K2 (Urdu: کے ٹو‎, Kai Ṭū), also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori (Balti and Urdu: چھوغوری‎, Chinese: 乔戈里峰),[3] at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China.[4] K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.

K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent. It has the second-highest fatality rate among the eight-thousanders, with around 300 successful summits and 77 fatalities; about one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit.[5] It is more difficult and hazardous to reach the peak of K2 from the Chinese side, so it is usually climbed from the Pakistani side. K2 has never been climbed during winter, unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality-to-summit rate (191 summits and 61 fatalities),[6] or the other eight-thousanders. Ascents have almost always been made in July and August, the warmest times of year; K2's more northern location makes it more susceptible to inclement and colder weather.[7]

The summit was reached for the first time by the Italian climbers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni, on the 1954 Italian Karakoram expedition led by Ardito Desio.

Mount Godwin-Austen
K2 2006b
K2, summer 2006
Highest point
Elevation8,611 metres (28,251 ft) 
Ranked 2nd
Prominence4,020 m (13,190 ft) [1]
Ranked 22nd
Isolation1,316 kilometres (818 mi)
Country high points
Seven Second Summits
Coordinates35°52′57″N 76°30′48″E / 35.88250°N 76.51333°ECoordinates: 35°52′57″N 76°30′48″E / 35.88250°N 76.51333°E[2]
Native name
  • کے ٹو  (Urdu)
  • چھوغوری  (Balti)
K2 is located in Pakistan
Location of K2
K2 is located in Gilgit Baltistan
K2 (Gilgit Baltistan)
K2 is located in Xinjiang
K2 (Xinjiang)
K2 is located in Asia
K2 (Asia)
LocationBaltistan, Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan
Tashkurgan, Xinjiang, China, China–Pakistan border
Parent rangeKarakoram
First ascent31 July 1954
Achille Compagnoni
Lino Lacedelli
Easiest routeAbruzzi Spur


K2 by Montgomery
Montgomerie's original sketch in which he applied the notation K2

The name K2 is derived from the notation used by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of British India. Thomas Montgomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram from Mount Haramukh, some 210 km (130 miles) to the south, and sketched the two most prominent peaks, labeling them K1 and K2.[8]

The policy of the Great Trigonometrical Survey was to use local names for mountains wherever possible[9] and K1 was found to be known locally as Masherbrum. K2, however, appeared not to have acquired a local name, possibly due to its remoteness. The mountain is not visible from Askole, the last village to the south, or from the nearest habitation to the north, and is only fleetingly glimpsed from the end of the Baltoro Glacier, beyond which few local people would have ventured.[10] The name Chogori, derived from two Balti words, chhogo ("big") and ri ("mountain") (چھوغوری)[11] has been suggested as a local name,[12] but evidence for its widespread use is scant. It may have been a compound name invented by Western explorers[13] or simply a bemused reply to the question "What's that called?"[10] It does, however, form the basis for the name Qogir (simplified Chinese: 乔戈里峰; traditional Chinese: 喬戈里峰; pinyin: Qiáogēlǐ Fēng) by which Chinese authorities officially refer to the peak. Other local names have been suggested including Lamba Pahar ("Tall Mountain" in Urdu) and Dapsang, but are not widely used.[10]

With the mountain lacking a local name, the name Mount Godwin-Austen was suggested, in honor of Henry Godwin-Austen, an early explorer of the area. While the name was rejected by the Royal Geographical Society,[10] it was used on several maps and continues to be used occasionally.[14][15]

The surveyor's mark, K2, therefore continues to be the name by which the mountain is commonly known. It is now also used in the Balti language, rendered as Kechu or Ketu[13][16] (Urdu: کے ٹو‎). The Italian climber Fosco Maraini argued in his account of the ascent of Gasherbrum IV that while the name of K2 owes its origin to chance, its clipped, impersonal nature is highly appropriate for so remote and challenging a mountain. He concluded that it was:

