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Eight-thousander facts for kids

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Eight Thousanders Map
Locations of the world's 14 eight-thousanders

The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation or UIAA recognises eight-thousanders as the 14 mountains that are more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) in height above sea level, 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 Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia, and their summits are in the death zone.

The first person to summit all 14 eight-thousanders was Italian Reinhold Messner in 1986, who completed the feat without the aid of supplementary oxygen. In 2010, Spaniard Edurne Pasaban, became the first woman to summit all 14 eight-thousanders, but with the aid of supplementary oxygen; in 2011, Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to summit all 14 eight-thousanders without the aid of supplementary oxygen.

From 1950 to 1964, all 14 of the eight-thousanders were summited, however, it was not until January 2021, with the Nepalese winter ascent of K2, that all eight-thousanders had been summited during the winter season.

On 29 October 2019, Nepalese climber Nirmal Purja, set a speed record by climbing all eight-thousanders in 6 months and 6 days.

Climbing history

Flight over himalaya annotated
Flight over Khumbu-region; six eight-thousanders and some seven-thousanders are visible

The first recorded attempt on an eight-thousander was when Albert F. Mummery, Geoffrey Hastings and J. Norman Collie tried to climb Pakistan's Nanga Parbat in 1895. The attempt failed when Mummery and two Gurkhas, Ragobir Thapa and Goman Singh, were killed by an avalanche.

The first recorded successful ascent of an eight-thousander was by the French Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, who reached the summit of Annapurna on 3 June 1950 during the 1950 French Annapurna expedition . The first winter ascent of an eight-thousander was done by a Polish team led by Andrzej Zawada on Mount Everest. Two climbers Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki reached the summit on 17 February 1980.

The first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders was Italian Reinhold Messner, on 16 October 1986. In 1987, Polish climber Jerzy Kukuczka became the second person to accomplish this feat. Kukuczka is also the man who established the most new routes (9) on the main eight-thousanders. Messner summited each of the 14 peaks without the aid of bottled oxygen. This feat was not repeated until nine years later by the Swiss Erhard Loretan in 1995. Phurba Tashi of Nepal has completed the most climbs of the eight-thousanders, with 30 ascents between 1998 and 2011. Spaniard Juanito Oiarzabal has completed the second most, with a total of 25 ascents between 1985 and 2011.

The Italian Simone Moro made the most first winter ascents of eight-thousanders (4); Jerzy Kukuczka made four winter ascents as well, but one was a repetition. The final eight-thousander to be climbed in the winter season was K2, which was summitted by a 10-person Nepalese team led by Nirmal Purja on 16 January 2021.

30 highest peaks with more than 500m prominence
30–highest peaks above 500 m (1,640 ft) in prominence.

In 2010, Spanish climber Edurne Pasaban, became the first woman to summit all 14 eight-thousanders with no disputed climbing. In August 2011, Austrian climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner 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 Nives Meroi (second woman without supplementary oxygen), and her husband Romano Benet [it] in 2017. The couple climbed alpine style, without the use of supplementary oxygen and other aids.

As of November 2018, the country with the most climbers to have climbed all 14 eight-thousanders is Italy with seven climbers, followed by Spain with six climbers, and South Korea with five climbers. Kazakhstan and Poland each have three climbers who have completed the "Crown of the Himalaya" (all 14 eight-thousanders).

On 29 October 2019, former Nepalese Gurka, and Special Boat Service (SBS) elite soldier Nirmal Purja, set a new speed record by climbing the 14 eight-thousanders in 6 months and 6 days, beating the previous record of just under 8 years.

List of 14

Selected data for the 14 eight-thousanders
Mountain First ascent First winter ascent From 1950 to March 2012 Climber Death
Rate
Peak Height Prom. Isol. Location Date Summiter(s) Date Summiter(s) Total Ascents Total Deaths Deaths / Ascents
Everest 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) undefined or infinite Nepal Nepal
People's Republic of China China
29 May 1953 New Zealand Edmund Hillary

