'In a recently prepared table, which lists the number of first ascents made by individual countries of peaks of more than 6,400m, Great Britain is second only to Japan. To the end of 2008, Japanese expeditions have made first ascents of around 225 peaks, while Britain's tally is 147. India lies third with around 103.'
These statistics were collated by Professor Josef Hala from Prague in the Czech Republic, an internationally-noted classical pianist but also a man with a passion for mountaineering statistics.
'There are a number of reasons behind Great Britain's high placing in this table. Britain scores highly in the early exploration of the Himalaya: Shipton's expeditions, for instance, made dozens of ascents of peaks over 6,400m.
This has left a legacy. As Alex Huber noted in a recent interview, "It's said that the British have the boldest style, and the boldest opinions of climbing in general ................It's a British tradition to go climbing in places where nobody has gone before, which means they take on the real challenge."'
Full report, with further analysis: Japan and Great Britain top first ascents table