... just the bare bones of a name, all rock and ice and storm and abyss. It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars. It has the nakedness of the world before the first man – or of the cindered planet after the last.[17]

André Weil named K3 surfaces in mathematics partly after the beauty of the mountain K2.[18]

Geographical setting

Virtual flight around K2

K2 lies in the northwestern Karakoram Range. It is located in the Baltistan region of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China.[a] The Tarim sedimentary basin borders the range on the north and the Lesser Himalayas on the south. Melt waters from vast glaciers, such as those south and east of K2, feed agriculture in the valleys and contribute significantly to the regional fresh-water supply.

K2 is ranked 22nd by topographic prominence, a measure of a mountain's independent stature, because it is part of the same extended area of uplift (including the Karakoram, the Tibetan Plateau, and the Himalaya) as Mount Everest, in that it is possible to follow a path from K2 to Everest that goes no lower than 4,594 metres (15,072 ft), at the Kora La on the Nepal/China border in the Mustang Lo. Many other peaks that are far lower than K2 are more independent in this sense. It is, however, the most prominent peak within the Karakoram range.[2]

K2 is notable for its local relief as well as its total height. It stands over 3,000 metres (9,840 ft) above much of the glacial valley bottoms at its base. It is a consistently steep pyramid, dropping quickly in almost all directions. The north side is the steepest: there it rises over 3,200 metres (10,500 ft) above the K2 (Qogir) Glacier in only 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) of horizontal distance. In most directions, it achieves over 2,800 metres (9,200 ft) of vertical relief in less than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).[19]

A 1986 expedition led by George Wallerstein[20] made an inaccurate measurement incorrectly 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.[21]


The mountains of K2 and Broad Peak, and the area westward to the lower reaches of Sarpo Laggo glacier consist of metamorphic rocks, known as the K2 Gneiss and part of the Karakoram Metamorphic Complex.[22][23] The K2 Gneiss consists of a mixture of orthogneiss and biotite-rich paragneiss. On the south and southeast face of K2, the orthogneiss consists of a mixture of a strongly foliated plagioclase-hornblende gneiss and a biotite-hornblende-K-feldspar orthogneiss, which has been intruded by garnet-mica leucogranitic dikes. In places, the paragneisses include clinopyroxene-hornblende-bearing psammites, garnet (grossular)-diopside marbles, and biotite-graphite phyllites. Near the memorial to the climbers, who have died on K2, above Base Camp on the south spur, thin impure marbles with quartzites and mica schists, called the Gilkey-Puchoz sequence, are interbanded within the orthogneisses. On the west face of Broad Peak and south spur of K2, lamprophyre dikes, which consist of clinopyroxene and biotite-porphyritic vogesites and minettes, have intruded the K2 gneiss. The K2 Gneiss is separated from the surrounding sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks of the surrounding Karakoram Metamorphic Complex by normal faults. For example, a fault separates the K2 gneiss of the east face of K2 from limestones and slates comprising nearby Skyang Kangri.[22][24]

40Ar/39Ar ages of 115 to 120 million years ago obtained from and geochemical analyses of the K2 Gneiss demonstrate that it is a metamorphosed, older, Cretaceous, pre-collisional granite. The granitic precursor (protolith) to the K2 Gneiss originated as the result of the production of large bodies of magma by a northward-dipping subduction zone along what was the continental margin of Asia at that time and their intrusion as batholiths into its lower continental crust. During the initial collision of the Asia and Indian plates, this granitic batholith was buried to depths of about 20 kilometres (12 mi) or more, highly metamorphosed, highly deformed, and partially remelted during the Eocene Period to form gneiss. Later, the K2 Gneiss was then intruded by leucogranite dikes and finally exhumed and uplifted along major breakback thrust faults during post-Miocene time. The K2 Gneiss was exposed as the entire K2-Broad Peak-Gasherbrum range experienced rapid uplift with which erosion rates have been unable to keep pace.[22][25]

