Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.

–John Ruskin

K2, at dawn below the Godwin

Austen Glacier

 K2 or Mount Godwin Austen is the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest. It is 8611 meters above the sea level. This mountain is known as the Savage Mountain due to extreme difficulty of ascent. The easier side to climb the peak is from Pakistan. It is more difficult to reach the summit from the Chinese side.

Though from the start of the 20th century different people made attempts to surmount it, however they didn’t succeed. In the year 1954, an Italian expedition finally succeeded in ascending to the summit of K2 on 31st of July. Despite the successful attempt, the summit was a controversial one for two persons who were accompanying the successful climbers were forced to overnight. As a result the porter, Amir Mehdi, was hospitalized and his toes were amputated because of frostbite.

K2 is the mountain with second highest fatality rate. One of the most notable disasters was the 2008 K2 disaster. It occurred on 1 August 2008, when 11 mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2. Others were seriously injured.

A combination of elements makes it one of the most difficult mountains to climb. It is about 800 feet lower than Everest, but the topography is much tougher. Climbing Everest you have stretches that are steep, then it flattens off. Very little of K2 ever flattens off. It’s also avalanche and rock fall-prone. And the weather is terrible and unpredictable. There have been several years recently in which nobody managed to climb K2 because the weather was so bad.