FASCINATING FACTS: 25 Facts About Mountains

1.  Rainbow Valley

There is a part of Mount Everest known as the Rainbow Valley. It is named not because there are rainbows there, but because of the brightly-colored jackets on the frozen corpses that litter the valley.

2. The K2 also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori, the world’s second tallest mountain has no local name. It is so remote and inaccessible that very few local people knew of its existence, and thus why it retains its original surveying moniker given to it by British surveyors.

3. The first ever successful ascent of Mount Nanga Parbat in Pakistan was made by Reinhold Messner who climbed Mount Everest, without oxygen. He climbed Nanga Parbat 3 times, the first time he lost his brother and 7 toes in the process. Then he climbed it again to become the first person to solo climb it and climbed it again to retrieve his brother’s remains.

4. Sripada (also known as Adam’s Peak) is a 2,243 meters (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka, which is revered as a holy site by Buddhists (as the footprint of the Buddha), Hindus (that of Shiva), Muslims and Christians (that of Adam).

5. There is a mountain range named Gamburtsev Mountains on Antarctica, similar to the size of the Alps, that no one has ever seen because it’s completely covered by ice.

6.  Ismoil Somoni Peak

The Soviet Union’s tallest mountain was Ismoil Somoni Peak, formerly named Communism Peak. It was renamed after first being called Stalin Peak. The second tallest mountain was called Lenin Peak.

7. Mount Kosciuszko was thought to be the highest mountain in Australia until Mount Townsend was found to be slightly taller. Rather than re-educating the public that Townsend was the new highest mountain, the New South Wales Lands Department simply switched their names.

8. The original height of Mount Everest “was calculated to be exactly 29,000 feet (8,839.2 meters) high, but was publicly declared to be 29,002 feet (8,839.8 meters) in order to avoid the impression that an exact height of 29,000 feet (8,839.2 meters) was nothing more than a rounded estimate.”

9. Kangchenjunga, the 3rd highest mountain in the world, is also the deadliest, having a fatality rate of more than 20% since the 1990s. Most climbers turn back short of the summit out of respect for a local Sikkim Religious tradition to keep the summit untouched.

10. The first attempt to summit the peak of Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan failed because the team could not find the mountain.

11.  Mount Denali

It took 40 years to officially rename Mount McKinley to Mount Denali because Ohio kept blocking the change in Congress.

12. On the first known ascent of the Mont Blanc mountain in 1787, a researcher named De Saussure chopped off the top. It ended up in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands. So one could state that the highest point in Europe is in Haarlem.

13. The official height of New Zealand’s Aoraki-Mount Cook had to be reduced by 10 meters in 1991 after its top fell off.

14. Mount Kailash is sacred to four religions and has never been climbed as a result.

15. The mountain Gerlachovský štít had four different name changes and six name reversals throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, was symbolic for multiple kings and leaders, and due to its location was the highest point in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Serbia all within the space of two decades.

16.  Mount Mitchell

The highest peak east of the Mississippi, Mount Mitchell was named after Elisha Mitchell, who, when verifying his measurements of the mountain, fell to his death at one of the falls on the mountain, which they ended up naming “Mitchell Falls”.

17. Mount Thor in Canada has a cliff that holds the record for the highest vertical drop in the world at 4,101 feet.

18. Mount Athos is an autonomous region in Greece that has to forbid the entry of women for 1,000 years. In the 14th Century, a Greek king’s wife was brought to the area to avoid the plague, but she was carried by hand-carriage the entire time to avoid touching the ground.

19. Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is the highest point on Earth from the center of the Earth and the closest point on Earth to the Moon. Chimborazo in Ecuador is 2,168 m (7,113 ft) farther from earth’s center (6,384.4 km (3,967.1 mi)) than that of Everest (6,382.3 km (3,965.8 mi), because the earth bulges at the equator.

20. Mount Jefferson in northwest North Carolina was once named “Nigger Mountain,” then later the less offensive “Negro Mountain” for many years.

21.  Ha Ling Peak

A mountain named “Chinaman’s Peak” was renamed to “Ha Ling Peak” because it was seen as derogatory. Ha Ling was the first to climb it and had named it himself.

22. Of the 14 highest peaks in the world over 8,000m, the deadliest are Annapurna I with a 32% kill rate (deaths/ascents), K2 (26.5%) and Nanga Parbat (20.3%). Everest is relatively safe with a fatality rate of 3.9%.

23. Huayna Picchu is the peak above Machu Picchu. This was the residence for the high priest and the local virgins.

24. 100 highest mountain peaks in the world are all in Asia. 99 out of them pass through at least one of India, Nepal, China, Pakistan or Bhutan.

25. There is a mountain peak named Le Pouce in Mauritius that gives you a view of the entire country.

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