Are you in search of legendary mountain trails that take you to the yard of tallest-mountain peaks in the world? Do you want to embark on the greatest-mountain expedition in Himalayas? Come and walk through the epic trails in the Himalayas and thereby enjoy the boundless pleasure of adventure in the midst of formidable mountain peaks. Of course, Nepal is one of the world’s best destinations for mountain expedition. The spectacular mountain peaks of Nepal attract world mountaineers throughout the year. Eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8000 meters including Mt. Everest (8848m), Kanchanjunga (8598m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8462m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8156m), Cho Oyu (8153) and Annapurna (8091m), are only in Nepal. Ever since Nepal opened its peaks to climbers in 1949, Himalaya has become a great theatre of mountaineering activities. Here are listed the top 15-mountain expeditions in the world.
1. Mt. Everest Expedition, the greatest adventure escape in the world, has proved to be a yardstick of climbing achievement. Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, is the greatest challenge and one of the most famous mountains on earth. Most of the mountaineers dream to reach the summit of Everest in their life time. It is still as inexplicable, beguiling, and magnificent as ever. Successful historical Everest Expedition leaves one with the sense of most proud and adventurous people on Earth. Furthermore, Everest is a deadly mountain. One cannot approach the mountain with anything but a serious determination and focused mountaineering attitude. The late Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first persons to stand on top of the world at the peak of Mt. Everest on 29 May 1953. Since then there have been other many notable ascents to the summit. Climbing Mt. Everest is certainly a lifetime opportunity. Thus, imagine yourself, standing at the top of the world, watching the whole world below you. The feeling is something unbeatable and probably one of the best feelings that you can get. This is possible if you are interested and able to do this Expedition. The most popular choice among the mountaineers for Everest expedition is via the South Col which gives the most assured means of reaching the top.
2. Annapurna Expedition, a popular mountain expedition in the Himalayas, covers the top of Mount Annapurna (8091m) – the 10th highest mountain in the world. The Annapurna lies in the North-central Nepal stretching along with Lamjung Himal from the Kali Gandaki in the west to the Marshyangdi in the east. Annapurna, adjacent to Pokhara, was the first eight-thousander to be climbed. The four summits with the entire massif of Annapurna form the northern barrier of Pokhara Valley. The main summit stands to the west of the Annapurna Sanctuary. The mountain has glaciers on its western and north-western slopes which drain into a great gorge cut through the Himalaya by the Kaligandaki River. The Annapurnas are considered the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb due to the peaks prone to avalanches and the high rate of fatality.
3. Makalu Expedition, one of the top mountain expeditions in the world, encompasses to the fifth tallest mountain in the world. A close neighbor to Mount Everest, it lies in the northeast region of Nepal. It is relatively less attempted mountain. Mountaineers need to have a lot of mountaineering experience including one attempt on an 8,000 meter to climb Mount Makalu. The first attempt on Makalu was made by an American team in 1954, but it was first climbed by a French Team in 1955. The mountain has two important subsidiary peaks. Makalu has steep pitches and knife-edged ridges. The route to Makalu Base Camp (4823m) involves a sustained steep slope with magnificent views of Makalu to the north.
4. Nuptse Expedition, another top mountain expeditions in the world, passes through the legendary Sherpa settlements in midst of spectacular high valley of the Khumbu Region. Mount Nuptse (7855m) the neighboring peak of Everest shares the glory of the Everest Massif and is the southern border of the Western Cwm. From Tengboche it appears as a massive wall guarding the approach to Everest and joined to Lhotse. Its steep west-face drops down more than 2300m to the Khumbu-glacier. The main ridge of Nuptse is separated from Lhotse by a 7556m high saddle and has 7 peaks. The main summit Nuptse I (7861m) was first summited by a British expedition on the north-ridge in 1961. The Nuptse ridge goes west-northwest until its steep west-face drops down more than 2300m to the Khumbu-glacier. The north side is above the Western-Cwm valley with the upper part of the Khumbu-glacier above its famous icefall. One of the interesting features of this mountain is that its south face is 2500m high and five kilometers wide.
