These sections of the climbs require the climbs to use ta fixed ropes to climb, many while carrying a heaving load on your back.
Similarly, another difficult part here is Hillary’s Step, which is the final but the most dangerous part with great technical difficulty. Hillary’s Step is generally an exposed rock with very steep terrain; climbers should wear crampons to cross this section.
Mt Manaslu (8,163 meters /26,781 ft)- 8th highest peak in the world
Another eight thousand peak Manaslu, at 8,163 meters, is the next difficult mountain with technical difficulty to climb here. It has a fatality rate of 1.49%, slightly higher than Mount Everest. The peak lies towards Nepal’s west-central part in the remote area of Mansiri Himal.
No 8000-meter peak is easy to climb, and since Manalsu is among the eight-thousander mountains, it’s very difficult to summit as the peak is very steep.
Besides, the mountain lies in a remote location in Nepal with less development and more remote trekking trails, which further adds to the difficulties here. And with these remote trekking trails come the hurdles and exhaustion climbers must face. This is just a rough figure of the mountain’s difficulties.
To be more specific about its technical difficulties, the most technical section of the Manaslu expedition is its upper section, which comes after crossing Camp 3. This section of the climb is shaped like a pyramid and is very steep to cross. With this in mind, many climbers nickname it a summit pyramid.
Climbers must use their training, mountaineering skills, and experience to cross this section. Likewise, you need to climb steep icy terrain, and rock faces with the help of equipment like ropes, axes, and crampons.
After crossing Camp 3, you’ll reach Camp 4, which is less technical than Camp 3. And overcoming this technical section in Camp 4 reviews a careful, exposed ascent via the “Yellow Band.” Continue your climb further by the summit. This last section is characterized by its thin air, cold weather, and high altitude.
Makalu (8,481 metres/ 27,825 ft)- 5th Highest Peak
At last, we have Mt Makalu, which stands tall at 8,481 meters. It is another eight-thousander peak and is tough to climb, holding the rank of the 5th tallest mountain in the world.
Although its high may seem like the first reason for its’s difficulty, many factors besides this make this mountain a technically challenging mountain to climb. It has recorded over 30 death-to-ascent rates of about 14% till now, making it a technically difficult mountain to climb in Nepal.
The most technically challenging section of Mt Makalu is its s ridges, mainly known as the French Couloir and Knife Edge Ridge. French Couloir is located above 7000 meters and has a steep and narrow gully. Likewise, the Knife Edge ridge is exposed and near the Makalu summit. Crossing both sections here demands climbers with enough experience level and mountaineering skills.
Training And Skills Required for Difficult Ascents
High altitude and technically difficult peak expeditions are generally challenging. To make a successful expedition, one needs to be in a top physical condition along with psychological and emotional condition. Some training and skills you must learn are:
Endurance Training for High Altitude Climb
Endurance training involves strength training by adding up hikes with weighted backpacks. This helps your mind and body to be prepared before the expedition. In addition, you can add cardio training; for this, including hikes in your everyday routine is a must. Some other endurance training exercises to include are-
- Mountain Biking
- Bodyweight exercises
- Squats, Lunges
Strength training means resistance training is mainly done to increase muscle mass, increase heartbeat, and improve coordination. You need strong training to build your strength, not bodybuilding completion. Even though most of your backpack will be carried by your sherpa guides, you still need to carry some parts of your belongings, and this training will help you to increase muscular system stress.
Some Strength Training Exercises to include are:
- Lifting weights
- Use resistance bands
- Using your body weight for resistance,
- Do push-ups, crunches, pull-ups,
- leg squats or push-ups against a wall
- Use Weight Machines
Cardiovascular training means strengthening your heart and blood vessels, vital for pumping blood and delivering series to the body. Treating your body properly will work efficiently, increasing stamina and climbing performance. Some cardiovascular training to include are:
- Aerobic Exercises
- Strength Training
Learning climbing silks is the greater part of training for your challenging ascents. Fundamentals of climbing are a must during any technical expedition in Nepal. This does not mean you must master rock climbing and be as proficient as them to overcome the technical difficulties. But you need to learn the skills like belaying, tying a rope, harnessing, and rappelling.
You can learn these skills by taking a mountaineering course lasting up to 1 or 2 months. Still, there is no best teacher than experience, which you can develop and enhance by practicing in the areas and climbing less technical and less elevated peaks like Mera Peak, Lobuche West, and Island Peak. After climbing these peaks, you will gain a better experience, so for more moderate technical climbs like Ama Dablam, etc.
Although Climbing skills generally include physical movements and techniques, they still focus on the brain as much as strength and endurance.
So here it is the five most technically difficult mountain to climb, which is only located between the borders of Nepal. It’s a normal human trait to prefer the impossible. This means the more challenging peaks get, the more climbers desire to summit them.