It's about the higher-than category. Recall the four-thousanders of the Alps (meters) and the Adirondacks (feet) as well as the fourteen-thousanders (feet) of the Rockies. It might as well be an even number.
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Several inaccuracies in this. Humans cannot permanently survive above 15,000 feet, or at least I think that's the elevation. Far shorter than the 6000m figure given in the article. Second, the "death zone" is 7000 meters, not 8000.