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, Spanish 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.
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.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 on 16 January 2021.
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 in 2017. The couple climbed alpine style, without the use of supplementary oxygen and other aids.
As of November 2018 [update] , 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.
|Mountain||First ascent||First winter ascent||From 1950 to March 2012||Climber Death|
|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 |
|29 May 1953||Edmund Hillary||17 February 1980|| Krzysztof Wielicki |
|K2||8,611 metres (28,251 ft)||4,020 metres (13,190 ft)||1,315.6 kilometres (817.5 mi)|| Pakistan |
|31 July 1954|| Achille Compagnoni |
|16 January||Nirmal Purja||306||81||26.5%||–|
|Kangchenjunga||8,586 metres (28,169 ft)||3,922 metres (12,867 ft)||124.2 kilometres (77.2 mi)|| Nepal |
|25 May 1955|| George Band |
on British expedition
|11 January 1986|| Krzysztof Wielicki |
|Lhotse||8,516 metres (27,940 ft)||610 metres (2,000 ft)||2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi)|| Nepal |
|18 May 1956|| Fritz Luchsinger |
|31 December 1988||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 |
|15 May 1955|| Jean Couzy |
|9 February 2009|| Simone Moro |
|Cho Oyu||8,188 metres (26,864 ft)||2,344 metres (7,690 ft)||27.7 kilometres (17.2 mi)|| Nepal |
|19 October 1954|| Joseph Joechler |
Pasang Dawa Lama
|12 February 1985|| Maciej Berbeka |
|Dhaulagiri I||8,167 metres (26,795 ft)||3,357 metres (11,014 ft)||317.4 kilometres (197.2 mi)||Nepal||13 May 1960|| Kurt Diemberger |
|21 January 1985|| Andrzej Czok |
|Manaslu||8,163 metres (26,781 ft)||3,092 metres (10,144 ft)||105.5 kilometres (65.6 mi)||Nepal||9 May 1956|| Toshio Imanishi |
|12 January 1984|| Maciej Berbeka |
|Nanga Parbat||8,125 metres (26,657 ft)||4,608 metres (15,118 ft)||187.9 kilometres (116.8 mi)||Pakistan||3 July 1953|| Hermann Buhl |
on German–Austrian expedition
|26 February 2016|| Muhammad Ali Sadpara |
|Annapurna I||8,091 metres (26,545 ft)||2,984 metres (9,790 ft)||33.7 kilometres (20.9 mi)||Nepal||3 June 1950|| Maurice Herzog |
|3 February 1987|| Jerzy Kukuczka |
| Gasherbrum I |
|8,080 metres (26,510 ft)||2,155 metres (7,070 ft)||23.4 kilometres (14.5 mi)|| Pakistan |
|5 July 1958|| Andrew Kauffman |
|9 March 2012|| Adam Bielecki |
|Broad Peak||8,051 metres (26,414 ft)||1,701 metres (5,581 ft)||8.6 kilometres (5.3 mi)|| Pakistan |
|9 June 1957|| Fritz Wintersteller |
|5 March 2013|| Maciej Berbeka |
|Gasherbrum II||8,034 metres (26,358 ft)||1,524 metres (5,000 ft)||5.3 kilometres (3.3 mi)|| Pakistan |
|7 July 1956|| Fritz Moravec |
|2 February 2011|| Simone Moro |
|Shishapangma||8,027 metres (26,335 ft)||2,897 metres (9,505 ft)||90.8 kilometres (56.4 mi)||China||2 May 1964|| Xu Jing |
|14 January 2005|| Piotr Morawski |
In 2012, to relieve capacity pressure, 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).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
|Proposed new eight-thousander||Height |
| Prominence |
(Prom / Height)
|Broad Peak Central||8011||181||2,26||B2|
|Kangchenjunga W-Peak (Yalung Kang)||8505||135||1,59||C1|
|Lhotse C-Peak I||8410||65||0,77||C2|
|K 2 SW-Peak||8580||30||0,35||D1|
|Lhotse C-Peak II||8372||37||0,44||D1|
|Yalung Kang Shoulder||8200||40||0,49||D1|
|K 2 P. 8134 (SW-Ridge)||8134||35||0,43||D1|
|Nanga Parbat S-Peak||8042||30||0,37||D1|
|Shisha Pangma C-Peak||8008||30||0,37||D1|
|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 [update] , there has been no conclusion by the UIAA and the proposals appear to have been set aside.
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.
