• K2 – The Second Highest Peak in The World

K2 – The Second Highest Peak in The World

If you’re a mountaineer, you must’ve been to the base camp of many different peaks, but here’s something even more exciting. The K2 Moutain!

Have you ever seen the world’s second-highest peak other than pictures? Do you know how majestic it looks? If not, you’re about to experience a thrilling journey as we take you on a quick tour of the K2 mountain. Yes, this article will make you feel like you’re watching the hill in front of you, and by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be craving a trip to this mountain. 

K2, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori, is the second-highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest, at 8,611 meters (28,251 ft) above sea level. It is located on the border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang in northwestern China. The mountain was first surveyed and named k2 in a geographic survey of India in 1856. K2 is known as Savage Mountain due to the difficulty of climbing. It has the second-highest death rate among the eight-thousanders; about one person dies on the summit to K2 for every four who attempt. 

It is more difficult and dangerous to reach the peak of K2 from the Chinese side; thus, it is sometimes climbed as part of an expedition starting from the Pakistani side.

Let’s continue and explore more interesting facts and figures about K2 Pakistan.

History of K2

K2 has thousands of tragic stories buried beneath its bone-freezing snow. It has been the graveyard of many mountaineers who dared to conquer it. 

K2 was first surveyed by the British during the Great Trigonometric Survey of India in 1856. It got the name K2 because it was the second peak of the surveyed Karakoram range.

The first attempt to climb K2 Pakistan was made in 1902 by an Englishman, Aleister Crowley, and his five other companions. Unfortunately, due to the lack of modern equipment, it took them fourteen days to reach the foot of the mountain. 

Crowley’s team reached an altitude of 6,325 meters (20,730 ft) before being forced to turn back. The failure was due to the lack of physical training, personality conflicts, and harsh weather conditions.

The first successful ascent of K2 was made on July 31, 1954, by Italians Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. They climbed the Abruzzi Spur, the most popular route used today. 

The second successful ascent to K2 was in 1977 after, 23 years of the first expedition. Ichiro Yoshizawa led the climb with the first Pakistani native climber, Ashraf Aman, and more than 1500 porters. 

Climbing K2 is a highly challenging and dangerous endeavor. It has been called the “Savage Mountain” due to the high fatalities. 

K2 Height

K2 is 8,611 meters (28,251 ft) tall, making it the second-highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest. This height is right according to the maps and measurements are taken by the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India in 1856.

But recently, in 2014, a Pakistani-Italian expedition named “K2 60 Years Later” was planned to pay tribute to the first ascent on its 60th anniversary. 

During this expedition, they re-measured the mountain using GPS equipment and satellite imagery and announced that K2 was 8,609.02 m (28,244.8 ft) tall. 

Why is it Named K2?

During a region survey, the mountain was first climbed in 1856 by Englishman Colonel Montgomerie. He gave it the official designation of “K2” because it was the second peak of the Karakoram range he surveyed. 

“K” stands for the Karakoram mountain range, and “2” because it is the second-highest peak in the field. 

Some people believe that the name “K2” is derived from the Balti word “Chogori,” which means “The Great Mountain.”

K2 is also known as Mount Godwin Austen after Henry Godwin Austen, an early explorer of this area. 

The Second Highest Mountain in World

With a height of 28,251 feet (8,611 meters), K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest. 

It is also the most dangerous mountain to climb, with a fatality rate of about one in four. 

K2 climb is more demanding than Mount Everest even though it’s not taller, but it is dangerous via the standard North or Southeast routes. 

K2 Gilgit Baltistan is often called the “Savage Mountain” because of the extreme difficulty of ascent. 

It has earned this nickname because of its treacherous, unpredictable weather and the many fatalities. 

K2 Height in Feet

K2, a massive mountain in the Karakorum range, is the second tallest mountain peak in the world. It has an elevation of 28,251 feet (8,611 meters). 

That makes it about 780 feet (238 meters) shorter than Mount Everest, the tallest mountain peak in the world. 

K2 is the ultimate climb, as it’s far more complex than Mount Everest. The summit is incredibly steep and narrow, and the weather conditions are very harsh. All these factors add to the mountain’s jaw-dropping height, making it the most challenging climb. 

Who was the First Person to Summit K2?

The mighty mountain K2 has seen many summits; some were successful enough to be remembered, while others lost their lives. 

The first person to summit K2 was an Italian climber named Achille Compagnoni, who reached the peak on July 31, 1954. 

Since then, only about 377 people have summited K2, compared to the nearly 6000 who have summited Everest. 

Why is K2 known as Savage Mountain?

K2 is nicknamed “Savage Mountain” because of the climb’s difficulty. Also, the many fatalities that have occurred while attempting to summit it. 

About 91 people have died trying to climb K2, which is a 25% fatality rate, according to a report by NASA. In comparison, Everest has a fatality rate of about 14%. 

So why is K2 so much more difficult and dangerous to climb? 

There are several reasons. First, the weather conditions here are notoriously unpredictable and can change very quickly. That can make it challenging to know when it’s safe to attempt a summit and when it’s not. 

