Machapuchare, Machhapuchchhre or Machhapuchhre (from Nepali माछापुच्छ्रे , meaning 'fishtail', Tamu: कतासुँ क्लिको), is a mountain situated in the Annapurna massif of Gandaki Pradesh, north-central Nepal. Its highest peak has never been officially climbed due to the impossibility of gaining a permit from the government of Nepal.

Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain)
160313-055 Machhapuchhare, view from Tadapani.jpg
Machhapuchhare viewed from Tadapani.
Highest point
Elevation6,993 m (22,943 ft)
Prominence1,233 m (4,045 ft)
Coordinates28°29′42″N 83°56′57″E / 28.49500°N 83.94917°E / 28.49500; 83.94917Coordinates: 28°29′42″N 83°56′57″E / 28.49500°N 83.94917°E / 28.49500; 83.94917
Native nameकतासुँ क्लिको  (Gurung)
Machhapuchare is located in Nepal
Location in Nepal
LocationNorth Central Nepal
Parent rangeAnnapurna Himalayas
First ascentUnclimbed (ascents not allowed)
Early Morning View of Fishtail Mountain ( Machhapuchare), from Sarangkot


Machapuchare is at the end of a long spur ridge, coming south out of the main backbone of the Annapurna massif, which forms the eastern boundary of the Annapurna Sanctuary. The peak is about 25 km (16 mi) north of the provincial headquarter of Pokhara. The sanctuary is a favorite trekking destination, and the site of the base camps for the South Face of Annapurna and for numerous smaller objectives. The Mardi Himal trek, for instance, climbs towards a minor peak.

Notable featuresEdit

Due to its southern position in the range, and the particularly low terrain that lies south of the Annapurna Himalayas, Machapuchare commands tremendous vertical relief in a short horizontal distance. This, combined with its steep, pointed profile, make it a particularly striking peak, despite a lower elevation than some of its neighbors. Its double summit resembles the tail of a fish, hence the name meaning "fish's tail" in Nepalese. It is also nicknamed the "Matterhorn of Nepal".

Climbing historyEdit

It is believed that Machapuchare has never been climbed to its summit. The only confirmed attempt was in 1957 by a British team led by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Roberts. Climbers Wilfrid Noyce and A. D. M. Cox climbed to within 150 m (492 ft) of the summit via the north ridge, to an approximate altitude of 22,793 ft (6,947 m). Adhering to the word of honor given to the then King Mahendra, Noyce and his team descended without stepping on to the summit - thus publishing the only climbing record of the mountain a year later.[1] No permits to climb the mountain have been issued ever after. The mountain is said to be "sacred", but in what form, or to whom, is somewhat unclear.[2]

There have been reports of a New Zealand climber, Bill Denz, making a successful yet illegal attempt to the summit in the early 1980s.[3]


  • Andy Fanshawe and Stephen Venables, Himalaya Alpine Style. Hodder and Stoughton, 1995.
  • Wilfrid Noyce, Climbing the Fish's Tail, London, 1958
  • Koichiro Ohmori, Over The Himalaya, Cloudcap Press/The Mountaineers, 1994.


  1. ^ Noyce, Wilfrid (1998) [1958]. Climbing the fish's tail. Delhi, India: Book Faith India / Pilgrims Book House. ISBN 978-8173031007. OCLC 857085947.
  2. ^ "Mt. Machhapuchhre: Should it be opened for climbing?". HoneyGuide. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  3. ^ AnOther (22 July 2016). "The Untouched Holy Mountain of Nepal". AnOther. Retrieved 30 October 2019.

External linksEdit