Climbing history

Early attempts

K2 West 1909
The west face of K2 taken from the Savoia Glacier, on the 1909 expedition

The mountain was first surveyed by a European survey team in 1856. Team member Thomas Montgomerie designated the mountain "K2" for being the second peak of the Karakoram range. The other peaks were originally named K1, K3, K4, and K5, but were eventually renamed Masherbrum, Gasherbrum IV, Gasherbrum II, and Gasherbrum I, respectively.[26] In 1892, Martin Conway led a British expedition that reached "Concordia" on the Baltoro Glacier.[27]

The first serious attempt to climb K2 was undertaken in 1902 by Oscar Eckenstein, Aleister Crowley, Jules Jacot-Guillarmod, Heinrich Pfannl, Victor Wessely, and Guy Knowles via the Northeast Ridge. In the early 1900s, modern transportation did not exist in the region: it took "fourteen days just to reach the foot of the mountain".[28] After five serious and costly attempts, the team reached 6,525 metres (21,407 ft)[29]—although considering the difficulty of the challenge, and the lack of modern climbing equipment or weatherproof fabrics, Crowley's statement that "neither man nor beast was injured" highlights the pioneering spirit and bravery of the attempt. The failures were also attributed to sickness (Crowley was suffering the residual effects of malaria), a combination of questionable physical training, personality conflicts, and poor weather conditions—of 68 days spent on K2 (at the time, the record for the longest time spent at such an altitude) only eight provided clear weather.[30]

The next expedition to K2, in 1909, led by Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi, reached an elevation of around 6,250 metres (20,510 ft) on the South East Spur, now known as the Abruzzi Spur (or Abruzzi Ridge). This would eventually become part of the standard route, but was abandoned at the time due to its steepness and difficulty. After trying and failing to find a feasible alternative route on the West Ridge or the North East Ridge, the Duke declared that K2 would never be climbed, and the team switched its attention to Chogolisa, where the Duke came within 150 metres (490 ft) of the summit before being driven back by a storm.[31]

K2 East Face 1909
K2 from the east, photographed during the 1909 expedition

The next attempt on K2 was not made until 1938, when First American Karakoram expedition led by Charles Houston made a reconnaissance of the mountain. They concluded that the Abruzzi Spur was the most practical route and reached a height of around 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) before turning back due to diminishing supplies and the threat of bad weather.[32][33]

The following year, the 1939 American Karakoram expedition led by Fritz Wiessner came within 200 metres (660 ft) of the summit but ended in disaster when Dudley Wolfe, Pasang Kikuli, Pasang Kitar, and Pintso disappeared high on the mountain.[34][35]

Charles Houston returned to K2 to lead the 1953 American expedition. The attempt ended in failure after a storm pinned down the team for 10 days at 7,800 metres (25,590 ft), during which time climber Art Gilkey became critically ill. A desperate retreat followed, during which Pete Schoening saved almost the entire team during a mass fall (known simply as The Belay), and Gilkey was killed, either in an avalanche or in a deliberate attempt to avoid burdening his companions. Despite the retreat and tragic end, the expedition has been given iconic status in mountaineering history.[36][37][38]

Success and repeats

Compagnoni summit K2
Achille Compagnoni on K2's summit on the first ascent (31 July 1954)

