The continent of Asia contains some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. While many climbers and adventurers are enticed by the steep cliffs, inhospitable weather, and danger of the mountains, novice climbers, hikers, and vacationing families can also enjoy the beckoning sierra. Here are a few of the most famous mountains in Asia and what exactly makes them so popular.
Any list of notable mountains (specific to Asia or not) will include the infamous Mount Everest. Everest in located along the border of Nepal and Tibet and, at 8,848 meters, is unequivocally the highest mountain on the planet. As such, Everest continually attracts mountain climbers of all ages and skill levels. While Everest is not as technically difficult as other mountains, the climb is still dangerous with over 200 deaths on the slopes. Despite the dangers and cautionary tales of the mountain, the lure of reaching the highest summit in the world is too much to resist.
Machapuchare is part of the Annapurna peaks in the Himalayas and is located in north central Nepal. Unlike Everest, Machapuchare is famous for not being climbed. While just under 7,000 meters tall ( a baby compared to its Himalayan siblings), Machapuchare is revered by the local population as it is believed to be sacred to Shiva, the supreme god of Hinduism. Although off-limits to the local population, Machapuchare was legally climbed once, and only once, by a British team in 1957 (others have climbed the mountain illegally). The team did not summit the mountain, as they had previously agreed not to. Afterwards, Machapuchare was declared sacred and forbidden to climbers. However, tourists, campers and photographers continue to visit Machapuchare for its beautiful landscape and unique profile.
Also named “Fish’s Tail”, Machapuchare has a double summit and steep vertical incline which, when combined, resemble a fish’s tail. While not a climber’s paradise, Machapuchare has become equally famous as one of the most photogenic mountains in the world.
Annapurna I is the highest of the Annapurna peaks in Nepal. Standing 8,061 meters tall, Annapurna I’s peak was climbed in 1950, making it the first summit of the “eight-thousanders” to be reached (the “eight-thousanders” include the 14 mountains on the planet that stand 8,000 meters above sea-level). Although only the tenth highest mountain in the world, Annapurna I has the highest fatality rate of any mountain on Earth. Since the 1950 climb, Annapurna I has been climbed a lowly 142 times and has claimed 58 lives – a fatality rate of 40%. For comparison, Everest’s fatality rate is around 8% and the fatality rate for K2 hovers around 24%. What makes Annapurna so difficult to climb are the unpredictable avalanches; climbers have actually reached the summit and then lost their lives on the descent down the mountain.
The mountain ranges in Asia are unlike any others in the world. For experienced climbers, novice hikers, and recreational campers alike, exploring the beautiful landscapes and magnificent sierras is an eye-opening and unforgettable experience.