There are 6 countries that are home to the Himalayan mountain range: Nepal, China/Tibet, India, Bhutan, Pakistan and Myanmar. Without question or debate it is Nepal that stands out as the Himalayan Kingdom. Not only does it contain the highest number of peaks of any other country housing the Himalaya, it has the most peaks open for climbing and has by far the best infrastructure to support tourism and mountaineering. Nepal has seen mountaineering activity that dates back further than any other asian country with the early expeditions beginning in the 1890’s and early 19th century. The Himalaya in central Asia was the last and greatest mountain range to see exploration and eventually became the range where modern-day expedition assaults and tactics were developed by the early pioneers.
The Nepal government (Ministry of Tourism) and the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) earned $3.91 million USD in tourist revenue from mountaineering permits in 2013. This amount is cited from figures released by the Nepali government. Year to year this number fluctuates, but its fair to say that just by looking at the financial evidence, Nepal should be on your bucket list if you’re a mountain climber.
So the question is, what are the top 5 mountain expedition in Nepal? The 5 peaks that have been assembled here in this article represent the top 5 peaks that have seen the most visitors in the last decade of mountaineering in Nepal. It does not represent the top 5 peaks that have generated the most money for Nepal since 1 permit depending on the season and height of the peaks permits can range in cost from $100-$25,000 USD.
Mt. Everest (8,848m/29,028ft)
Mount Everest expedition has become one of the most popular mountain expeditions in the world. Mount Everest has many names: Sagarmatha and Chomolungma to name just a few. It stands at 8848m/29,028ft and generated 2.75 million USD in 2013 from permit costs alone. The average price for a permit ranges from 10,0000 to 25,000 USD depending on the season and which side of the mountain you climb. The allure captures the hearts and spirits of climbers, calling them to come and test themselves. Climbers spend years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars to prepare for this massive high altitude project. Standing on top of the highest geographic point in the world has become a challenge and goal that many cannot ignore. Risking life, limb and financial security mountaineers pour everything they have into this lifetime achievement.
Mt. Ama Dablam (6,812m/22,349ft)
Ama Dablam Expedition is the most famous and popular 7000m peak in Nepal. Ama Dablam is translated to “Mothers Necklace” “mothers pearl box” It is known as the Matterhorn of the Himalaya and stands at 6812m/22,349ft. It’s steep south and north faces drop down over 2000m and has technical ridges that radiate out from its summit in all directions. It has become a benchmark ascent for climbers looking to evaluate their performance on a technical peak at altitude. It is said to be in many regards a harder ascent than Mt. Everest itself.
Mt. Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft)
Island peak got its name from the first ascent team who said that among an ocean of snow and ice there was an island, island peak. It stands at 6,189m/20,305ft and has become one of the most popular trekking peaks in Nepal. It is regarded as slightly technical because of a glacier crossing and a steep snowfield to a short exposed summit ridge. It is a great beginner peak offering stunning views of Makalu, Ama Dablam and Everest. A must do for those looking to get high in the Khumbu without a huge financial or time commitment.
Mt Manaslu (8,156m/26,758ft)
Mt Manaslu has become a very popular 8000m expedition. It stands at 8156m/26,758ft. It offers a unique approach through the Tsum Valley, which was closed to foreigners until the 1950’s. You can approach Manaslu from the Annapurna trekking circuit or from Tsum Valley, and the contrast could not be greater. Sum offers a rich cultural experience since the area has not seen many foreigners in the last few decades. On the other hand the Annapurna approach has become one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal if not the world. Manaslu is considered an easier 8,000m peak but has some objective hazard in the icefall and the steep snow slopes which are avalanche prone.
Mt. Mera Peak (6,476m/21,247ft)
Mera Peak is the highest trekking peak in Nepal standing at 6476m/21,247ft. It offers stunning views of the Solu Khumbu region. It has a way of feeling like a full-blown mountain expedition because of the approach. Mera peak is nestled remotely in the Khumbu and gives 6000m climbers a taste of what the Himalaya can offer. It’s a great beginner peak and comes highly recommended as one of the first peaks to tick off of your list in Nepal.