Nepal Tenzing Norgay
on British expedition

17 February 1980
Poland Krzysztof Wielicki
Poland Leszek Cichy
5656 223 3.9% 1.52%
K2 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) 4,020 metres (13,190 ft) 1,315.6 kilometres (817.5 mi) Pakistan Pakistan
People's Republic of China China
31 July 1954 Italy Achille Compagnoni
Italy Lino Lacedelli

on Italian expedition

16 January

2021

NepalNirmal Purja

NepalGelje Sherpa

NepalMingma David Sherpa

NepalMingma G

NepalSona Sherpa

NepalMingma Tenzi Sherpa

NepalPem Chhiri Sherpa

NepalDawa Temba Sherpa

NepalKili Pemba Sherpa

NepalDawa Tenjing Sherpa

306 81 26.5%
Kangchenjunga 8,586 metres (28,169 ft) 3,922 metres (12,867 ft) 124.2 kilometres (77.2 mi) Nepal Nepal
India India
25 May 1955 United Kingdom George Band
United Kingdom Joe Brown
on British expedition
11 January 1986 Poland Krzysztof Wielicki
Poland Jerzy Kukuczka
283 40 14.1% 3.00%
Lhotse 8,516 metres (27,940 ft) 610 metres (2,000 ft) 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi) Nepal Nepal
People's Republic of China China
18 May 1956 Switzerland Fritz Luchsinger
Switzerland Ernst Reiss
31 December 1988 Poland Krzysztof Wielicki 461 13 2.8% 1.03%
Makalu 8,485 metres (27,838 ft) 2,378 metres (7,802 ft) 17.2 kilometres (10.7 mi) Nepal Nepal
People's Republic of China China
15 May 1955 France Jean Couzy
France Lionel Terray
on French expedition
9 February 2009 Italy Simone Moro
Kazakhstan Denis Urubko
361 31 8.6% 1.63%
Cho Oyu 8,188 metres (26,864 ft) 2,344 metres (7,690 ft) 27.7 kilometres (17.2 mi) Nepal Nepal
People's Republic of China China
19 October 1954 Austria Joseph Joechler
Nepal Pasang Dawa Lama
Austria Herbert Tichy
12 February 1985 Poland Maciej Berbeka
Poland Maciej Pawlikowski
3138 44 1.4% 0.64%
Dhaulagiri I 8,167 metres (26,795 ft) 3,357 metres (11,014 ft) 317.4 kilometres (197.2 mi) Nepal Nepal 13 May 1960 Austria Kurt Diemberger
Germany Peter Diener
Nepal Nawang Dorje
Nepal Nima Dorje
Switzerland Ernst Forrer
Switzerland Albin Schelbert
21 January 1985 Poland Andrzej Czok
Poland Jerzy Kukuczka
448 69 15.4% 2.94%
Manaslu 8,163 metres (26,781 ft) 3,092 metres (10,144 ft) 105.5 kilometres (65.6 mi) Nepal Nepal 9 May 1956 Japan Toshio Imanishi
Nepal Gyalzen Norbu
12 January 1984 Poland Maciej Berbeka
Poland Ryszard Gajewski
661 65 9.8% 2.77%
Nanga Parbat 8,125 metres (26,657 ft) 4,608 metres (15,118 ft) 187.9 kilometres (116.8 mi) Pakistan Pakistan 3 July 1953 Austria Hermann Buhl
on German–Austrian expedition
26 February 2016 Pakistan Muhammad Ali Sadpara
Italy Simone Moro
Flag of the Basque Country Alex Txikon
335 68 20.3%
Annapurna I 8,091 metres (26,545 ft) 2,984 metres (9,790 ft) 33.7 kilometres (20.9 mi) Nepal Nepal 3 June 1950 France Maurice Herzog
France Louis Lachenal

on French expedition

3 February 1987 Poland Jerzy Kukuczka
Poland Artur Hajzer
191 61 31.9% 4.05%
Gasherbrum I
(Hidden Peak)
8,080 metres (26,510 ft) 2,155 metres (7,070 ft) 23.4 kilometres (14.5 mi) Pakistan Pakistan
People's Republic of China China
5 July 1958 United States Andrew Kauffman
United States Pete Schoening
9 March 2012 Poland Adam Bielecki
Poland Janusz Gołąb
334 29 8.7%
Broad Peak 8,051 metres (26,414 ft) 1,701 metres (5,581 ft) 8.6 kilometres (5.3 mi) Pakistan Pakistan
People's Republic of China China
9 June 1957 Austria Fritz Wintersteller
Austria Marcus Schmuck
Austria Kurt Diemberger
Austria Hermann Buhl
5 March 2013 Poland Maciej Berbeka
Poland Adam Bielecki
Poland Tomasz Kowalski
Poland Artur Małek
404 21 5.2%
Gasherbrum II 8,034 metres (26,358 ft) 1,524 metres (5,000 ft) 5.3 kilometres (3.3 mi) Pakistan Pakistan
People's Republic of China China
7 July 1956 Austria Fritz Moravec
Austria Josef Larch
Austria Hans Willenpart
2 February 2011 Italy Simone Moro
Kazakhstan Denis Urubko
United States Cory Richards
930 21 2.3%
Shishapangma 8,027 metres (26,335 ft) 2,897 metres (9,505 ft) 90.8 kilometres (56.4 mi) People's Republic of China China 2 May 1964 People's Republic of China Xu Jing
People's Republic of China Chang Chun-yen
People's Republic of China Wang Fuzhou
People's Republic of China Chen San
People's Republic of China Cheng Tien-liang
People's Republic of China Wu Tsung-yue
People's Republic of China Sodnam Doji
People's Republic of China Migmar Trashi
People's Republic of China Doji
People's Republic of China Yonten
14 January 2005 Poland Piotr Morawski
Italy Simone Moro
302 25 8.3%

