Nepal Identifies Five More Peaks Above 8,000 Meters

With eight mountain peaks above 8,000 meters, Nepal is one of the most popular destinations in the world for mountain climbing. Recently an additional five peaks in Nepal were reportedly identified by the Nepal Mountaineering Association as meeting the 8,000-meter benchmark, and should the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA – Union Internationale de Associations d’Alpinisme) give its approval, this exotic mountainous country will soon boast 13 of the world’s tallest peaks, hopefully bringing to the attention of mountain climbers everywhere that Nepal is definitely a destination worth exploring.

The five peaks being considered under the UIAA ‘Agura’ project (which undertakes to identify minor peaks higher than 8,000 meters) are: Yarlung Khang at 8,505; Kanchenjunga Central at 8,473 meters; Kanchenjunga South at 8,476 meters; Lhotse Middle at 8,413 meters; and Lhotse Shar at 8,400 meters – the first three being on the Nepal-India border and the latter two on the Nepal-China border. The peaks in Nepal currently recognized as being above 8,000 meters are: Mount Everest, Makalu, Lhorse Main, Kanchenjunga Main, Choyu, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. A peak is considered to be separate if the distance between the two peaks is 500 meters and if the peak has an access route not shared with others.

Formed in 1932 in the mountainous region of Chamonix in France and currently headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, the UIAA collaborates with more than 88 member associations, representing several million mountaineers in 76 countries, and is recognized as the International Federation for mountaineering and climbing by the international Olympic Committee. The Safety Commission of the UIAA develops and monitors safety standards for climbing equipment and oversees a grading system indicating difficulty of routes.

The proposal for the five peaks to be recognized by the Agura project was put forward at the three-day meeting of the UIAA Management Committee in Italy in May. Local experts in Nepal are of the opinion that as many as 16 peaks meet the Agura criteria and have noted that recognition of these natural wonders is likely to attract even more adventure-seeking climbers to the country.