The (UIAA) recognises eight-thousanders as the 14 s that are more than in height above , and are considered to be sufficiently independent from neighbouring peaks. However, there is no precise definition of the criteria used to assess independence, and, since 2012, the UIAA has been involved in a process to consider whether the list should be expanded to 20 mountains. All eight-thousanders are located in the and mountain ranges in , and their summits are in the . From 1950 to 1964, all 14 of the eight-thousanders were summited in the summer (the first was in 1950, and the last was in 1964), and from 1980 to 2021, all 14 were summited in the winter (the first being in 1980, and the last being in 2021). On a variety of statistical techniques, the deadliest eight-thousander is consistently Annapurna I (one death – climber or climber support – for every three summiters), followed by K2 and (one death for every four to five summiters), and , and (one for every six to seven summiters). The first person to summit all 14 eight-thousanders was Italian in 1986, who did not use supplementary oxygen. In 2010 Spaniard became the first woman to summit all 14, but with the aid of supplementary oxygen. In 2011 Austrian became the first woman to summit all 14 without the aid of supplementary oxygen. In 2013, South Korean climbed all 14 in 7 years and 310 days, without the aid of supplementary oxygen. In 2019, British-Nepalese climber , climbed all 14 in 6 months and 6 days, with supplementary oxygen. Issues with false summits (e.g. , Annapurna I and ), or separated dual summits (e.g. Shishapangma and ), have led to disputed claims of ascents, and in 2021, a team of international experts started a project to re-verify which climbers, if any, have actually been on the true summit of all 14 eight-thousanders.

Climbing history

First ascents

The first recorded attempt on an eight-thousander was when , and tried to climb Pakistan's in 1895. The attempt failed when Mummery and two s, Ragobir Thapa and Goman Singh, were killed by an . The first recorded successful ascent of an eight-thousander was by the French and , who reached the summit of on 3 June 1950 during the . The first winter ascent of an eight-thousander was done by a Polish team led by on . Two climbers and reached the summit on 17 February 1980. Polish climber established the highest number of new routes on the 14 eight-thousanders, at 10. Italian made the most first winter ascents of eight-thousanders at 4; Kukuczka also made four winter ascents, but one was a repetition. The final eight-thousander to be climbed in the winter was K2, which was summited by a 10-person Nepalese team led by on 16 January 2021.

All 14

The first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders was Italian , on 16 October 1986. In 1987 Polish climber became the second person to accomplish this feat. Messner summited each of the 14 peaks without the aid of , a feat that was only repeated nine years later by the Swiss in 1995. of Nepal has completed the most climbs of the eight-thousanders, with 30 ascents between 1998 and 2011. Spaniard has completed the second most, with a total of 25 ascents between 1985 and 2011 (Oiarzabal completed the climb of all 14 in 1999). In 2010, Spanish climber became the first woman to summit all 14 eight-thousanders with no disputed climbing. In August 2011, n climber became the first woman to climb the 14 eight-thousanders without the use of supplementary oxygen. The first couple and team who summited all 14 eight-thousanders together were the Italians (second woman without supplementary oxygen), and her husband in 2017. The couple climbed , without the use of supplementary oxygen and other aids. On 20 May 2013, n climber set a new speed record of climbing all 14 eight-thousanders, without the use of supplementary oxygen, in 7 years and 310 days. On 29 October 2019, the - climber set a speed record for climbing all 14 eight-thousanders, with the use of supplementary oxygen, in 6 months and 6 days.


