Though four climbers were among those who reached the 8,848-meter summit of Mount Everest earlier this week, they never made it back to sea level. They perished climbing the peak, which has taken the lives of some 200 mountaineers since it was first ascended in 1953. As extreme climbing has grown in popularity, dangerous conditions including overcrowding and unstable conditions are making the sport more deadly.
To rank the deadliest mountains, we first whittled the list to include only the 14 primary mountains in the world that exceed an altitude of 8,000 meters, or 26,246 feet. Dubbed the “death zone,” this is the height above sea level where limited atmospheric pressure is the most severe, and oxygen levels are severely depleted. From there, we ranked the mountains based on the most consistent and reliable source of death rate, or the number of deaths per climber attempts, compiled by Ederhard Juralski. The data include climbing data through June 2008 for each mountain.