At present, there are 14 recognised mountain peaks with heights of greater than 8,000 metres. With mountaineering making up a significant part of Nepal’s tourism income, the country hoped that the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation would approve its proposal for recognition of the five new peaks at its annual general meeting in Switzerland in October.
The peaks under consideration are all ‘side peaks’ of recognised 8,000-metre-plus mountains – three on the Kanchenjunga massif, and two on the Lhotse massif on the Nepal–China border near Mount Everest. The 8,505-metre Yarlung Khang, also known as Kanchanjunga West, is the highest of the new peaks.
According to Nepalese officials, support had already been secured from China. ‘India and Pakistan are also quite positive, but they said they needed more time to get this approved by their mountaineering bodies’ general assemblies and therefore it could not happen during this meeting,’ Ang Thsering Sherpa, past president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told the BBC.
This story was published in the December 2013 edition of Geographical Magazine