15 Tallest Mountains in the World from Base to Peak

Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria Quinney

Everyone knows that the tallest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest, right? While that's true if you measure from just sea level to the summit, when you measure from the mountain's base to its peak, it turns out that Everest is only the second tallest mountain on the planet. What's the difference, you ask? Well, some mountains start far below sea level, rising straight from the seabed and soaring above the waters. While you only see the part of the mountain that's above the water, there's actually a whole lot more mountain underneath.

Interestingly, there is yet another way to determine the tallest mountain on earth, and that is to look at which mountain is closest to the moon. If you measure it that way, then the tallest mountain is Mount Chimborazo, a stratovolcano located in Ecuador. Because it is on the equator, the earth's atmosphere, oceans, and continents bulge out an extra 26.5 miles there, which puts its 26,565 foot (6,268 meters) peak higher than Mount Everest. Yeah, way more than you wanted to know. Anyway, back to the topic of this article: here are the 15 tallest mountains when measured from base to peak.

  1. 1
    Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Mauna Kea is an inactive volcano that is part of the Hawaiian volcanic island chain. While it measures just 13,796 feet ( 4,205 meters) from sea level to the summit, it has 19,700 feet (6,000 meters) more mountain from the sea bottom up to the surface, making it almost one mile taller than Everest, with a total height of 33,500 feet (10,210 meters).
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  2. 2
    Everest, Tibet, and Nepal. A giant among giants, Mount Everest, soars high above its neighbors in the Himalayan mountain range of Southeast Asia. From its base, it is 29,035 feet (8,849 meters.) tall, rising 5 ½ miles into the sky. The mountain was named after the British Surveyor-General of India, Sir George Everest, but the Tibetans call it Chomolungma and its Nepalese name is Sagarmatha. The first people to master it was Sir Edmund Hillary, and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay in 1953. They reached the summit after climbing for two long months.
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  3. 3
    K-2, Northern Kashmir. Named for being the second peak measured in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas, K-2 is also known as Mount Godwin-Austen and Dapsang. In the local language, it is called Chogo Ri. This 28,251 feet (8,610 meters) tall mountain was first scaled in 1954 by an Italian team of climbers led by geology Professor Ardito Desio.
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  4. 4
    Kangchenjunga, Himalayas. The 28,169 foot (8,585 meters) tall Kangchenjunga is located about 100 miles east of Mount Everest. On May 25, 1955, British climbers Joe Brown and George Band were the first to climb to the top.
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  5. 5
    Lhotse, Nepal, and Tibet. Joined to Mount Everest by the South Col, a high pass that connects the two gigantic peaks, Lhotse rises to 27,940 feet (8,515 meters). Climbers must first ascend Lhotse to reach Everest via the South Col.
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  6. 6
    Makalu, Nepal, and Tibet. Located about 10 miles southeast of Mount Everest, Makalu 's summit rises to 27,838 feet (8,484 meters). The mountain's name derives from the Sanskrit word, Maha-Kala, which translates to "Big Black," and is another name for Shiva, one of the Hindu gods. French climber, Jean Franco, was the first to reach its summit in 1955.
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  7. 7
    Cho Oyu, Nepal, and Tibet. Located near Mount Everest, Cho Oyu rises to a stately height of 26,864 feet (8,188 meters). Its name means "Turquoise Goddess " and is thought to be one of the easiest of the gigantic Himalayan peaks to scale. Austrian climbers Herbert Tichy and Joseph Joechler, along with their Sherpa guide, Pasang Dawa Lama were the first to climb in in 1954.
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  8. 8
    Dhaulagiri, Nepal. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word "Dhavali giri" which means "White Mountain." It is 26,795 feet (8,167 meters) high, and although it was successfully climbed by the Austrian team of Kurt Diemberger, Peter Diener and Albin Schelbert in 1960, tragedy found a group of American climbers.They were buried in an avalanche while trying to scale the mountain using a harder route than the Austrians had taken.
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  9. 9
    Manaslu, Himalayas. This 26,781 foot (8,162 meters) mountain's name comes from the Sanskrit word, "Manasa," which means "Mountain of the Spirit." The first climbers to scale its snowy peak were T. Imanishi of Japan and Sherpa Gyalzen Norbu in 1956. It wasn't until 1997 that the American climber, Charles Mace made an attempt.
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  10. 10
    Nanga Parbat, Northern Kashmir. Soaring to 26,660 feet (8,125 meters), this mountain has three vast faces: The Rakhiot, Diamr, and the Rupal. With gorgeous spires, vast ice fields, and high promontories, Nanga Parbat is one of the most beautiful peaks in the world. The first climber to reach the top of this mountain was Hermann Buhl in 1953.
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  11. 11
    Annapurna, Nepal. This Himalayan peak stands at 26,545 feet (8,090 meters), and its name translates to the "Goddess of the Golden Harvests." Located on the Himalayan gorge forged by the Kali Gandaki River, the twin glaciers along its sides drain into the winding watercourse. The French climbers Maurice Herzog, Lionel Terray, Gaston Rebuffat, and others scaled the peak in 1950.
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  12. 12
    Gasherbrum 1, Pakistan-China Border. On the northeast terminus of the Baltoro Glacier, stands this - 26,509 foot (8,079 meters) peak. Its name translates to "beautiful mountain" in the Balti language. American climbers Pete Schoenig and Andy Kauffman were the first to reach the peak in 1958.
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  13. 13
    Broad Peak, Northwestern Pakistan. Rising to 26,414 feet (8,050 meters) this peak is just above the Baltoro Glacier and was originally dubbed K-3 by surveyors in 1856. W. M Conway, a noted explorer, gave it its current name because of its broad ridge, which stretches to one mile long. In 1957, an Austrian team of four climbers, Hermann Buhl, Kurt Diemberger, Marcus Schmuck, and Fritz Wintersteller, were the first to reach the top.
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  14. 14
    Gasherbrum 2, Pakistan-China border. The 26,362 foot (8,035 meters) Gasherbrum 2 is noted as one of the easiest of the gigantic Himalayan massifs to climb, but easy is a relative thing when it comes to the stratospheric peaks of the Himalayas. In 1956 the Austrian climbers Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart were the first to conquer its craggy and snowy heights.
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  15. 15
    Shishapangma, Tibet. This mountain stands at 26,335 feet (8,026 meters) and is north of Kathmandu. Its name translates to "crest above the grassy plains," and indeed, it seems to do just that. The Chinese climber Xu Jing was the first to reach the top of this mountain in 1964 and is one of the last Himalayan peaks to be mastered.
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Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Kathy McGraw

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