The 1954 Italian Karakoram expedition finally succeeded in ascending to the summit of K2 via the Abruzzi Spur on 31 July 1954. The expedition was led by Ardito Desio, and the two climbers who reached the summit were Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. The team included a Pakistani member, Colonel Muhammad Ata-ullah, who had been a part of the 1953 American expedition. Also on the expedition were Walter Bonatti and Pakistani Hunza porter Amir Mehdi, who both proved vital to the expedition's success in that they carried oxygen tanks to 8,100 metres (26,600 ft) for Lacedelli and Compagnoni. The ascent is controversial because Lacedelli and Compagnoni established their camp at a higher elevation than originally agreed with Mehdi and Bonatti. It being too dark to ascend or descend, Mehdi and Bonatti were forced to overnight without shelter above 8,000 meters leaving the oxygen tanks behind as requested when they descended. Bonatti and Mehdi survived, but Mehdi was hospitalized for months and had to have his toes amputated because of frostbite. Efforts in the 1950s to suppress these facts to protect Lacedelli and Compagnoni's reputations as Italian national heroes were later brought to light. It was also revealed that the moving of the camp was deliberate, a move apparently made because Compagnoni feared being outshone by the younger Bonatti. Bonatti was given the blame for Mehdi's hospitalization.[39]

On 9 August 1977, 23 years after the Italian expedition, Ichiro Yoshizawa led the second successful ascent, with Ashraf Aman as the first native Pakistani climber. The Japanese expedition took the Abruzzi Spur, and used more than 1,500 porters.[40]

The third ascent of K2 was in 1978, via a new route, the long and corniced Northeast Ridge. The top of the route traversed left across the East Face to avoid a vertical headwall and joined the uppermost part of the Abruzzi route. This ascent was made by an American team, led by James Whittaker; the summit party was Louis Reichardt, Jim Wickwire, John Roskelley, and Rick Ridgeway. Wickwire endured an overnight bivouac about 150 metres (490 ft) below the summit, one of the highest bivouacs in history. This ascent was emotional for the American team, as they saw themselves as completing a task that had been begun by the 1938 team forty years earlier.[41]

Another notable Japanese ascent was that of the difficult North Ridge on the Chinese side of the peak in 1982. A team from the Japan Mountaineering Association led by Isao Shinkai and Masatsugo Konishi put three members, Naoe Sakashita, Hiroshi Yoshino, and Yukihiro Yanagisawa, on the summit on 14 August. However Yanagisawa fell and died on the descent. Four other members of the team achieved the summit the next day.[42]

The first climber to reach the summit of K2 twice was Czech climber Josef Rakoncaj. Rakoncaj was a member of the 1983 Italian expedition led by Francesco Santon, which made the second successful ascent of the North Ridge (31 July 1983). Three years later, on 5 July 1986, he reached the summit via the Abruzzi Spur (double with Broad Peak West Face solo) as a member of Agostino da Polenza's international expedition.[43]

The first woman to summit K2 was Polish climber Wanda Rutkiewicz on 23 June 1986. Liliane and Maurice Barrard who had summitted later that day, fell during the descent; Liliane Barrard's body was found on 19 July 1986 at the foot of the south face.[44]

In 1986, two Polish expeditions summitted via two new routes, the Magic Line[45] and the Polish Line (Jerzy Kukuczka and Tadeusz Piotrowski). Piotrowski fell to his death as the two were descending. This latter route has never been repeated.

In 2004, the Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontán became the oldest person ever to summit K2, at the age of 65.[46]

The peak has now been climbed by almost all of its ridges. Although the summit of Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is a much more difficult and dangerous climb, due in part to its more inclement weather and comparatively greater height from base to peak. The mountain is believed by many to be the world's most difficult and dangerous climb, hence its nickname "the Savage Mountain". As of July 2010, only 302 people have completed the ascent,[47] compared with over 2,700 who have ascended Everest. At least 80 (as of September 2010) people have died attempting the climb.

Thirteen climbers from several expeditions died in the 1986 K2 Disaster. Another six mountaineers died on 13 August 1995, while eleven climbers died in the 2008 K2 disaster.

