K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. It is in the Karakoram section of the Himalayas between Pakistan and China and it is the National mountain of Pakistan. The name K2 is derieved from the name of mountain range Karakoram. This is how the mountain is popluarly known as K2. K2 means Karakoram 2. The mountain is 8,623 metres (28,661 feet) high. It is believed that the mountain is harder to climb than Mount Everest because of its very bad weather. It is said by the climbers that the weather around K2 is 10 times worse than Mount Everest. K2 is also much higher than the area around it when compared to Everest. K2 is nicknamed "The Savage Mountain" because of this. As of 2004, only 246 people have climbed to the top of the mountain. At least 56 people have died trying to climb it. An unofficial name for K2 is Mount Godwin Austen, named for the man who first climbed it. It is said to be the worlds most dangerous mountain to climb even ahead of Mount Everest. The fatality rate is much more higher than the Everest.
The first attempt to reach the summit was made by an Anglo-Swiss expedition in 1902 that ascended to 18,600 feet (5,670 metres) on the peak’s northeastern crest. Other unsuccessful attempts included an Italian expedition in 1909, led by Luigi Amedeo, duke d’Abruzzi, via the southeastern ridge (later called the Abruzzi Ridge) that reached approximately 20,000 feet (6,100 metres). In 1938 an American expedition led by Charles Houston via the Abruzzi Ridge reached about 26,000 feet (7,925 metres); in 1939 another American-led expedition following the same route reached about 27,500 feet (8,380 metres); and in 1953 another expedition led by Houston reached 25,900 feet (7,900 metres) on the Abruzzi Ridge. Finally, in 1954, an Italian expedition consisting of five scientists (including the geologist Ardito Desio as leader), a doctor, a photographer, and 12 others, including a Pakistani, managed to conquer the Abruzzi Ridge despite the severe weather conditions. The summit was reached at 6 pm on July 31, 1954, by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli. In the course of the ascent, Mario Puchoz, one of the guides, died of pneumonia.
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