Everest 8848m - Nepal/China (Tibet)
K2 8611m- Pakistan/China
Kangchenjunga 8586m - Nepal/India
Lhotse 8516m - Nepal/China (Tibet)
Makalu 8463m - Nepal/China (Tibet)
Cho Oyu 8201m - Nepal/China (Tibet)
Dhaulagiri 8167m - Nepal
Manaslu 8163m - Nepal
Nanga Parbat 8126m - Pakistan
Annapurna I 8091m - Nepal
Gasherbrum I 8068m - Pakistan/China
Broad Peak 8047m - Pakistan/China
Gasherbrum II 8035m - Pakistan/China
Shishapangma 8027m - China (Tibet)
The eight-thousanders are the 14 independent mountains on Earth that are more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) high above sea level. All eight-thousanders are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia.
The first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders was the Italian Reinhold Messner, who completed this task on October 16, 1986. A year later, in 1987, the Polish Jerzy Kukuczka became the second climber to accomplish this feat. Messner had summitted each of the 14 peaks without the aid of supplemental oxygen. This feat was not repeated until nine years later by the Swiss Erhard Loretan in 1995.
The alpinist with the highest number of accomplished winter ascents is the Italian Simone Moro, with four peaks (The K2 has never been summited in the winter).
The first woman who summited all 14 eight-thousanders with no disputed climbing was the Spanish Edurne Pasaban, in 2010. In August 2011, Austrian climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to climb the 14 eight-thousanders without the use of supplementary oxygen.
In Belgium, the record for having climbed the most 8000er peaks is Wim Smets (5 peaks),
followed bij Ingrid Baeyens (4 peaks).
After that, there are 4 belgians who have climbed 3 peaks, like
Jean-luc Fohal who ascented without the use of supplemental oxygen and as first Belgian: Gasherbrum I , Gasherbrum II and Manaslu.
Stef Maginelle has succesfully climbed 3, 8000er peaks; Mt Everest with supplemental oxygen and he was the
first Belgian who climbed two 8000er peaks in one expedition without the use of oxygen : Gasherbrum I 8068m and Gasherbrum II 8035m......
10 QUESTIONS ABOUT CLIMBING 8000+m PEAKS
Q. Who can climb an 8000m mountain?
A: A climber with appropriate fitness, experience and skills can attempt an 8,000 meter mountain in the Himalaya. It’s highly recommended that you have experience on 6,000 or 7,000 meter peaks, as well as general skills and knowledge with ice/rock climbing. Attempting these peaks requires a very high level of physical fitness and mental strength.
Q: Expedition or alpine style ?
A: Depending on which mountain you want to climb, the route or period, you will need more technical skills. A 8000 peak has normal routes that don’t require climbing with technical ice axe and making your way up as first climber. But if you want to climb a 8000 peak alpine style, you will face a bigger challenge. The conditions on high altitude can be much more demanding than in the Alps and you probably won’t have any backup in case things go wrong. If you want to climb with maximum safety , the best option is to climb with local or specialized organization with Sherpa’s and guides. However it’s your choice what to climb and how to climb. Just remember to respect the little rules and not to underestimate these big mountains. Choose the route in function off your experience and then you can push your limits step by step, but not too far out of your comfort zone
Q. What is the best way to train for an expedition?
A: The best way is to test your condition and your capacities, so you can make a plan, adjusted to your results. This plan must build up your resistance with long endurance on easy effort , combined with training for muscle force and core stability. Gradual you will shift during your months of training, towards higher cardiac training zones, functional training, climbing and hill trainings. Depending of your fitness base, this training , can take 6 month until one year, to get ready. During that time don't focus only on physical training but train your mental strenght and learn everything you need to know about the mountain and the route. Memorize the route so you can visualize your steps while Climbing. The better your preparation, the safer the climb and the more change you have for success.
Q : Is there a way to prepare for the altitude ?
A : Yes. If you live near mountains, you can train your body to the altitude by climbing. In other cases you can train with a hypoxic device. Gradual building up the frequencies on altitude and changing training ; sleep low, train high and train low, sleep high. If you are not in the possibility to do this, then you will need a long trekking towards basecamp for acclimatize your body to the thin air. If you can combine this with a climb towards an easy high peak in the month previous to your expedition and after taking a good rest-period, than you have a better chance to summit your expedition mountain.
Q: Should I climb with supplemental oxygen ?
A : This is a choice that must be related to your experience and feeling that you have at altitude. Climbing the “pure way” is the most appealing, but don’t take it lightly and consider the greater risk getting altitude sickness or edema. I have witnessed good young and strong experienced climber that hade summited several small 8000 peak without any problems and barely survived an expedition towards Everest, even when he had never experienced altitude sickness before. Just be aware of your body & mental signs and never ignore them, it can be the difference between life and death! Climbing with supplemental oxygen has advantages but there is a downside; more weight, extra work for Sherpa’s and the risk falling without...
Q: What is the difference between low and high 8000 peaks ?
A: There are 14 peak above 8000m and the higher you go, the lower the air-pressure gets. This results in the reduced capacity of taking oxygen into your lunges and makes all efforts harder. If you talk to several experienced climbers , you will understand that there is a difference between the 9 lower 8000+m peaks and the big 5 : Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu. It looks like the elevation +200m on this altitudes, magnifies the impact of the lack of oxygen. Building up your experience is the keynote towards success and a save return, because the summit is only halfway !
Q: How much time does an expedition take?
A: It depends on which mountain you will climb. The higher or the more remote your mountain is, the more time you will need reaching the base of the mountain. Climbing a mountain of 7000m+ it will take more time to acclimatize then a 4000 m+ peak. It also depends of your pre-acclimatize program before your leave towards your expedition (hypoxic training or peak climbing) and your personal capacity to adjust to the altitude. Roughly counts 6-7 weeks for 8000 peak, 4-5 weeks for 7000 peak, 2-3 weeks for 6000 peak, 1-2 weeks 5000 peak.
Q: How do you subdivide your expedition time?
A: During an expedition, you start with a trekking that helps you acclimatize towards basecamp. After a couple of days in basecamp you will climb progressively towards the high camps. We believe strongly not to overload your body with high altitude, as it very exhausting and you can’t recuperate as you would on lower ground. The aim is to adjust your body to the altitude, in a short as possible time. After that, sit back and relax until a good weather window comes and you are ready for your summit.
Q: What gear do you need ?
A: The gear is related to your choice of the way you want to climb, what mountain and how technical the route is. The better the gear, the better you will climb and the less risk you will have with gear that is not holding up towards your expectation. Be aware of cheap clothing’s: it could be less warm as you though… this can result in hypothermia or frostbite. If you are using new gear, then it is always better to test them before your expedition. This is the same for your food on high altitude. Take food that you like instead of looking only for the kcal ;-)
Q : How do you use mental focus ?
A: This is the most difficult question. Climbing a mountain is 50% metal strength and during years of experience, you find the balance between pushing yourself further but never beyond the line of no return. Get to know yourself by learning from your failures & successes and use this knowledge for your next challenges. Train your mental strenght with pre-goalsettings during your training-periode. Don't fall in the trap of negative thinking and find the right people with a strong mindset, to surround you. Stay positive at all times even when it gets rough.
In the beauty of nature, all problems become relative when your focus is on the right place. It’s like a puzzle that falls into place. Have patience and find that flow where you don’t think you are, but know you are going to climb this mountain !
Enjoy every step !