Rising at the height of 6993 meters, Machapuchare is known as one of the planet’s most pristine locations in Nepal’s Annapurna Himalayan range. Its remote summit, untouched and untainted, is thought to be one of the auspicious homes of the Hindu god Shiva. Officially, Machapuchare has never been ascended, making it one of the least visited places on Earth.
In the late 1950s, a British expedition came as close as 500 feet to the summit after agreeing with King Mahendra that they would not step foot on the holy mountaintop. After that, the mountain’s peak remained unaltered, but of course, someone had to destroy a good thing.
Did Bill Denz Truly Climb Machapuchare?
A New Zealander, Bill Denz, a very skilled solo climber with the aptitude to try such a difficult ascent, made an unofficial summit. He is thought to have climbed Machapuchare illegally in the early 1980s, becoming the first and the only person ever to set foot on the mountain’s peak. However, we’ll never know the true story because he passed away in an avalanche in 1983.
Mount Machapuchare: Why is Machapuchare Unclimbed?
Machapuchare’s breathtaking beauty is enhanced by its steep, sharp, and quick rise from the plains below. It contrasts with other well-known mountains in Nepal that begin their skyward climb high amid other mountains. Despite being only 24 kilometers north of the picturesque subtropical city of Pokhara, the mountain is 6,000 meters higher than the famous lakeside metropolis. Its name, which referred to the mountain’s dual peaks and notched summit, translates to “fishtail” in Nepali.
If you’re in Pokhara and looking to explore this beautiful city, help yourself with our Pokhara travel guide.
Like other Himalayan mountains, Machapuchare’s geological genesis tale is just as magical as the mountaineering and spiritual legends surrounding it. The Himalayan range formed 50 million years ago when the Indian tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian landmass. The mountain lies just within the Tethyan Himalayas – a region formed by the uplift of the ancient Tethys Sea that once separated the colliding plates. Here, amid the highest mountains on Earth, the silent and remote valleys of the region hide the well-preserved fossils of marine creatures that used to live on the seafloor millions of years ago!
Machapuchare in the Annapurna Region
The Annapurna Conservation Area currently encompasses Machapuchare. It is the largest conservation area in Nepal and was founded in 1992. It has more than 7.5 thousand square kilometers of spectacular scenery, including the 8,091-meter-high Annapurna I summit and the Kali Gandaki river canyon. In addition to 1,226 kinds of flowering plants and the largest rhododendron forest (Nepal’s National Flower!) in the world, it is home to 474 bird species, 39 reptile species, 22 amphibian species, and over a hundred distinct species of animals.
Since Denz’s alleged summit ascent almost forty years ago, Machapuchare’s peak has remained sacred and pristine. The climbing prohibition implies that the mountain will continue to be one of the last places on Earth that are truly beyond our reach.
Although you can’t climb it, trekking outfitters in Nepal’s Annapurna region will take trekkers to the 3700-meter-high Machapuchare Base Camp. Climbers can spend the night exploring the sanctuary’s surroundings and the impressive peaks of Machapuchare, Hiunchuli, and Annapurna South.
FAQs about Mount Machapuchare
Mount Machapuchare is located in Nepal near the northernmost Himalayan sub-ranges and the eastern edge of the Annapurna Sanctuary.
Machapuchare, which rises to a height of 6993 meters in Nepal’s Annapurna Himalayan range, is regarded as one of the planet’s most gleaming locations.
Its remote and untouched summit is believed to be an auspicious home of Lord Shiva. Formally, Machapuchare has never been ascended, making it one of the most pristine places on the Earth.
The top of Machapuchare is thought to have never been reached. However, in 1957 a British team under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Roberts was said to have come as close as 500 feet to the summit. Also, New Zealander solo climber, Bill Denz, is said to have climbed Machapuchare illegally in the early 1980s, becoming the first and the only person ever to set foot on Machapuchare.