What's Your Fave Mountain?
We decided to ask "Alpine Climbing" and "World of Mountaineering" Facebook groups to tell us what their favourite mountains are. Some of the results are as you might expect, but there ware some real surprises there too! In this article we present to you the top 10 mountains according to those Facebook groups, based on the numbers of comments and likes these mountains received. Is your favourite mountain on the list? Take a look and let us know what you think.
Located in the Himalayas in north-central Nepal, strictly speaking Annapurna is a massif (group of mountains) rather than a mountain. The Massif's highest peak, Annapurna I Main, is the tenth highest mountain in the world, measuring a very respectable 8,091 metres above sea level. This massif is as deadly as it is beautiful, and its peaks are among the world's most treacherous mountains to climb. In particular, the extremely steep south face of Annapurna I Main - a wall of rock that rises 3,000 meters - is one of the most dangerous and difficult climbs in the world. By March 2012, there had been 191 summit ascents of Annapurna I Main, and 61 climbing fatalities on the mountain.
With a summit of 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Located in the East African country of Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is actually a dormant volcano. The exact origin of the name Kilimanjaro remains a mystery, but a number of theories have been suggested. Possible origins of the name include the Swahili word for mountain of greatness or mountain of caravans. Another possibility is that Kilimanjaro means "the White Mountain". The first recorded successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro took place in 1889 when German Geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian Mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller made it to the top.
8) Nanga Parbat
At 8,126 metres above sea level, Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain in the world. Located in the Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan, Nanga Parbat is at the westernmost end of the Himalayas. Like Annapurna, Nanga Parbat is also a notoriously dangerous, and numerous mountaineering deaths in the 20th century gave it the unenviable title of "Killer Mountain”! Perhaps the most famous and exquisite view of Nanga Parbat is that of its North Face from the "Fairy Meadows", a gorgeous area of grassland and official National Park of Pakistan.
7) Gasherbrum IV
Also in the Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan, Gasherbrum IV (also known as K3) is the 17th highest mountain on earth. It was first climbed in 1958 by Italians Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri. With a magnificent sharp peak which becomes delightfully illuminated at sunrise and sunset, it's easy to see why this stunning - yet relatively unknown - mountain made it onto our top 10!
6) The Eiger
The Eiger is a 3,967 metre high mountain in the Swiss Canton of Bern. One of most notable features of the Eiger is its 1,800 metre high north face called Eiger-Nordwand. This huge face towers over the resort of Kleine Scheidegg at its base, creating one of the most beautiful and iconic images of the Swiss Alps. Although the north face of the Eiger is almost free of ice, significant glaciers lie at the other sides of the mountain. The Eiger Glacier flows on the southwestern side of the Eiger, and on the east side, the Ischmeer glacier flows from the same source eastwards down to the Lower Grindelwald Glacier system. One glance at this archetypically Swiss mountain is enough to put you in the mood for fondue and hot chocolate!
Said to be the final resting place of Arthurian Knight Sir Bedivere, Tryfan in the Snowdonia National Park is one of the most famous and recognisable peaks in Britain. At 917.5 metres above sea level it is the fifteenth-highest mountain in Wales. With a classic pointed shape and rugged crags, this is a Welsh beauty in the same league as Catherine Zeta Jones! Tryfan is a mountain in the Ogwen Valley, forming part of the Glyderau group, and is home to many ferral goats: grumpy looking beasts that jump out from behind rocks just to keep hikers on their toes!
At 8,848 metres high, Everest earned the title of world's tallest mountain in 1856 when the Great Trigonometric Survey of India established its height. Everyone knows that along with Sherpa Tenzig the first man known to have climbed Everest is Sir Edmund Hillary. What is not well known is that his son, Peter, has climbed Everest a whopping FIVE TIMES (his first summit was in 1990)! Everest's Nepalese name is Sagarmatha, translated as "Forehead (or Goddess) of the Sky", and its Tibetan name is Chomolungma, translated as "Mother Goddess of the Universe". Everest lies in one of the most hotly contested geographical regions on the planet: parts of the Himalayas are claimed variously by China, Pakistan and India, all nuclear armed military super powers with a history of conflicting interests.
3) The Matterhorn
The Matterhorn is one of the most recognisable mountains in Europe, if not the world. On the border between Switzerland and Italy, to the North East it overlooks the Swiss town of Zermatt, and to the South it overlooks the Italian town of Breuil-Cervinia. Its large, near-symmetrical pyramidal peak is said to have been the inspiration for Swiss chocolate Toblerone's iconic shape, and when one looks at the Matterhorn's beautiful peak that is certainly not hard to believe. The Matterhorn's four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four cardinal compass points. This is perhaps one of the reasons for the mountain's enigmatic beauty. The first recorded ascent of the Matterhorn was made in 1865 from Zermatt by a party led by British Mountaineer Edward Whymper. Sadly, the expedition ended in disaster with four members of Whymper's team falling to their deaths on the descent.
Located on the China–Pakistan border, K2 is the second highest mountain in the world (8,611 metres above sea level). Like many mountains in the Himalayas, K2 is notoriously dangerous (as of June 2018, only 367 people have completed the ascent, and 86 people have died attempting the climb). The summit was reached for the first time by Italian climbers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni, on the 1954 Italian Karakoram expedition led by Ardito Desio.
1) Ama Dablam
In at number 1 is the gorgeous Ama Dablam! Located in Nepal's eastern Himalayan region, Ama Dablam means "Mother's necklace". This 6,812 metre high beauty was first climbed in 1961 by American Barry Bishop, Briton Mike Ward, and New Zealanders Mike Gill and Wally Romanes. This delightfully photogenic peak is perhaps more instantly recognisable than Mount Everest. It has inspired countless artists throughout the decades, and appeared on the sleeve of Britpop band Kula Shaker's album K2.0.