• The main peak of the Annapurna massif is the most dangerous of the world's mountains, with a 29% fatality rate of everyone who tries to climb it.
  • Since 1900, an estimated 244 expeditions have resulted in 72 deaths.
  • The next most dangerous, is the Kangchenjunga is with a 29.1% death rate.
  • Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth, attracts hundreds of climbers every year, and has a 14.1% fatality rate.

The 14 highest mountain peaks in the world, also known as the eight-thousanders because they are all more than 8,000 meters above sea level, are all distributed in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas and Karakoram. They are not only wonders of nature, but magnets for adventurers and extreme athletes. Mount Everest alone, as the highest mountain on earth, attracts hundreds of climbers every year who want to reach the summit.

With today's equipment, climbing all eight-thousanders is no longer as difficult as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, but such an undertaking should not be taken lightly. As this infographic, inspired by a presentation by data analyst Ervin Vinzon shows, deaths on the eight-thousanders are not uncommon.

a chart showing the death rate of some of the world's highest mountain ranges
The 14 highest mountain peaks in the world are all more than 8,000 meters above sea level.
Image: Statista

According to data from the Himalayan Database and Mountainiq.com, the 8,091-meter main peak of the Annapurna massif is the most dangerous of all mountains. Since 1900, an estimated 244 expeditions have resulted in 72 deaths - that is, in nearly one in three ascents, one participant did not return. Not infrequently Sherpa, who earn their living with mountain tourism, are also affected. Similarly, the path to the top of the 8,586-meter-high Kangchenjunga is often without return (29.1 percent).

Saving the planet

What is the World Economic Forum doing around the issue of deep-sea mining?

Minerals critical to the clean energy transition have been found in the deep ocean floor. These include cobalt, lithium, copper, nickel, manganese and zinc that are used in batteries for electric vehicle and portable electronics, electronic appliances, energy generation and many other aspects of our daily lives.

Deep-sea mining could offer lower financial cost and a lighter carbon footprint than conventional terrestrial sources of these minerals; it also has the potential to significantly harm one of the last natural wildernesses on our plant. In this relatively young sector, scientific knowledge is still being built on the potential impact of the industry, and the effectiveness of the proposed management methods. As the date for decisions on permitting deep-sea mining contracts gets closer, a fierce debate is emerging on if and how mining should take place. The need for a platform to host a balanced exchange on the issue has become evident.

The World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Global Public Goods has the Deep-Sea Mining Dialogue, an impartial platform that allows different stakeholders to share their knowledge and perspective on the topic and participate in an evidence-based discourse. The Dialogue invites companies in the metal value chain, manufacturers that use metals, environmental groups, institutes and scientists across different disciplines to come together in a constructive, collaborative and open exchange.

The Dialogue helps inform downstream businesses that use metals in their products about the implications of this potential new source of minerals. The World Economic Forum will be gathering available data and analysis and highlighting critical gaps of existing knowledge to establish a fact-base. Through establishing a framework on responsible metal sourcing, the Dialogue reframes the heated debate on deep-sea mining as a collaborative exploration for a shared vision for the future. The aim is to reach an informed and consensual agreement on the most responsible path forward.

The mountain considered most dangerous among climbers because of its steep passages and constant avalanche danger is K2. At 8,611 meters, it is the highest mountain in the Karakoram and the second highest of the eight-thousanders after Everest. Data from 2018 show that more than one in five expeditions suffered a fatality.In absolute numbers, the most people died on Mount Everest, however, it is also the most frequently climbed eight-thousander with over 2,000 expeditions. The death rate on the Qomolangma, as the Tibetans call it, is about 14 percent.