The "No O2" column lists people who have climbed all 14 eight-thousanders without supplementary oxygen.
|30||Chhang Dawa Sherpa||2001–2013||1982||30||Nepali|
|34/35||16/17||Romano Benet||1998–2017||1962||55|| Italian|
|43||Mingma Gyabu Sherpa||2010–2019||1989||30||Nepali|
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.
| Fausto De Stefani (Lhotse 1997) |
(His partner Sergio Martini reclimbed Lhotse in 2000 to verify his 14, see above)
| Alan Hinkes (Cho Oyu 1990) |
(Hinkes rejects Hawley's decision to "unrecognise" his Cho Oyu ascent, see "Cho Oyu dispute")
| 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)
| Oh Eun-sun (Kangchenjunga 2009) |
(As the potential first female climber of all 14, this dispute was followed internationally)
| Carlos Pauner (Shishapangma 2012) |
(Pauner acknowledged his uncertainty as it was dark, but says he might reclimb to remove the doubt)
|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)
Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft), after Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga. Part of the Everest massif, Lhotse is connected to the latter peak via the South Col. Lhotse means "South Peak" in Tibetan. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft) above sea level, the mountain comprises the smaller peaks Lhotse Middle (East) at 8,414 m (27,605 ft), and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 m (27,503 ft). The summit is on the border between Tibet and the Khumbu region of Nepal.
Cho Oyu is the sixth-highest mountain in the world at 8,188 metres (26,864 ft) above sea level. Cho Oyu means "Turquoise Goddess" in Tibetan. The mountain is the westernmost major peak of the Khumbu sub-section of the Mahalangur Himalaya 20 km west of Mount Everest. The mountain stands on the China–Nepal border.
Shishapangma, also called Gosainthān, is the 14th highest mountain in the world at 8,027 metres (26,335 ft) above sea level. It was the last 8,000 metre peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on visits by foreign travelers to the region imposed by authorities of the Government of China and of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Alan Hinkes OBE is an English Himalayan high-altitude mountaineer from Northallerton in North Yorkshire. He is the first and remains the only British mountaineer to claim all 14 Himalayan eight-thousanders, which he did on 30 May 2005.
Juan Eusebio Oiarzabal Urteaga, commonly known as Juanito Oiarzabal, is a noted Spanish Basque mountaineer and has written four books on the subject. He was the sixth man to reach all 14 eight-thousander summits, and the third one in reaching them without supplementary oxygen. He was the first person to conquer the top 3 summits twice, and was the oldest climber to summit Kangchenjunga, at almost 53, until Carlos Soria Fontan made his successful attempt in 2014, when he was 75 years old. In 2004, he lost all his toes to frostbite after summiting K2.
Benoît Chamoux was a French Alpinist, who claimed to have summited 13 of the Eight-thousanders in the Himalayas.
Andrew James Lock OAM is an Australian high-altitude mountaineer. He became the first, and still remains the only, Australian to climb all 14 "eight-thousanders" on 2 October 2009, and is the 18th person to ever complete this feat. He climbed 13 of the 14 without using bottled oxygen, only using it on Mount Everest, which he has summited three times. He retired from eight-thousander climbing in 2012.
Iván Vallejo Ricaurte is a high-altitude mountaineer from Ecuador. On 1 May 2008, he became the 14th person to reach the summit of all 14 mountains above 8,000 meters, and the 7th without use of supplemental oxygen. He is the first, and still the only, Southern Hemisphere climber to complete all 14 eight-thousanders, without supplemental oxygen.
Oh Eun-sun is a South Korean mountaineer. She was the first Korean woman to climb the Seven Summits. On April 27, 2010, she reached the summit of Annapurna; upon doing so, she claimed to have climbed all fourteen eight-thousanders, which would have made her the first woman to achieve this feat. However, her claim to have ascended Kangchenjunga was disputed by multiple experts. Oh later admitted that she had stopped a few meters before the summit of Kangchenjunga, and so the Korean Alpine Federation ruled that she had not summited. The mountaineering site ExplorersWeb considered that Edurne Pasaban is the first woman to have successfully climbed all fourteen peaks.
Phurba Tashi Sherpa Mendewa is a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer known for his numerous ascents of major Himalayan peaks. He holds the record for the most total ascents of eight-thousanders, with 30. These include twenty-one ascents of Mount Everest, five on Cho Oyu, two on Manaslu, and one each on Shishapangma and Lhotse.
Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa was a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineering guide, climber and porter, best known for his work as the climbing Sirdar for Scott Fischer's Mountain Madness expedition to Everest in Spring 1996, when a freak storm led to the deaths of eight climbers from several expeditions, considered one of the worst disasters in the history of Everest mountaineering. Notwithstanding controversy over his actions during that expedition, Lopsang was well-regarded in the mountaineering community, having summited Everest four times. Lopsang was killed in an avalanche in September 1996, while again on an expedition to climb Everest for what would have been a fifth ascent.
Alberto Iñurrategi Iriarte is a Basque Spanish mountaineer born in Aretxabaleta, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country (Spain), 3 November 1968. In the year 2002, he became the second Spaniard and Basque and 10th person to climb the 14 eight-thousanders.
Silvio Mondinelli, is an Italian mountaineer. In the year 2007, he became the 13th person to climb the 14 eight-thousanders. He is the 6th person to accomplish that feat without the use of supplementary oxygen. He was 49 years old when he summited the last of the 14 summits, a task he started in 1993 and finished in 2007.
