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Kabru South, from the south from Dzongri in Sikkim
Elevation 7,412 m (24,318 ft)
Ranked 65th
Prominence 780 m (2,560 ft)
Listing List of mountains in India
List of mountains in Nepal
Kabru is located in Nepal
Location in India - Nepal border
Location IndiaNepal border
Range Himalaya

Kabru is a mountain in the Himalayas on the border of eastern Nepal and India. It is part of a ridge that extends south from Kangchenjunga and is the southernmost 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) peak in the world.

The main features of this ridge are as follows (north to south):

  • Kangchenjunga south top, 8476 m, at
  • A 6600–6700 m saddle, located at
  • A 7349 m summit, known as Talung, at
  • A 6983 m saddle, at
  • A 7412 m summit, at . This point has sufficient prominence to be classified as the highest point of a separate mountain, according to the definition used in List of highest mountains. It is confusingly referred to by some authorities as "Kabru IV", but it is not clear that this is correct, or that any "Kabru" name is correctly applied to this summit. According to the 1996 version of the Himalayan Journal (pp. 29–36), members of an Indian Army expedition reached this summit in May 1994.
  • A substantial "field of firn" measuring about 2 km from north to south, and 1 km from east to west. This is almost entirely over 7200 m, and the watershed divide that runs through this field does not drop below this height.
  • A 7338 m summit, at ca. , at the eastern boundary of the field of firn. This point, which is known as Kabru North, was reached by C.R.Cooke on 18 November 1935, without oxygen. It remained the highest solo climb until 1953. Although it is lower than the 7412 m summit, which Cooke did not ascend, it was considered at the time, and may still be considered, to be Kabru's highest point; the higher summit was considered to be an unnamed summit along the ridge to Kangchenjunga.
  • An intervening c.7200 m saddle. Cooke's account implies that there are two intervening tops between this saddle and Kabru North.
  • A 7318 m summit, at , known as Kabru South is the southernmost "7000 m peak" in the world. This was climbed by an Indian party in 1994.

To the south west of Kabru south, there is a 6400 m saddle and a 6682 m summit known as Rathong. To its south east is the 6600 m Kabru Dome.

In 2004, a group of Serbian climbers unsuccessfully attempted the mountain. A series of avalanches forced the group to give up their goal.

Site of altitude records

Mt. Kabru at sunrise, Sikkim (2013).

The 7338 m summit of Kabru is the site of a mountaineering altitude record, either in 1883 or in 1905. The English barrister William Graham, the Swiss hotelier Emil Boss and the Swiss mountain guide Ulrich Kauffmann reported to have reached a point 30-40 feet below this summit, which Graham described as "little more than a pillar of ice", at 2pm on October 8, 1883. The ascent was questioned by powerful members of the Alpine Club and the Indian Survey Department, though not by their Himalayan climbing colleagues, and has been dismissed for most of the time since. Recent analysis suggests that the mountaineers may have been correct in their assertions after all.[1] If Graham, Boss and Kaufmann did climb to ~7325 m on Kabru it was a remarkable achievement for its time, breaking the existing altitude record by at least 360 m (assuming a pre-Columbian ascent of Aconcagua) and holding on to it for twenty-six years (when in 1909 an expedition led by Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi reached about 7500 m on Chogolisa).

If their account is dismissed, the same peak nevertheless became the site of an undisputed altitude record on 20 October 1907, when the Norwegians Carl W. Rubenson and Monrad Aas came within 50 m of climbing it. Notably, Rubenson and Aas believed that Kauffmann, Boss and Graham had reached the same point 34 years before.[1]


  1. ^ a b Willy Blaser and Glyn Hughes, Kabru 1883, a reassessment, The Alpine Journal 2009, p. 209
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