Second, the route to the summit of K2 is much more technical than Everest. More steep sections require climbers to use ropes and other equipment, adding to the climb’s difficulty (and danger). 

So those are some of the reasons why K2 is considered to be the most challenging mountain to climb. But despite all that, people from all over the globe every year attempt to summit it. And for successful people, it’s an experience they’ll never forget.

What to Pack for K2?

Attempting to summit K2 is a severe undertaking, and you must ensure you’re adequately prepared before you even start the trek up to base camp. That means having the right gear and clothing to keep you warm, dry, and safe. 

So if you’re planning a trip to the K2 basecamp, here’s a list of items you should remember. 

Clothing

  • 2-3 Moisture Wicking T-shirts
  • 2 T-Shirts
  • Down Jacket
  • Gortex or waterproof jacket
  • Rain Poncho
  • Windbreaker
  • Fleece pants
  • 2-3 Trekking pants
  • Waterproof pants
  • Hiking shorts and hiking socks
  • Thermal Socks
  • Camp Shoes
  • Glove liners
  • Down mittens or gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Neck Gaiter
  • Wool Hat

Trekking Gear

  • Trekking poles
  • Handwarmers
  • Duffle bag
  • Waterproof cover for a daypack
  • Water bottles
  • Hydration Bladder
  • Sleeping Bag of -18 degrees
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Travel pillow
  • Sleeping bag stuff sack
  • Dry Bags in different sizes
  • Camera

Snacks and drinks consisting of proteins and carbs

Toiletries

  • Shampoo
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Face lotion
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Anti-biotics
  • Toilet papers
  • Sunscreen
  • Wet wipes and hairbrush

Important Documents 

  • Passport
  • Visa (non-Pakistani)
  • Travel insurance and money

The best thing about this trek is that even if you forget something, you can buy it in Skardu, which has enough shops selling such items, and you can easily spot pharmacies and bookstores. But once you start your journey from Skardu, you will find such shops once you reach back. 

So, getting everything you need before starting the trek is advisable. Skardu is the last stop for any western comforts, so make the best of it! 

K2 Basecamp

The K2 base camp is one of the most attractive places in the world. But, unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous to reach. Every year, climbers die trying to reach the summit of K2.

The base camp is located at an altitude of 5,150 meters (16,896 feet). The trek to base camp is not technical but very strenuous. The base camp trek is a multi-day hike starting from Skardu. 

It takes about 10-25 days to reach the base camp from Skardu.

The base camp is almost 90 kilometers from Askole, the last village while traveling towards K2. 

A K2 basecamp is a beautiful place surrounded by glaciers. Unfortunately, it is also hazardous because of the crevasses and avalanches.

But once you reach base camp, you’ll be awe-struck by the view of K2. The mountain is so big and majestic that it’s hard to believe it’s real.

Route Towards K2 Base Camp

Every summit and trip in Pakistan begins from Islamabad, and so does the route to the K2 base camp. You’ll start your journey from Islamabad once you’ve reached the capital; remember to check your equipment and stuff. Then, take a rest and fly to Skardu. The best way to get to Skardu is by taking a PIA flight from Islamabad. 

Explore Skardu city and relax in your hotel with mesmerizing views of the Indus river in front of your window. After you’re well rested and checked/organized your equipment, prepare for the drive to Jhola/Paiju camp. 

The climbers will journey to Paiju camp in jeeps, spend a day here, and prepare for the trek to the next stop, Urdukas. 

You will reach the Urdukas campsite after covering a distance of around 8 kilometers. The next day, you’ll have to cross the Gondogoro La, the most challenging journey that involves crossing a glacier. 

Once you’ve crossed the Gondogoro La, you’ll be at Concordia, and from here, you’ll trek to the K2 base camp. Spend some time here to take in the views and acclimate yourself before making the final push to the summit. 

Top Attractions During the Trek 

As you make your way, there are a few top attractions that you must take advantage of. These include: 

Skardu

The capital of Baltistan, this town is a must-visit. It’s a beautiful place with stunning landscapes and is the starting point for most K2 expeditions. 

The Baltoro Glacier

The Baltoro Glacier is one of the most massive glaciers in the world and is truly a sight to behold. Make sure you stop here for some pictures and to take in the scenery.

Concordia

Concordia is known as the “throne room of the mountains” for a good reason. That is one of the picturesque places in Pakistan and offers some of the best views of K2. So spend some time here to take everything in.

K2 Base Camp

Of course, you can only go by stopping at the base camp. That is where all the climbers start their ascent, and it’s a fantastic place to see. So even if you’re not planning on climbing, it’s still worth a visit.

Make sure you add these top attractions to your list when trekking!

When to Climb?

The ideal time to climb K2 is from June to September. That is because that’s the only prime time for this trek, and you must spare three weeks. But as the area is remote and the weather conditions are unpredictable, it’s better to be flexible and spare extra days. 

How Long Does it Take to Summit?

It takes around 3-4 weeks for the summit. This period includes only the actual ascent and climbing periods. 