Proposed expansion

In 2012, to relieve capacity pressure, overcrowding on the world’s highest mountain was tackled by placing greater restrictions on expeditions to the summit of Mount Everest. The move is a response to growing problems with litter, pollution and recent clashes between Sherpas and Western climbers. But, in an attempt to appease those hoping to conquer the 29,029 ft (8,848 m) tall peak, the Nepalese government is to open access to five other summits that sit over 26,247 ft (8,000 m) and develop climbing tourism. Nepal lobbied the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (or UIAA) to reclassify five summits (two on Lhotse and three on Kanchenjunga), as standalone eight-thousanders, while Pakistan lobbied for a sixth summit (on Broad Peak). The UIAA initiated in 2012 what it calls the ARUGA project with an aim to see if new 8,000 m (26,247 ft)-plus could feasibly achieve international recognition. Under that project, Nepal had tabled five new peaks and Pakistan had tabled one. In 2012, the UIAA set up a project group to consider the proposals called the AGURA Project. The six proposed summits for reclassification are subsidiary-summits of existing eight-thousanders, but which are also themselves above 8,000 m (26,247 ft) and have a prominence above 60 m (197 ft).

     Proposed to the UIAA in 2012 for reclassification as standalone eight-thousanders.

List of the subsidiary peaks of the 14 eight-thousanders.
Proposed new eight-thousander Height
(m)
Prominence
(m)
Dominance
(Prom / Height)
Dominance
classification
Broad Peak Central 8011 181 2,26 B2
Kangchenjunga W-Peak (Yalung Kang) 8505 135 1,59 C1
Kangchenjunga S-Peak 8476 116 1,37 C2
Kangchenjunga C-Peak 8473 63 0,74 C2
Lhotse C-Peak I 8410 65 0,77 C2
Lhotse Shar 8382 72 0,86 C2
K 2 SW-Peak 8580 30 0,35 D1
Lhotse C-Peak II 8372 37 0,44 D1
Everest W-Peak 8296 30 0,36 D1
Yalung Kang Shoulder 8200 40 0,49 D1
Kangchenjunga SE-Peak 8150 30 0,37 D1
K 2 P. 8134 (SW-Ridge) 8134 35 0,43 D1
Annapurna C-Peak 8013 49 0,61 D1
Nanga Parbat S-Peak 8042 30 0,37 D1
Annapurna E-Peak 7986 65 0,81 C2
Shisha Pangma C-Peak 8008 30 0,37 D1
Everest NE-Shoulder 8423 19 0,23 D2
Everest NE-Pinnacle III 8383 13 0,16 D2
Lhotse N-Pinnacle III 8327 10 0,12 D2
Lhotse N-Pinnacle II 8307 12 0,14 D2
Lhotse N-Pinnacle I 8290 10 0,12 D2
Everest NE-Pinnacle II 8282 25 0,30 D2

The proposed six new eight-thousander peaks would not meet the wider UIAA criteria of 600 m (1,969 ft) of elevation from nearest larger mountain's saddle, called topographic prominence, as used by the UIAA elsewhere for major mountains (the lowest prominence of the existing 14 eight-thousanders is Lhotse, at 610 metres (2,001 ft)). For example, only Broad Peak Central, with a topographic prominence of 181 metres (594 ft), would even meet the 150 metres (492 ft) prominence threshold to be a British Isles Marilyn. However, the appeal noted the UIAA's 1994 reclassification of Alpine four-thousander peaks, where a prominence threshold of 30 m (98 ft) was used, amongst other criteria; the logic being that if 30 m (98 ft) worked for 4,000 m (13,123 ft) summits, then 60 m (197 ft) is proportional for 8,000 m (26,247 ft) summits.

As of November 2018, there has been no conclusion by the UIAA and the proposals appear to have been set aside.

Climbers of all 14

There is no single undisputed source for verified Himalayan ascents; however, Elizabeth Hawley's The Himalayan Database, 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 Eberhard Jurgalski List. Various mountaineering journals, including the Alpine Journal and the American Alpine Journal, maintain extensive records and archives but do not always opine on ascents.

