There are many mountains in the world that are yet to be expedited or climbed. These mountains are almost abandoned because of the difficulties associated with climbing them. While it is almost hard to believe that mountains as such exist, it is the truth. It is almost hard to say which mountain has been unclimbed all around the world because most of the records might result in falsification. Moreover, you just can’t rely on these records, as many mountaineers or even local climbers may not have been recorded. The mountains that remain unclimbed are referred to as the Virgin Mountains. Virgin Mountains are the result of political instability, technical difficulties, or sacredness of the mountains. One of the virgin mountains that has restricted visitors from to summit is Mount Kailash. While it is possible for mountaineers to climb the mountain, going beyond a certain point is not allowed. The mountain holds a very sacred value for Hindus, Bon, Jain, and Buddhists.
Furthermore, the highest unclimbed mountain in the world happens to be Gangkhar Puensum, lying at the height of 7,570 meters, 24,840 ft above sea level. We have summed up all you need to know about the unclimbed mountain. Make sure to read till the end to know more about the highest unclimbed mountain in the world!
Which is the highest unclimbed mountain?
The highest unclimbed mountain is Gangkhar Puensum, which stands tall at the height of 7570 meters/ 24840 ft above sea level. The peak is situated in Bhutan. It is close to the border of China. Climbing mountains above the height of 6,000 meters have been restricted in Bhutan since the year 1994. Hence, no mountain above this height has been climbed ever since due to the strict rules. One of the main reasons why the restriction was enforced in the first place is because there is a belief in deities and spirits residing at the highest ends of the mountains here. Hence, humans going to the mountain might be nothing but a disturbance to these holy spirits and sacred figures, as per the beliefs of the Bhutanese authorities.
In 2003, the rules toughened with the restriction on climbing just any mountain in Bhutan. Gangkhar Puensum will remain unclimbed until the country changes the restrictive law, which is close to impossible.
History of Gangkhar Puensum
Gangkhar Puensum was first measured in the year 1922. The maps, throughout the years since the most recent times, show many different heights of the peak. The mountain was almost hidden from the outside world to the point that the earliest mountaineers could not even find it. The book the 1986 British Expedition, claims that Gangkhar Puensum’s height must be 7,550 meters (24,770 ft). Moreover, there is also an indication of this peak being entirely inside the Bhutanese territory. Kula Kangri, at a height of 7,554 meters, is located 3 kilometers away from this mountain. While Gangkhar Puensum is in Bhutan, Kula Kangri is in Tibet on many maps as well as in Bhutan on others.
The mountain has been forbidden from climbing, especially due to the sacred beliefs of the people in Bhutan. No mountains above the height of 6000 m have been climbed in the country since 1994. A Japanese expedition group, in the year 1998, had been successful in getting permitted to climb the mountain by the Chinese Mountaineering Association. But, due to the restrictions and avoidance of breaking any rules, the Bhutanese authorities did not let this happen.
In the following year, the same team from Japan made an expedition from the Tibetan side of a subsidiary mountain and actually succeeded in summiting the Gangkhar Puensum North or Liankang Kangri. Though Gangkhar Puensum has been reported to be inside the Bhutanese territory only, the mountain is said to be in the Tibet and the China–Bhutan border. Hence, it has always been recognized as the highest unclimbed peak in Bhutan and not in Tibet.
Will anyone be able to summit Gangkhar Puensum?
Despite several attempts to climb the mountains almost a century ago and the constant political issues against the authorities of Bhutan and China, there has been no successful expedition in Gangkhar Puensum. In defense of the mountaineers, the situation worsened when Bhutan restricted any sort of mount climbing activities inside the territory in the year 2003. Likewise, the 1994 rule passed by the Bhutanese government also forbade anyone to go beyond the height of 6000 meters in the mountains inside the country. This leads us to the conclusion that no one has ever been able to climb Gangkhar Puensum.
However, contrasting to the records, the local attempts or the unrecorded mountaineer’s climb is still a secret. And there is no evidence as to anyone had ever climbed the mountain before the laws were enforced in Bhutan. But what plays as solid evidence still is that this mountain is yet to be fully summited by just anyone.
What is the mystery of Gangkhar Puensum?
Gnagkhhar Puensum is not only the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, but it also has lots of mysterious events associated with it. This mountain is considered sacred to the point that people fear going to the mountain. The locals who had been living in the vicinity of Gangkhar Puensum have always been witnessing strange activities in the mountain. This includes hearing noises, lightning, and apparitions. These activities have always been deemed to be the root of the belief that there is divine life in the mountain. Besides just the residence of deities, many stories of mysterious creatures like Yeti and other mythical figures have been associated with the mountain.
This is one of the primary reasons why even the authorities in Bhutan never plan on changing the rules of the country. Not only are the Bhutanese people afraid of the strange happenings and hold a strong belief in the deities, but they are also afraid that human beings visiting the mountain will disturb the existence of these sacred and mythical figures.
Is Gangkhar Puensum taller than Mount Everest?
Ganghkhar Puensum is one of the highest unclimbed mountains located in Bhutan. The mountain is said to be partially in Tibet as well. This mountain, however, is not taller than Mount Everest. Mount Everest stands tall at the height of 8848m, but Gangkhar Puensum is 7550m above sea level. It is one of the 40 highest mountains in the world.
Has anyone tried to climb Gangkhar Puensum?
Yes, a British team of mountain expeditors attempted to climb Ganghkhar Puensum in 1985. They did not become successful in summiting the peak whatsoever. This team had to return home with disappointment due to illness. The very next year, an Austrian team also attempted to climb the mountain but failed. There has been a record of at least 4 attempts in the mountain, and all have failed due to either high altitude, unfavorable weather conditions, or political instability. Likewise, there has not been and will never be a single record of anyone who has been successful in summiting the peak.
As for the people of Bhutan, their beliefs make them stay away from the mountain, and every other person who has tried even close to climbing the mountain has failed.
What is the other name of Gangkhar Puensum?
Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan is also known as the White Peak of the Three Spiritual Brothers. As spiritual as the name sounds, the mountain also has been said to be the home of holy spirits. This is one of the main reasons the Bhutanese authorities have not yet allowed anyone to climb this mountain.
List Of Highest Unclimbed Peaks