From the start, the group encountered several problems, including a late start and a lack of climbing supplies. Menu icon A vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. Others now rest in different places from where they died, due to moving glaciers, and a few have been intentionally moved. In 2014, the Chinese moved Tsewang Paljor, “Green Boots,” off the trail. Reinhold Messner, first to climb all 14 eight-thousanders, and first to do so without supplementary oxygen.
The other peaks were originally named K1, K3, K4, and K5, but were eventually renamed Masherbrum, Gasherbrum IV, Gasherbrum II, and Gasherbrum I, respectively. In 1892, Martin Conway led a British expedition that reached “Concordia” on the Baltoro Glacier. In the afternoon, a climber from Serbia lost his footing and fell. Later, while attempting to move the body, a porter from Pakistan hired by the French team suffered from oxygen deprivation and fell to his death.
On 1 August 2008, 11 climbers from several expeditions died during a series of accidents, including several ice falls in the Bottleneck. A 1986 expedition led by George Wallerstein made an inaccurate measurement showing that K2 was taller than Mount Everest, and therefore the tallest mountain in the world. A corrected measurement was made in 1987, but by then the claim that K2 was the tallest mountain in the world had already made it into many news reports and reference works.
The Sherpas Made It To The Stranded Korean Climbers, But Another Huge Chunk Of The Ice Ridge Fell More Men Died
The number of people to have reached the top constitutes only a small fraction compared with how many have successfully climbed Mount Everest. In addition, although there have been fewer deaths on K2 compared with those on Mount Everest, the proportion of those killed to the number of people who have attempted climbing K2 is significantly higher. For every three climbers who reach the summit of K2, approximately one dies somewhere on the mountain—and many of those fatalities occur while going down. Local time, social media updates report that the entire team had safely reached Camp 3, where they were resting for a few hours before continuing down. For both Purja and Mingma G, summiting K2 in winter represents the chance to make a statement of national pride and homegrown Himalayan mountaineering prowess. “All 13×8000 peaks have been climbed in winter by our international climbing community so it would be a great feat for the Nepali climbing community to make history,” Purja wrote recently from base camp.
Since then around 280 people have reached K2’s summit – a paltry number compared to the 3,681 who have made their way to the top of Everest. The first woman to conquer K2 was Poland’s Wanda Rutkiewicz in 1986. Rutkiewicz died shortly afterwards trying to scale Kangchenjunga . The next five women to climb K2 either died on the way down or on their next major climb, leading some to speculate that K2 was cursed for female climbers.
Bodies lie on the mountain frozen in the position they were in when the person died. Here a man had fallen off the trail and too tired to rise, died where he fell. Climbers often stack rocks and packed snow around the bodies in an effort to protect them from the elements. NASA reported that as of 2012, Everest’s fatality rate was closer to 4%.
World’s Top 10 Deadliest Mountains: The Summits Most Likely To Kill You
Located in Pakistan’s part of the Karakoram range, K2 is the last of the world’s 14 tallest mountains—all higher than 8,000 meters—to be climbed in winter. It is considered by far the most difficult and dangerous because of the technical climbing required to reach the top. Mount Everest, at 8,848.86 metres (29,031.7 ft), is Earth’s highest mountain and a particularly desirable peak for mountaineers, but climbing it can be hazardous. More than 300 people have died attempting to reach the summit. Yet unlike Mount Everest and other popular high-altitude summits, K2’s extreme steep faces demand strong technical skills while simultaneously exposing climbers to frequent rockfall and avalanches. While more than 4,000 people have reached the summit of Everest, only 367 people had climbed K2 as of June 2018.
The peak of Manalsu in Nepal is the fifth most dangerous in the world, having claimed an astonishing 53 lives from 297 attempts. Part of the Himalayas, the treacherous ascent of Dhaulagiri I has claimed 58 lives from more than 350 attempts. Coming in at number 10 is Broad Peak in Pakistan, having recorded 19 deaths from almost 360 attempts. In the mid-19th century the British forces in India began surveying peaks and passes in the Himalayan range in order to keep a watchful eye on any possible route that a Russian army might take if it invaded South Asia.
Although Everest is 237m taller, K2 is widely perceived to be a far harder climb. “It’s a very serious and very dangerous mountain,” adds Sir Chris. Along the route is a series of seemingly impossible natural hurdles with names like the House Chimney, the Black Pyramid and the Shoulder. Surmounting those only brings the climber to perhaps the deadliest part of the climb, the Bottleneck, a treacherous steep gully ridged with columns of glacial ice prone to collapsing. And only one has succeeded, just last month, when 10 Nepalese climbers reached the summit on January 16. The world’s second-highest peak has killed one climber for every four who succeeded in reaching its summit.
Nirmal Purja and a team of Nepali climbers celebrate after summiting K2 on January 16, 2021. The Himalayan peak is the last of the world’s 14 tallest mountains to be climbed in winter. The Italians used oxygen and a large party to tackle the summit along the now commonly traversed south-eastern ridge known as the Abruzzi Spur. An American expedition a year earlier resulted in one of the most dramatic rescues in climbing history when a single climber managed to hold on to five other colleagues who had fallen using nothing more than an ice pick. Not because a lot of people have died there or anything, but because the name sounds suspiciously like kill-a-man-jaro.
The Japanese expedition took the Abruzzi Spur and used more than 1,500 porters. K2’s height given on maps and encyclopedias is 8,611 metres . In the summer of 2014, a Pakistani-Italian expedition to K2, named “K2 60 Years Later”, was organized to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of K2. One of the goals of the expedition was to accurately measure the height of the mountain using satellite navigation. The height of K2 measured during this expedition was 8,609.02 metres (28,244.8 ft). K2 is ranked 22nd by topographic prominence, a measure of a mountain’s independent stature.
Mostly, climbers will hope the story fades from the headlines as soon as possible, so they can get on and not feel any pressure to explain what they do to an uncomprehending public. People made a choice to put themselves in danger for rewards only they could judge. Yet, it seems the less risk there is in our lives, or in society in general, the more we are either appalled or fascinated by those who seek it out. The idea of taking clients there is something my friend has contemplated. More than ten years ago, he had given up his attempt on the summit to help rescue another climber in distress. If they were clients who had climbed Everest, I suggested, perhaps that would be a start.
Initial reports were sketchy but as the survivors came down a clearer picture emerged which pointed towards both a freak disaster and human error. Two other Koreans made it back to the base camp, at about 5,000 metres. The previous deadliest day in K2’s history, August 13, 1995, saw six people fall or disappear during a storm, including the Briton Alison Hargreaves. The mountain was first surveyed by a British team in 1856. Team member Thomas Montgomerie designated the mountain “K2” for being the second peak of the Karakoram range.
The report found that another 1,407 callers had moderate effects that were not life-threatening but required treatment. Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing. Sign up for our weekday newsletter, packed with original analysis, news, and trends — delivered right to your inbox.
It is a part of the same extended area of uplift as Mount Everest, and it is possible to follow a path from K2 to Everest that goes no lower than 4,594 metres , at the Kora La on the Nepal/China border in the Mustang Lo. Many other peaks far lower than K2 are more independent in this sense. It is, however, the most prominent peak within the Karakoram range. It is located in the Baltistan region of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. The Tarim sedimentary basin borders the range on the north and the Lesser Himalayas on the south. Melt waters from glaciers, such as those south and east of K2, feed agriculture in the valleys and contribute significantly to the regional fresh-water supply.