Karakoram 2 (K2) is located in the north-western Karakoram Mountain Range, in Northern Pakistan at the border between Pakistan and China. The Karakoram Mountain range is a part of the Himalayas, home of the world’s largest mountains. K2 stands at a towering 8 611 meters. Among mountaineers, K2 is known as The Savage Mountain as it has proved notoriously difficult to climb the mountain’s peak and a number of mountaineers have lost their lives in the attempt.
Here are ten interesting facts about K2:
- K2 has a peak elevation of 8 611m. Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, is only a mere 237 meters higher at 8 848m.
- K2 is also known as Mount Godwin-Austen, honouring Henry Godwin-Austen an early explorer of the area.
- Locals also call the peak Chogori in Urdu and Balti Language.
- For every four climbers who have reached the mountain’s summit, one has died trying.
- The first, ill-fated, attempt to climb K2 was made in 1902. However despite a number of brave attempts, and much expense, they were only able to reach a height of 6 525m before sickness and poor weather conditions forced them to turn back.
- K2 remained unclimbed until 31 July 1954 when a successful expedition led by Italian explorer Ardito Desio reached the peak.
- The first American ascent was made in 1978 with a team led by the famous mountaineer James Whittaker.
- In 1986 Wanda Rutkiewicz from Poland became the first woman to reach the peak.
- Up until 2009, only eleven women had reached the summit of K2, while four had died making the attempt.
- The most favourable time to climb K2 is during the spring and autumn months. The winter months bring heavy snows and strong winds, while the summer months bring the monsoonal rains.
- K2 has never been successfully climbed during the winter.
K2 remains one of the world’s most dangerous peaks to climb. Extreme weather conditions have seen only 246 climbers reach the summit of K2 to date, with at least 55 climbers dying while making an attempt on the mountain’s peak. The Savage Mountain would seem a fitting name for the world’s second highest mountain.