5. Ama Dablam Expedition, popularly known as the “Matterhorn of the Himalaya”, reaches to the peak of ice-coated granite pyramid – Ama Dablam. Ama Dablam is known as one of the most impressive mountains in the world, not for its altitude, but for its beauty, aesthetics and the pure exposure encountered high on its flanks. Ama Dablam dominates the sky above the trekker’s trail to the Everest Base Camp. The mountain derives its name from the glacier lying on its Southwest face. The glacier looks like a jewel box hanging on the neck of the mountain, hence the name Ama Dablam, literally meaning ‘The Mother’s Jewel Box’. The standard ascent to Ama Dablam is made via the South-Western Ridge, the same route followed by Ward (UK), Bishop (USA) and Gill (NZ) in the first ascent of the mountain in 1961. The route offers varied and sustained climb with reasonable level of difficulty.
6. Pumori Expedition, the glorious mountain expedition in the world, reaches to the peak of Mount Pumori. A moderately technical pyramid snow and rock mountain, Mt. Pumori is perhaps the most popular mountain among the 7000er Himalayas of Nepal. The mountain lies in the Khumbu Region of Nepal 8 km west of Mount Everest along Nepal-Tibet Border. Although a 7,000er, Mt. Pumari is technically challenging mountain offering sections of wild exposure requiring climbers to have previous mountaineering experience and with excellent physical fitness level. The ascent to the Pumori will be rewarded with stunning photographic views of snowy mountains including Lhotse and Everest.
7. Baruntse Expedition, the heroic walk in the Himalaya, too encompasses the peak of Mount Baruntse. Lying between greater cousin peaks of Lhotse and Makalu at the epicenter of three glacial valleys – the Barun, the Imja, and the Hunku – Baruntse was one the early Himalayan peaks recognized by Edmund Hillary’s team for climbing east of Everest. The peak is crowned by four summits on four ridges with a high rate of successful ascent on normal route via South Ridge. Despite being a 7000er, Baruntse Expedition involves various 8000m climb components, thus offering itself as an ideal training peak for higher climbing. The steep sections of ice at 50 degrees and a prominent ice cliff at about 7,000 meters make the South-East Ridge of Baruntse somewhat difficult climb. The route via Lukla, the Mera La, and Hinku Valley offers a more accessible alternative.
8. Himlung Expedition, the legendary walks in the high Himalaya, traverses through Manaslu region in the northeast of Annapurna region of Nepal. Himlung Himal (7126 m) lies in the remote corner of Nepal and Tibet border. Previously a restricted region, Nepal Government opened the region only in 1992 by and so far only a few expedition teams including Japanese and French have summitted Mount Himlung. Expedition for Himlung Himal follows Round Annapurna route to Koto and from Koto towards Nar-phu Gaon. The route passes through high peaks and passes, glaciers, remote villages, narrow gullies, forests, rocks, springs, Gompas and unique cultural settlements. The expedition also offers mysterious culture and panoramic mountain views of Nandadevi, Rajramba, Api Himal, Kappa Chuli Peak and many more.
9. The Lhotse Expedition takes to the proximity of Mt. Everest. Lhotse lies about 3 km south of Mount Everest, separated by the South Col. In fact, Lhotse means South Face. Three peaks that make up the Lhotse massif are: Lhotse East or middle, Lhotse Shar and Lhotse. Immediately south of Mt. Everest lies the long east-west crest and the summits of the two mountains are connected by the South Col. South Face of Lhotse is the most technical face of Lhotse. The Lhotse South Face is also one of the largest mountain faces in the world. The section during the climb, which has been unanimously declared the most dangerous, is the Khumbu Icefall. Both Mt Everest and Lhotse share the same base camp. In fact, Lhotse is a part of Everest massif itself. However, Lhotse is considered to be an independent mountain. After several unsuccessful attempts, the South Face was successful climbed only in 1984. This beautiful massif also holds immense promise as it offers fascinating opportunities.
1o. Cho Oyu Expedition is another mountain expedition that also takes to the peak of one of the world’s highest 8000er mountains. Despite being the 6th highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu has the highest success rate among the world’s fourteen 8,000er Himalayan peaks. The ascent to the summit is short and direct with a few small technical sections which can be climbed safely using fixed lines. The normal route may not be called a technically difficult climb. The access becomes easier also because of the fact that the mountain can be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle and one can walk to the Camp 1 in hiking boots. However, climbing Cho Oyu is still a demanding undertaking, the mountain being one of the highest on earth. Cho Oyu lies about 20 km west of Mt. Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border. An Austrian team first climbed Cho Oyu in 1954 followed by the Indian and German teams in 1958 and 1964 respectively. Cho Oyu consists mainly of five ridges – Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and West with the Jabula Glacier on the north, Lanba Glacier on the south, and Gecongba Glacier.