Verified ascents

GianAngelo Pistoia - Reinhold Messner - Foto 1
Reinhold Messner, first to climb all 14 eight-thousanders, and first to do so without supplementary oxygen.
Edurne Pasaban recibe el Premio Vasco Universal 2010 4 (crop)
Edurne Pasaban, first woman to climb all 14 eight-thousanders after Oh Eun-sun’s claim was disputed.
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner 2015-07-02 001
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, first woman to climb all 14 eight-thousanders without supplementary oxygen.

     First male to have summited all 14 eight-thousanders, and first to do so without supplementary oxygen      First female to have summited all 14 eight-thousanders; with supplementary oxygen      First female to have summited all 14 eight-thousanders; no supplementary oxygen      Fastest ascent of all 14 eight-thousanders      Youngest person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders      First disabled person to have summited all 14 eight-thousanders

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

List of climbers who have summited all 14 eight-thousanders.
Order Order
(No O2)
Name Period Born Age Nationality
1 1 Reinhold Messner 1972–1986 1944 42 Italy Italian
2 Jerzy Kukuczka 1979–1987 1948 39 Poland Polish
3 2 Erhard Loretan 1982–1995 1959 36 Switzerland Swiss
4 Carlos Carsolio 1985–1996 1962 33 Mexico Mexican
5 Krzysztof Wielicki 1980–1996 1950 46 Poland Polish
6 3 Juanito Oiarzabal 1985–1999 1956 43 Flag of the Basque Country Spanish
7 Sergio Martini 1983–2000 1949 51 Italy Italian
8 Park Young-seok 1993–2001 1963 38 South Korea Korean
9 Um Hong-gil 1988–2001 1960 40 South Korea Korean
10 4 Alberto Iñurrategi 1991–2002 1968 33 Flag of the Basque Country Spanish
11 Han Wang-yong 1994–2003 1966 37 South Korea Korean
12 5 Ed Viesturs 1989–2005 1959 46 United States American
13 6 Silvio Mondinelli 1993–2007 1958 49 Italy Italian
14 7 Ivan Vallejo 1997–2008 1959 49 Ecuador Ecuadorian
15 8 Denis Urubko 2000–2009 1973 35 Kazakhstan Kazakhstani
16 Ralf Dujmovits 1990–2009 1961 47 Germany German
17 9 Veikka Gustafsson 1993–2009 1968 41 Finland Finnish
18 Andrew Lock 1993–2009 1961 48 Australia Australian
19 10 João Garcia 1993–2010 1967 43 Portugal Portuguese
20 Piotr Pustelnik 1990–2010 1951 58 Poland Polish
21 Edurne Pasaban 2001–2010 1973 36 Spain Spanish
22 Abele Blanc 1992–2011 1954 56 Italy Italian
23 Mingma Sherpa 2000–2011 1978 33 Nepal Nepali
24 11 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner 1998–2011 1970 40 Austria Austrian
25 Vassily Pivtsov 2001–2011 1975 36 Kazakhstan Kazakhstani
26 12 Maxut Zhumayev 2001–2011 1977 34 Kazakhstan Kazakhstani
27 Kim Jae-soo 2000–2011 1961 50 South Korea Korean
28 13 Mario Panzeri 1988–2012 1964 48 Italy Italian
29 Hirotaka Takeuchi 1995–2012 1971 41 Japan Japanese
30 Chhang Dawa Sherpa 2001–2013 1982 30 Nepal Nepali
31 14 Kim Chang-ho 2005–2013 1970 43 South Korea Korean
32 Jorge Egocheaga 2002–2014 1968 45 Spain Spanish
33 15 Radek Jaroš 1998–2014 1964 50 Czech Republic Czech
34/35 16/17 Nives Meroi 1998–2017 1961 55 Italy Italian
34/35 16/17 Romano Benet [it] 1998–2017 1962 55 Italy Italian
Slovenia Slovenian
36 18 Peter Hámor 1998–2017 1964 52 Slovakia Slovak
37 19 Azim Gheychisaz 2008–2017 1981 37 Iran Iranian
38 Ferran Latorre 1999–2017 1970 46 Spain Spanish
39 20 Òscar Cadiach 1984–2017 1952 64 Spain Spanish
40 Kim Mi-gon 2000–2018 1973 45 Korea Korean
41 Sanu Sherpa 2006–2019 1975 44 Nepal Nepali
42 Nirmal Purja 2014–2019 1983 36 Nepal Nepali
43 Mingma Gyabu Sherpa 2010–2019 1989 30 Nepal Nepali
44 Kim Hong-bin 2006–2021 1964 57 Korea Korean

Disputed ascents

Claims have been made for all 14 peaks in which not enough evidence was provided to verify the ascent. The disputed ascent in each claim is shown in parentheses. In most cases, the Himalayan chronicler Elizabeth Hawley is considered the definitive source regarding the facts of the dispute. Her The Himalayan Database is the source for other online Himalayan ascent databases (e.g. AdventureStats.com).