On 22 July 2018, Polish mountaineer and mountain runner Andrzej Bargiel became the first person to ski down from summit to base camp.[48]

Recent attempts

On 1 August 2008, a group of climbers went missing after a large piece of ice fell during an avalanche, taking out the fixed ropes on part of the route; four climbers were rescued, but 11, including Ger McDonnell, the first Irish person to reach the summit, were confirmed dead.[49]
Despite several attempts, nobody reached the summit.
On 6 August 2010, Fredrik Ericsson, who intended to ski from the summit, joined Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner on the way to the summit of K2. Ericsson fell 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and was killed. Kaltenbrunner aborted her summit attempt.[50]
Despite several attempts, nobody reached the summit.
On 23 August 2011, a team of four climbers reached the summit of K2 from the North side. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to complete all 14 eight-thousanders without supplemental oxygen.[51] Kazakhs Maxut Zhumayev and Vassiliy Pivtsov completed their eight-thousanders quest. The fourth team member was Dariusz Załuski from Poland.[52]
The year started with a Russian team aiming for a first winter ascent. The expedition ended with the death of Vitaly Gorelik due to frostbite and pneumonia. The Russian team cancelled the ascent.[53] In the summer season, K2 saw a record crowd standing on its summit—28 climbers in a single day—bringing the total for the year to 30.[54]
On 28 July 2013, two New Zealanders, Marty Schmidt and his son Denali, died after an avalanche destroyed their camp. A guide had reached their camp, but said they were nowhere to be seen and the campsite tent showed signs of having been hit by an avalanche. British climber Adrian Hayes, who was with the group, later posted on his Facebook page that the campsite had been wiped out.[55]
On 26 July 2014, the first team of Pakistani climbers scaled K2. There were six Pakistani and three Italian climbers in the expedition, called K2 60 Years Later, according to BBC. Previously, K2 had only been summitted by individual Pakistanis as part of international expeditions.[56] Another team, consisting of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Maya Sherpa, and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, became the first Nepali women to climb K2.[57]
On 27 July 2014, Garrett Madison led a team of three American climbers and six Sherpas to summit K2.[58][59]
On 28 July 2017, Vanessa O'Brien led an international team of 12 with Mingma Gyalje Sherpa of Dreamers Destination to the summit of K2 and became the first British and American woman to summit K2, and the eldest woman to summit K2 at the age of 52 years old.[60] She paid tribute to Julie Tullis and Alison Hargreaves, two British women who summited K2, in 1986 and 1995 respectively, but died during their descents. Other notable summits included John Snorri Sigurjónsson and Dawa Gyalje Sherpa who joined his sister (Dawa Yangzum Sherpa), becoming the second set of siblings to summit K2.[61] Both Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and Fazal Ali recorded their second K2 summits.
On 22 July 2018, Garrett Madison became the first American climber to reach the summit of K2 more than once when he led an international team of eight climbers, nine Nepali Sherpas, four Pakistani high altitude porters, and two other Madison Mountaineering guides to the summit.[62][63]

Winter expeditions

  • 1987/1988 — Polish-Canadian-British expedition led by Andrzej Zawada from the Pakistani side, consisting of 13 Poles, 7 Canadians and 4 Brits. 2 March Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy established camp III at 7300 meters above sea, followed by Roger Mear and Jean-Francois Gagnon few days later. Hurricane winds and frostbite forced the team to retreat.[64]
  • 2002/2003 — Netia K2 Polish Winter Expedition. The team of fourteen climbers was led by Krzysztof Wielicki, and included four members from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia. They intended to climb North Ridge. Marcin Kaczkan, Piotr Morawski and Denis Urubko established camp IV at 7650 meters above sea level. The final ascent started by Kaczkan and Urubko failed due to the destruction of the tent by harsh weather in camp IV and Kaczkan's cerebral edema.[64]
  • 2011/2012 — Russian expedition. Nine Russian climbers attempted K2's Abruzzi Spur route. They managed to reach 7200 meters above sea level (Vitaly Gorelik, Valery Shamalo and Nicholas Totmyanin), but had to retreat due to hurricane-force winds as well as frostbite on both of Gorelik's hands. After their descent to base camp and an unsuccessful call for Gorelik's evacuation (helicopter could not reach them through the worsening weather), the climber died of pneumonia and cardiac arrest. Following the incident, the expedition was called off.[64][65]
  • 2017/2018 — Polish National Winter Expedition led by Krzysztof Wielicki, consisting of 13 climbers, started in the end of December 2017. The team initially attempted to summit via the south-southeastern spur (Cesen route), switching to the Abruzzi Spur after an injury on the previous route.[66][67][68][69] Via the Cesen/Basque route they reached up to 6300 m, while on the Abruzzi Spur route they reached up to 7400 m. However, Denis Urubku reported that during his solo attempt he probably reached up to 7600 m.[70]