The extreme altitude and the fact that the summits of all eight-thousanders lie in the Death Zone mean that climber mortality (or ''death rate''), is particularly high. Two metrics are quoted to establish a ''death rate'', which is the often used to rank the eight-thousanders in order of ''deadliest'' (which are also the world's deadliest mountains). The first metric is the ''ratio of successful climbers summiting to total deaths on the mountain'' over a given period. The ' uses this metric to name Annapurna I as the deadliest eight-thousander, and the world's deadliest mountain with roughly one person dying for every three people who successfully summit, i.e. a ratio of circa 30%. Using consistent data from 1950 to 2012, mountaineering statistician (see table below) also verify that under this metric, Annapurna is the deadliest mountain (31.9%), followed by K2 (26.5%), Nanga Parbat (20.3%), Dhaulagiri (15.4%) and Kangchenjunga (14.1%). Other statistical sources including ''MountainIQ'', used a mix of data periods from 1900 to Spring 2021, but with broadly similar results showing Annapurna still being the deadliest mountain (27.2%), followed by K2 (22.8%), Nanga Parbat (20.75%), Kangchenjunga (15%), and Dhaulagiri (13.5%). Cho Oyu as the safest at 1.4%. The drawback of the first metric is that it includes the deaths of any support climbers or climbing sherpas that went above base camp in assisting the climb; therefore, rather than being the probability that a climber will die attempting to summit an eight-thousander, it is more akin to the total human cost in getting a climber to the summit. In the ' (HDB) tables, the climber (or member) "Death Rate" is the ''ratio of deaths above base camp, of all climbers who were hoping to summit and who went above base camp'' (calculated for 1950 to 2009), and is closer to a true ''probability of death'' (see table below). The data is only for the Nepalese Himalaya and therefore does not include K2 or Nanga Parbat. HDB estimates that the probability of death for a climber who is attempting the summit of an eight-thousander is still highest for Annapurna I (4%), followed by Kangchenjunga (3%) and Dhaulagiri (3%); the safest mountain is still Cho Oyu at 0.6%. The summary tables from the HDB report for all mountains above 8,000 meters also imply that the death rate of climbers for the period 1990 to 2009 (e.g. modern expeditions), is roughly half that of the combined 1950 to 2009 period, i.e. climbing is becoming safer for the climbers attempting the summit.

List of first ascents

From 1950 to 1964, all 14 of the eight-thousanders were summited in the summer (the first was in 1950, and the last was in 1964), and from 1980 to 2021, all 14 were summited in the winter (the first being in 1980, and the last being in 2021).

List of climbers of all 14

There is no single undisputed source for verified Himalayan ascents; however, 's ', is considered as an important source for the ''Nepalese Himalayas''. Online ascent databases pay close regard to ''The Himalayan Database'', including the website ''AdventureStats.com'', and the '' List''. Various mountaineering journals, including the ' and the ', maintain extensive records and archives but do not always opine on ascents.

Verified ascents

The "No O2" column lists people who have climbed all 14 eight-thousanders without supplementary oxygen.

Disputed ascents

Claims have been made for summiting all 14 peaks for which not enough evidence was provided to verify the ascent; the disputed ascent in each claim is shown in parentheses in the table below. In most cases, the Himalayan chronicler is considered a definitive source regarding the facts of the dispute. Her ' is the source for other online Himalayan ascent databases (e.g. AdventureStats.com).If a mountaineer wants worldwide recognition that they have reached the summit of some of the most formidable mountains in the world, they will need to get the approval of Elizabeth Hawley. The ''Eberhard Jurgalski List'' is also another important source for independent verification of claims to have summited all 14 eight-thousanders.

