Over 310 people are known to have died while attempting to climb Mount Everest since the 1920s. While that’s the highest absolute death count of any mountain on Earth, it’s worth considering that Everest attracts significantly more mountaineers than other notorious peaks. If you take a look at the fatality rate of expeditions instead, a number of mountains can be considered much deadlier.
Statista has crunched data from the Himalayan Database and Mountain IQ to build up a picture of the world’s most dangerous mountains in terms of each expedition’s fatality. The analysis focuses on the so-called "Eight-thousanders," the fourteen mountains that are more than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) above sea level, all of which are in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia.
The main peak of the Annapurna massif is the deadliest of all mountains in terms of fatality rates, according to their workings. Since 1900, it's estimated that 72 deaths have resulted from 244 expeditions, meaning it has a fatality rate of 29.5 percent.
Annapurna is located in the Gandaki Province of north-central Nepal. With an elevation of 8,091 meters (26,545 feet), it’s only the tenth-highest mountain in the world.
Nevertheless, it's notoriously difficult to conquer. Annapurna was first scaled in 1950, and just 365 people had reached its summit as of 2022. One of the prime reasons that it's so dangerous is its unpredictable climate, which can make the treacherous mountain vulnerable to avalanches.
Not far behind is Kangchenjunga, which has a fatality rate of 29.1 percent. Found on the border of Nepal and India, it’s the third-highest mountain in the world with an elevation of 8,586 meters (28,169 feet).
Next is K2 with a fatality rate of 22.9 percent. At 8,611 meters (28,251 feet), this is the second-tallest mountain on Earth. Although slightly shorter than Everest, it’s more dangerous for climbers due to its infamously rough weather, as well as its risk of rock falls and avalanches.
With a fatality rate of 14.1 percent, Everest should still not be messed with and is the fifth deadliest mountain by this metric.
It also looks like the famed Mount Everest might become even deadlier. It’s feared that 2023 could become the deadliest year of record for the world's tallest mountain, with 12 people reportedly dying during expeditions this season. Another five mountaineers are missing, presumed dead.
One reason for this is the uptick of people visiting the mountain. The Nepalese government has issued 479 expedition permits this year, the highest number on record. Simultaneously, some experts believe climate change is making weather harsher and less predictable, raising the risk of fatal incidents.