Climbing routes and difficulties

K2 south routes
The major routes to have been climbed on the south side of the mountain. A: West Ridge; B: West Face; C: Southwest Pillar; D: South Face; E: South-southeast Spur; F: Abruzzi Spur,

There are a number of routes on K2, of somewhat different character, but they all share some key difficulties, the first being the extremely high altitude and resulting lack of oxygen: there is only one-third as much oxygen available to a climber on the summit of K2 as there is at sea level.[71] The second is the propensity of the mountain to experience extreme storms of several days duration, which have resulted in many of the deaths on the peak. The third is the steep, exposed, and committing nature of all routes on the mountain, which makes retreat more difficult, especially during a storm. Despite many attempts there have been no successful winter ascents. All major climbing routes lie on the Pakistani side, which is also where base camp is located.

Abruzzi Spur

The standard route of ascent, used far more than any other route (75% of all climbers use this route) is the Abruzzi Spur,[72][73] located on the Pakistani side, first attempted by Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi in 1909. This is the southeast ridge of the peak, rising above the Godwin-Austen Glacier. The spur proper begins at an altitude of 5,400 metres (17,700 ft), where Advanced Base Camp is usually placed. The route follows an alternating series of rock ribs, snow/ice fields, and some technical rock climbing on two famous features, "House's Chimney" and the "Black Pyramid." Above the Black Pyramid, dangerously exposed and difficult to navigate slopes lead to the easily visible "Shoulder", and thence to the summit. The last major obstacle is a narrow couloir known as the "Bottleneck", which places climbers dangerously close to a wall of seracs that form an ice cliff to the east of the summit. It was partly due to the collapse of one of these seracs around 2001 that no climbers summitted the peak in 2002 and 2003.[74]

On 1 August 2008, 11 climbers from several expeditions died during a series of accidents,[49][75] including several ice falls in the Bottleneck.

North Ridge

K2 Nordseite
The north side of K2. The North Ridge is in the centre of the picture.

Almost opposite from the Abruzzi Spur is the North Ridge,[72][73] which ascends the Chinese side of the peak. It is rarely climbed, partly due to very difficult access, involving crossing the Shaksgam River, which is a hazardous undertaking.[76] In contrast to the crowds of climbers and trekkers at the Abruzzi basecamp, usually at most two teams are encamped below the North Ridge. This route, more technically difficult than the Abruzzi, ascends a long, steep, primarily rock ridge to high on the mountain—Camp IV, the "Eagle's Nest" at 7,900 metres (25,900 ft)—and then crosses a dangerously slide-prone hanging glacier by a leftward climbing traverse, to reach a snow couloir which accesses the summit.

Besides the original Japanese ascent, a notable ascent of the North Ridge was the one in 1990 by Greg Child, Greg Mortimer, and Steve Swenson, which was done alpine style above Camp 2, though using some fixed ropes already put in place by a Japanese team.[76]

Other routes

Because 75% of people who climb K2 use the Abruzzi Spur, these listed routes are rarely climbed. No one has climbed the East Face of the mountain due to the instability of the snow and ice formations on that side.

