Thursday, April 1, 2010
Mount K2 - The Toughest mountain on Earth
People speak only about Mount Everest when it comes to the Himalayas. It is indeed true to praise its altitude and beauty, but there are a few peaks whose stories are worth listening to. One such thing is the Mount K2, which is second to Everest in altitude, not anything else.
Mt. K2 which was in India is now located in POK on the Pakistan-China Border, in the Karakoram range of mountains. The name K2 was given in 1852 by British surveyor T.G. Montgomerie with "K" designating the Karakoram Range and "2" since it was the 2nd peak listed. During his survey, Montgomerie, standing on Mt. Haramukh 125 miles to the south, noted two prominent peaks to the north, calling them K1 and K2. While he kept native names, he found that K2 did not have a known name. Later the peak was named Mount Godwin-Austen for an early explorer but it was never recognized.
K2 is nicknamed the "Savage Mountain" for its severe weather. The total height of the montain is 8611mts It is typically climbed in June, July, or August. K2 has never been climbed in winter. The first expedition to K2 took place for 68 days(!!!) from March to June, by a team of British climbers and was partially scaled upto 6525mts. The expedition was stopped due to severe weather and avalanche.
Fritz Wiessner, a great German climber transplanted to the US, led a 1939 American expedition that had set a new world altitude record then by reaching 27,500 feet on a place called Abruzzi Spur. The party was 656 feet from the summit before turning around. Four team members were killed.
The Glorious K2................
K2 Base Camps..........
The first successful ascent to K2 was at 1977 , an expedition led by a Japanese team. The first American ascent was in 1978. A strong team led by James Whittaker ascended a new route up the peak's Northeast Ridge. K2 is one of the most difficult 8k mountains with technical climbing, severe weather conditions, and high avalanche danger. In 1986 13 climbers died in a row due to avalanche, 6 due to storm and 8 more due to similar dangers. This was the year when the summit could not be reached at all. As of 2009, 305 climbers have reached K2's summit, while at least 76 have died.