The total time including treks to base camp and to stay there and then to the summit takes 43-46 days; it can be longer than that, given the weather conditions. 

The actual ascent to the top of K2 from the base camp takes only 3-4 weeks. But it depends on the weather conditions and your team’s climbing speed. 

What are the Top Hurdles in Summiting K2?

Summit to K2 is no easy feat, and we all know that. But what makes it so difficult to climb this mountain known as the world’s second-highest mountain? First, let’s discuss some of the hurdles which make summiting K2 an arduous task: 

1.     The first hurdle is the weather conditions. The weather here is very unpredictable, and it can change anytime. So, you must be careful while climbing, as even a tiny mistake can lead to a big disaster. 

2.     The second hurdle is the route. The route to K2 is tricky and dangerous. There are many crevasses and icefalls, which can be very dangerous for climbers. 

3.     The third hurdle is the altitude. The summit of K2 is very high, and it isn’t easy to acclimate to this altitude. That is one of the main reasons why many climbers fail to summit. 

4.     A hurdle that we must remember is the lack of oxygen. There is very little oxygen at the higher altitude, making it difficult for climbers to breathe. 

5.     Last but not least, a significant issue is the lack of food and water. There are no glaciers on K2; the only water source is from melting snow. That can make it difficult for climbers to stay hydrated. 

Mysteries of The K2 Disaster

The 2008 K2 disaster was something that the world can never forget. It is one of the deadliest disasters in mountaineering history. 

The disaster happened on August 1, 2008, when 11 climbers died after being caught in an avalanche. That was the second-deadliest day here and the deadliest day for climbers in the 21st century. 

This disaster is still shrouded in mystery as to what exactly happened. Some say that the climbers were caught in an avalanche while others say that a falling serac hit them. 

We know that this disaster highlights the dangers of mountaineering and how even the most experienced climbers can be caught off guard. It also shows how unpredictable nature can be. 

How Many Deaths Does K2 Have?

Since records began, there have been approximately 91 deaths on K2. This number is relatively low compared to other mountains, such as Mount Everest, with over 310 recorded deaths. 

However, the death rate on K2 is much higher. One person has died trying for every four people who have reached the summit. That makes K2 the most dangerous mountain to climb, with a death rate of around 25%. 

Movies & Documentaries Based on Real Stories of K2

Several movies and documentaries have been made about K2, both fiction and non-fiction. 

Some of the more famous ones include: 

-Vertical Limit (200) was a famous American survival thriller film.

– K2: Siren of the Himalayas (2012) was a documentary movie that follows a group of climbers who attempted to summit K2 in 2009. 

-K2: The Impossible Descent (2020); a documentary movie regarding a Polish ski mountaineer who attempted the summit and descent on skis.

These movies and documentaries are all based on real stories of people who have attempted to climb K2. They offer an insight into climbers’ dangers and challenges when trying to summit the world’s second-highest mountain. 

So if you’re interested in learning more or want to be entertained by some gripping stories, check out one of these movies or documentaries.

Islamabad to K2 Distance

It’s difficult to estimate the direct distance between Islamabad and K2, but here’s a journey breakdown. 

The distance from Islamabad to Skardu is 640 kilometers. Next, you’ll travel from Skardu toward Askole, the last village before the K2 base camp. The distance from Skardu to Askole is 126 kilometers. The distance to the K2 base camp from this village is 90 kilometers. 

That means the total journey from Islamabad to the K2 base camp is 856 kilometers. 

Where is K2 Located?

K2 is located on the border of Pakistan and China; it lies partially in China and Pakistan. But the Chinese side of K2 is quite tricky to the summit, so people prefer to start their journey from the Pakistani side of the mountain. 

It’s part of the Karakoram mountain range and is situated in the Baltoro Muztagh, a sub-range of the Karakoram. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does K2 stand for?

K2 stands for the second peak of the Karakoram mountain range. So K means Karakorum, and two stands for the second peak. British surveyors gave it this name in 1856. 

Why is K2 called The Killer Mountain?

K2 is called the Killer Mountain because it has one of the highest death rates of any mountain in the world. One has died trying for every four people who have reached the summit. 

Is K2 deadlier than Everest?

K2 is often referred to as the “Mount Everest of the killer mountains” because it is considered more difficult and dangerous to climb than Everest. 

Although the Everest summit is at a higher altitude, K2 is more difficult because of its unpredictable weather.

How much does it cost to climb K2?

The cost of climbing K2 depends on several factors, including the route you take, the company you use, and the country you are coming from.

Generally speaking, it will cost between $18,000 and $20,000 to climb K2.

What are the nicknames of K2?

K2 has earned several nicknames over the years, including “The Savage Mountain,” “The Mountains of Heaven,” and “The Mountaineers’ Mountain.” 

Locals also refer to it as Dapsang or Chogori, and the world knows it as the 2nd-highest mountain. 

K2 is one of the most popular and deadliest mountains in the world. However, it is also one of the picture-perfect places, so many people are drawn to it despite the risks. If you’re planning on climbing K2, be sure to research and come prepared for the challenges.