Verification issues

A recurrent problem with verification is the confirmation that the climber reached the true peak of the eight-thousander. Eight-thousanders present unique problems in this regard as they are so infrequently summited, their summits have not yet been exhaustively surveyed, and summiting climbers are often suffering the extreme altitude and weather effects of being in the . for example, is a recurrent problem eight-thousander as its true peak as it is a small hump about thirty minutes walk into the large flat summit plateau that lies in the death zone, and which is often obscured in very poor weather, and which led to the disputed ascent (per the table above) of British climber, Alan Hinks (who has refused to re-climb the peak). is another problem peak because of its dual summits, which despite being close in height, are up to two hours climbing time apart and require the crossing of an exposed and dangerous snow ridge. When Hawley judged that had not reached the true summit of Shishapangma (which she deduced from his summit photos and interviews), he then re-climbed the mountain to definitively establish his ascent. In a May 2021 interview with the ''New York Times'', Jurgalaski pointed out further issues with false summits on Annapurna I (a large summit plateau, like Cho Oyu), Dhaulagiri (misleading false summit metal pole), and Manaslu (additional sharp and dangerous ridge to the true summit, like Shishapangma), noting that of the existing 44 accepted claims (per the table earlier), at least 7 have serious question marks (these are in addition to the table of disputed ascents), and even noting that "It is possible that no one has ever been on the true summit of all 14 of the 8,000-meter peaks". In June 2021, Australian climber wrote an article in the ''American Alpine Journal'' on the work that Jurgalaski and a team international experts are doing in this area, including publishing detailed surveys of the problem summits using data from the . For example, their work to date implies that over half of climbers summiting Annapurna I did not stand on the true peak, while most climbers summiting Manaslu have not stood on the true peak (a situation made worse by trekking companies leading clients who do not have the climbing expertise to make the dangerous ridge crossing to the true peak).

Proposed expansion

In 2012, to relieve capacity pressure and overcrowding on the world's highest mountain, greater restrictions were placed on expeditions to the summit of Mount Everest. To address the growing capacity constraints, Nepal lobbied the (or UIAA) to reclassify five subsidiary summits (two on and three on ), as standalone eight-thousanders, while Pakistan lobbied for a sixth subsidary summit (on ) as a standalone eight-thousander. See table below for list of all subsidiary summits of eight-thousander mountains. In 2012, the UIAA initiated the ''ARUGA Project'', with an aim to see if these six new -plus peaks could feasibly achieve international recognition. The proposed six new eight-thousander peaks have a above , but none would not meet the wider UIAA prominence threashold of (the lowest prominence of the existing 14 eight-thousanders is Lhotse, at ). Critics noted that of the six proposed, only Broad Peak Central, with a prominence of , would even meet the prominence threshold to be a . The appeal noted the UIAA's 1994 reclassification of peaks used a prominence threshold of , amongst other criteria; the logic being that if worked for summits, then is proportional for summits. , there has been no conclusion by the UIAA and the proposals appear to have been set aside.


File:Everest kalapatthar crop.jpg, No. 1 – File:K2 2006b.jpg, No. 2 – File:Kangchenjunga.JPG, No. 3 – File:Lhotse-fromChukhungRi.jpg, No. 4 – File:Makalu from Island Peak.jpg, No. 5 – File:ChoOyu-fromGokyo.jpg, No. 6 – File:DhaulagiriMountain.jos.500pix.jpg, No. 7 – File:Manaslu, from base camp trip.jpg, No. 8 – File:Nanga parbat, Pakistan by gul791.jpg, No. 9 – File:AnnapurnaSouthMountain.jos.500pix.jpg, No. 10 – File:HiddenPeak.jpg, No. 11 – File:7 15 BroadPeak.jpg, No. 12 – File:Gasherbrum2.jpg, No. 13 – File:Shishapangma.jpg, No. 14 –

See also

* , the North Pole, the South Pole, and the Seven Summits * * * * , the North Pole, the South Pole, and Mount Everest * , the highest volcanos on each continent *, peak with at least 14,000 ft. elevation



External links

a site dedicated to statistics on 8000m peaks and climbs
PeakBagger.com World 8000-meter Peaks
a database of global peaks
The Himalayan Database
statistics on Nepalese Himalayan (but not Pakistan Himalaya) climbs from 1905 to 2018
Graphical Interface for The Himalayan Database

AdventureStats.com (High Altitude Mountaineering)
a site dedicated to recording adventure statistics
NASA Earth Observatory: The Eight-Thousanders

Eight Thousanders Tracking Expeditons On Line from Alpinismonline Magazine
{{DEFAULTSORT:Eight-Thousander Mountains of the Himalayas