Mountaineers came closer than ever to climbing the north ridge of Latok I in Pakistan’s Karakoram range last week. It is not the only peak defying human conquest

The north ridge of Latok I, the 7,145-metre-high spur of ice and granite in the Karakoram mountains, Pakistan, has defeated climbers for 40 years, after it was it was first tried, in 1978, by an immensely strong American expedition. Earlier this year, Sergei Glazunov from Russia fell to his death on this same route and his partner, Alexander Gukov, was saved in a daring rescue by the Pakistani air force. Reports last week excitedly declared that an expedition had conquered it, but it later emerged that the climbers had got two-thirds of the way up, then judged the top section too dangerous and reached the summit another way. So Latok I technically remains one of the last great challenges of the climbing world.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are still lots of unclimbed mountains and routes on more familiar peaks that have yet to be done. Many are in the Karakoram and the Himalayas, but there are lots in Alaska, the Andes and Antarctica, too. Some are unclimbed because nobody has bothered yet. Other challenges, like Latok I, have fixed themselves in the climbing world’s imagination: they are so hard or remote, or require such endurance, that only the best need apply.Here are five more.

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