Cho Oyu is a recurrent problem peak as it is a small hump about 30 mins into the summit plateau, and the main proxy of a view of Everest, which is possible from the true summit, requires clear weather. Shishapangma is another problem peak because of its dual summits, which despite being close in height, are up to two hours climbing time apart. Hawley judged that Ed Viesturs had not reached the true summit, and he re-climbed the mountain to definitively establish his ascent.

Name Period Born Age Nationality
Fausto De Stefani (Lhotse 1997)
(His partner Sergio Martini reclimbed Lhotse in 2000 to verify his 14, see above)
1983–1998 1952 46 Italy Italian
Alan Hinkes (Cho Oyu 1990)
(Hinkes rejects Hawley's decision to "unrecognise" his Cho Oyu ascent, see "Cho Oyu dispute")
1987–2005 1954 53 United Kingdom British
Vladislav Terzyul (Shishapangma (West) Summit 2000, Broad Peak 1995)
(As he did not claim the main summit of Shishapangma, this status is unlikely to change)
1993–2004 (deceased) 1953 49 Ukraine Ukrainian
Oh Eun-sun (Kangchenjunga 2009)
(As the potential first female climber of all 14, this dispute was followed internationally)
1997–2010 1966 44 South Korea Korean
Carlos Pauner (Shishapangma 2012)
(Pauner acknowledged his uncertainty as it was dark, but says he might reclimb to remove the doubt)
2001–2013 1963 50 Spain Spanish
Zhang Liang (Shishapangma 2018)
(According Chinese state media and The Himalayan Times, Zhang completed all 14 with other three climbers in the 2018 Chinese Shishapangma expedition, which is suspected that they only reached the central summit)
2000–2018 1964 54 People's Republic of China Chinese

Gallery

Comparison of the heights of the Eight-thousanders (red triangles) with the Seven Summits and Seven Second Summits.

Kangchenjunga

Lhotse-fromChukhungRi
The south face of Lhotse, as seen from Chukhung Ri.
Sports and games.png This sports-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Date Name Nationality
17 May 2019 Ivan Tomov  Bulgaria Cerebral edema
17 May 2018 Rustem Amirov  Russia Altitude sickness
19 May 2016 Ang Furba Sherpa  Nepal Fall
27 April 2015 Hiroshi Yamagata  Japan Avalanche (2015 Mount Everest avalanches)
25 April 2015 Zhen-Fang Ge  China Avalanche (2015 Mount Everest avalanches)
18 April 2014 Asman Tamang  Nepal Avalanche (2014 Mount Everest ice avalanche)
20 May 2013 Hsiao-Shih Lee  China Altitude sickness
16 October 2012 Temba Sherpa  Nepal Fall
21 May 2012 Milan Sedláček  Czech Republic Exhaustion
7 May 2010 Sergey Duganov  Russia Altitude sickness
25 May 2009 Sergey Samoilov  Kazakhstan Fall
21 May 2007 Pemba Doma  Nepal Fall
9 May 2006 Pavel Kalný  Czech Republic Fall
5 October 2003 Sun-dug Hwang  South Korea Avalanche (on Lhotse Shar)
5 October 2003 Joo-hoon Park  South Korea Avalanche (on Lhotse Shar)
17 September 2000 Vladimir Bondarev  Russia Avalanche
27 May 1997 Vladimir Bashkirov  Russia Illness
24 October 1989 Jerzy Kukuczka  Belgium Fall
27 September 1987 Antoni (Toni) Sors  Spain Avalanche (on Lhotse Shar)
27 September 1987 Sergio Escalera  Spain Avalanche (on Lhotse Shar)
27 September 1987 Francesc Porras  Spain Avalanche (on Lhotse Shar)
27 September 1987 Antonio Quiñones  Spain Avalanche (on Lhotse Shar)
14 September 1987 Czesław Jakiel  Poland Avalanche
30 October 1986 Pedro Alonso  Spain Fall (on Lhotse Shar)
25 October 1985 Rafał Chołda  Poland Fall
16 October 1981 Philippe Petten  Switzerland Disappearance (on Lhotse Shar)
16 October 1981 Pierre Favez  Switzerland Disappearance (on Lhotse Shar)
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