Ranked according to the shapeless abstract dread they inspire in me. It's worth noting that I am neither a mountain climber nor particularly fond of being outside, but I've seen some websites.
  1. K2
    A 28,000' graveyard of dreams. Full stop. As the world's second highest mountain, K2 snuffs out one climber for every four who summit; its final cruel twist being that the descent is deadlier. Thanks to a catalogue of savageries such as "hanging glaciers" and massive seracs that dislodge without warning, K2 has routes even Reinhold Messner won't fuck with (striking, given his immunity to mountains). If you like morbidly gripping Wikipedia k-holes, consult its lineage of tragedy.
  2. Annapurna
    Not many people venture into the eternal silence and infinite space of Annapurna, but if they did it'd be killing them left and right.
  3. Mount Tambora
    Its colossal 1815 eruption caused "the year without summer" catastrophically and poetically.
  4. The Eiger
    This motherfucker's regular name is already German for "the ogre," but that wasn't hopeless enough so it went and earned the nickname Mordwand, or "murder wall." Nearly claimed a then-viable Clint Eastwood, too.
  5. Nanga Parbat
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    Has kind of a Hitchcock blonde thing.
  6. Baintha Brakk
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    Baintha "The Ogre" Brakk
  7. Mount Vinson
    Mount "On Antarctica" Vinson
  8. The rest of the Karakoram Range
    IE, the other few hundred nails in this 311 mile coffin spanning Pakistan, India and China; "non-Baintha Brakk or K2-division" because Baintha Brakk is a cruel granite tower (see fig. 6) and K2 rends the heavens from its own class of emotional terrorism.
  9. Mount Fuji
    Mount Fuji is pretty user friendly as far as climbing apparently goes, but it's also an active stratovolcano shrouded in uncanny myth. With a suicide forest at the base.
  10. Siula Grande
    Specifically its sheer Western face!
  11. The Matterhorn
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    This pitiless "Mountain of Mountains" really owes its placement on the list to negative associations with my first trip to Disneyland, though it remains an excellent visual metaphor for nature's unfeeling brutality.
  12. Manaslu
  13. Denali
    Earthquakes are horrifying enough in a metaphysical sense at sea level.
  14. Santorini
    May have contributed to the collapse of the Xia dynasty!
  15. Laki
    Took out 25% of Iceland.
  16. Krakatoa
    The suicide bomber of mountains: wiped out 36,000+ people in the catastrophic eruption of 1883 while wiping out 2/3 of itself. It's definitely less of a threat now but fundamentalism unsettles me.
  17. Mount Vesuvius
    Ultimately pretty inspiring re: the human spirit, though.
  18. Kangchenjunga
    The world's third highest peak is pretty menacing (given its 22% death rate) but James Bond did it and he's not even a fucking mountain climber.
  19. Mount St. Helens
    A little too deep in the side of the country I'm on.
  20. Dhaulagiri
    Haven't actually gone deep on this one yet but it sounds pretty scary.
  21. Mont Blanc
    Has killed a shitload of people!
  22. Mount Washington
    Legendarily scary, yes, but the legend's mellowed a bit by association with the comparatively chill Los Angeles neighborhood.
  23. Everest
    This shameless gloryhound sounds doable if you're rich enough to quit your job and work out for a year and otherwise conflate athletic achievement with meaning. Littered with frozen bodies, though, and that's pretty metal.
  24. El Capitan
    Kind of a low-stakes gloomy dread.
  25. Mount Fitz Roy
    Hard to be anything but a delight with this name. For sure. Shouldn't even be here!