Ralf Dujmovits is a German mountaineer. In May 2009 he became the 16th person, and the first German, to climb the 14 eight-thousanders.
Chhang Dawa Sherpa is a Nepalese mountaineer and the youngest mountaineer till 2019 to summit the 14 highest peaks. Dawa and his brother Mingma Sherpa together hold the world record as "first brothers to summit the 14 highest peaks", a single record shared by the two.
The Himalayan Database: The Expedition Archives of Elizabeth Hawley is a large digital and published record of mountaineering in the Nepalese Himalayas since 1903, maintained by Richard Salisbury who digitised the records.
Nirmal "Nims" Purja is a Nepalese mountaineer of Magar descent and a holder of multiple mountaineering world records. Prior to taking on a career in mountaineering, he served with the British Armed Forces as a Nepalese Gurkha, and was a soldier in the Special Boat Service (SBS), an elite special forces unit of the Royal Navy. Purja is notable for having climbed all 14 of Earth's eight-thousanders in a record time of 6 months and 6 days with the aid of bottled oxygen, beating the previous record of just under 8 years. He was also the first to reach the summits of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in a time period of 48 hours. In 2021, Purja, along with a team of nine other Nepalese mountaineers, successfully completed the first-ever winter ascent of Pakistan's K2.
Seven Summit Treks, is a commercial adventure operator, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. They are specialized in Eight-thousander of Nepal, China, and Pakistan. Established by four Sherpa brothers including Mingma Sherpa, Chhang Dawa Sherpa and Tashi Lakpa Sherpa. Mingma and his brother Chhang Dawa are the first sibling to climbed all 8000ers, Mingma is first and Dawa is second South Asian to do so.
A Nepali mountaineer and former British Marine has climbed the world's tallest 14 peaks in six months - beating an earlier record of almost eight years.
On October 29th, Nirmal Purja Magar announced via Instagram that he had summited China's Shishapangma. This marked the fourteenth 8,000-meter peak he had climbed in seven months and the completion of an extraordinary project to speed climb the world's tallest mountains in rapid succession.
For every three thrill-seekers that make it safely up and down Annapurna I, one dies trying, according to data from Eberhard Jurgalski of website 8000ers.com, collected in his forthcoming book "On Top of the World: The New Millennium", co-authored by Richard Sale.
Table D-3: Deaths for peaks with more than 750 members above base camp from 1950–2009
Included are only fatalities from, at or above BC or caused from there. Fatalities on approach or return marches are not listed.
There are several different subsidiary peaks! Here are the geographical facts, from the one "relative independent Main-Peak" (EU category B) over the important subsidiary peaks (C) to the major notable points (D1) Especially the last category is just guessed by contours or from photographs.
Accordingly, the author introduced altitude classes (AC) and a proportional prominence, which he named orometrical dominance (D). D is calculated easily but fittingly: (P/Alt) x 100. Thus, it indicates the percentage of independence for every elevation, no matter what the altitude, prominence or mountain type it is. From a scientific point of view, altitude could be seen as the thesis, prominence as the antithesis, whereas dominance would be the synthesis.
The most prominent one, Broad Peak Central is just 196m high and the least prominent, Lhotse Middle, is a meagre 60m. To put this in context, the highest mountain in Malta is 253m, while the Eiffel Tower stands a whopping 300m.
Topographic criterium: for each summit, the level difference between it and the highest adjacent pass or notch should be at least 30 m (98 ft) (calculated as average of the summits at the limit of acceptability). An additional criterium can be the horizontal distance between a summit and the base of another adjacent 4000er.
...the American climber became one of only five men in the world to accomplish the quest entirely without supplementary oxygen.
Last year, Silvio 'Gnaro' Mondinelli broke the haunted 13 when he summited the last peak on his list of 14, 8000ers – becoming only the 6th mountaineer in the world to have bagged them all without supplementary oxygen.
13/07 interview with Silvio Mondinelli after the summit of his 14th 8000m peak without supplementary oxygen.
Implied in text: ...Following Italian Silvio "Gnaro" Mondinelli last year and American Ed Viesturs in 2005, Ivan also became only the seventh mountaineer in the world to have done them all without supplementary oxygen.
...Ivan also became only the seventh mountaineer in the world to have done them all without supplementary oxygen.
But a South Korean climber, who followed in their footprints on the crusted snow three days later [in 1997] in clearer weather, did not consider that they actually gained the top. While [Sergio] Martini and [Fausto] De Stefani indicated they were perhaps only a few meters below it, Park Young-Seok claimed that their footprints stopped well before the top, perhaps 30 meters below a small fore-summit and 150 vertical meters below the highest summit. Now in 2000 [Sergio] Martini was back again, and this time he definitely summited Lhotse.
But his claim to have now climbed all 8000ers is open to question. In April 1990 he and others reached the summit plateau of Cho Oyu. It was misty so they could not see well; nine years later Hinkes said he had “wandered around for a while” in the summit area but could see very little and eventually descended to join the others, one of whom said they had not reached the top.