11. Dhaulagiri Expedition, one of the grandest mountain adventures in the world, reaches to the apex of the seventh highest peak in the world. One of the most popular 8000m peaks, Dhaulagiri lies on the north-west of Pokhara in the Western Nepal and south of the Tibet-Nepal border. Dhaulagiri was first climbed by the Swiss team in 1960 via the North East Ridge. Dhaulagiri, along with another eight-thousander Annapurna, make Kaligandaki the deepest gorge. It is also one of the most difficult mountains in the world. Dhaulagiri is an interesting peak with more than six different routes. The normal climbing route is considered a reasonable climb with only short technical climbing sections and moderate avalanche danger. The South and West faces of Dhaulagiri both feature massive drops; each rises over 4000 meters from its base, and each has been the site of epic climbs. The tangled topography of twisting ridges, glaciers, and ice falls is crested by a stretch of thirty miles. Several pyramid-shaped peaks rise along the main crest.
12. Manaslu Expedition climbs over Mount Manaslu – the world’s eighth highest mountain. Mt. Manaslu resides at the edge of one of the most secluded Himalayan valleys in the central-western Nepal Himalaya – Kali Gandaki valley 40 miles east of Annapurna. The Manaslu’s long ridges and valley glaciers provide feasible approaches from all directions culminating in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape. At least six different routes to Manaslu exist today of which the south face is the toughest in climbing history. The first attempt to Manaslu was made in 1953 by a Japanese team from the Budhi Gandaki Valley, however, the first ascent was made only in 1956. In fact, all the three peaks of Manaslu were first summitted by the Japanese.
13. Kanchenjungha Expedition, the most incredible wilderness walk in the Himalaya, maps out the third-highest mountain in the world. Kanchenjunga is an enormous mountain mass with many satellite peaks rising from its narrow icy ridges. Located in the Eastern Nepal the border of Nepal and Sikkim, Kanchenjunga is the most easterly of the 8,000 meter Himalayan peaks and consists of four separate summits – Main Summit, Middle Summit, South Summit and Yalung Kang or West Summit. Kanchenjunga was first summitted in 1955 by a British Expedition team. The three of the five peaks, the main, central, and south, lie on the border of Nepal and Sikkim, India. Other two peaks lie completely in the Taplejung District of Nepal. The west summit also known as Yalung Kang at 8420m itself can qualify as a separate summit according to some mountaineers. Climbing the North Face is considered to be safest, but not the easiest.
14. Pasang Lhamu Chuli Expedition aims to map out Pasang Lhamu Chuli. The peak, also recognized as Jasumba, Cho Aui and Nagpai Gosum Peak, lies in the Cho Oyu massif about six kilometers west of Mount Cho Oyu. The first recorded summit to the peak was in 1986 by a Japanese team from the northern Tibetan side gaining the prominent North West ridge to the summit. In 2009, a Swiss team consisting of three young mountaineers reached the top of Nagpai Gosum through the southern face. The standard route begins from with trekking from Lukla and via Namche Bazar passes through the pass Nagpa La. Besides, the impressive north-face of Nagpa Gosum with its white “spider” can also be seen from the Gyabrag-glacier above Cho Oyu Base Camp. The Nagpa Gosum Base Camp lies on Sumna Glacier at an altitude of 5,400 meters one hour from the traditional yak caravan route from Tibe to Namche Bazar over Nangpai La. From the summit, mountaineers enjoy the astonishingly close view of Everest and other high peaks in the Everest region.
15. Kyajo Ri Peak Climbing, another challenging mountain expedition in the world, scales Kyajo Ri (6,186m) in Khumbu region of Nepal. The Kyajo Ri peak with a sharp definite summit is an outstanding climbing peak among the trekking peaks of Nepal Himalaya. Being the highest point on the massif dividing the Gokyo and Thame valleys, Kyajo Ri summit offers excellent views of the whole Khumbu Region. The Everest region which boasts of four of the world’s six tallest peaks Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu is also blessed with numerous lesser mountain peaks, including the Kyajo Ri. Since, the expedition passes through Gokyo and Renjo La pass, the views of the Everest heartlands with abounding natural beauty of shimmering lakes are sure to mesmerize climbers. The peak can be attempted through different routes in the region.