Northeast Ridge
Long and corniced, finishes on uppermost part of Abruzzi route. Ridge first crossed by a Polish expedition led by Janusz Kurczab in 1976. The team was not able to summit due to poor weather.[77]
West Ridge
First climbed in 1981 by a Japanese team.[78] This route starts on the distant Negrotto Glacier and goes through unpredictable bands of rock and snowfields.
Southwest Pillar or "Magic Line"
Very technical, and second most demanding. First climbed in 1986 by the Polish-Slovak trio Piasecki-Wróż-Božik. Since then Jordi Corominas from Spain has been the only successful climber on this route (he summitted in 2004),[79] despite many other attempts.
South Face or "Polish Line" or "Central Rib"
Extremely exposed, demanding, and dangerous. In July 1986, Jerzy Kukuczka and Tadeusz Piotrowski summitted on this route. Piotrowski was killed while descending on the Abruzzi Spur. The route starts off the first part of the Southwest Pillar, and then deviates into a totally exposed, snow-covered cliff area, then through a gully known as "The Hockey Stick", and then goes up to yet another exposed cliff-face, and the route continues through yet another extremely exposed section all the way up to the point where the route joins with the Abruzzi Spur about 300 m (1,000 ft) before the summit. Reinhold Messner called it a suicidal route and so far, no one has repeated Kukuczka and Piotrowski's achievement. "The route is so avalanche-prone, that no one else has ever considered a new attempt."[80][81]
Northwest Face
First ascent via this route was in 1990 by a Japanese team; this route is located on the Chinese side of the mountain. This route is known for its chaotic rock and snowfields all the way up to the summit.[79]
Northwest Ridge
Finishes on North Ridge. First ascent in 1991.[79]
South-southeast spur or "Cesen route" or "Basque route"
It runs the pillar between the Abruzzi Spur and the Polish Route. It connects with the Abruzzi Spur on the Shoulder, above the Black Pyramid and below the Bottleneck; since it avoids the Black Pyramid, it is considered safer. In 1986, Tomo Česen ascended to 8,000 m (26,000 ft) via this route. The first summit via this route was by a Basque team in 1994.[79]
West Face
Technical difficulty at high altitude, first climbed by a Russian team in 2007.[82] This route is almost entirely made up of rock crevasses and snow-covered couloirs.[79]

Use of supplemental oxygen

For most of its climbing history, K2 was not usually climbed with supplemental oxygen, and small, relatively lightweight teams were the norm.[72][73] However, the 2004 season saw a great increase in the use of oxygen: 28 of 47 summitteers used oxygen in that year.[74]

Acclimatisation is essential when climbing without oxygen to avoid some degree of altitude sickness.[83] K2's summit is well above the altitude at which high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) can occur.[84] In mountaineering, when ascending above an altitude of 8,000 metres (26,000 ft), the climber enters what is known as the death zone.


  • K2 (1991), an adventure drama film adaption of Patrick Meyers' original stage play, directed by Franc Roddam and loosely based on the story of Jim Wickwire and Louis Reichardt, the first Americans to summit K2
  • Vertical Limit (2000), an American survival thriller film directed by Martin Campbell
  • K2: Siren of the Himalayas (2012), an American documentary film directed by Dave Ohlson, that follows a group of climbers during their 2009 attempt to summit K2 on the 100-year anniversary of the Duke of Abruzzi’s landmark K2 expedition in 1909
  • The Summit (2012), a documentary film about the 2008 K2 disaster, directed by Nick Ryan


See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ K2 is located in Gilgit–Baltistan, a region, which along with Azad Kashmir, forms Pakistan administered Kashmir. The Kashmir region is currently the center of a territorial dispute between Pakistan and India. India maintains a territorial dispute on Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Likewise, Pakistan maintains a territorial dispute on Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian-administered part of the region.
  1. ^ "K2". Peakbagger.com.
  2. ^ a b "Karakoram and India/Pakistan Himalayas Ultra-Prominences". peaklist.org. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  3. ^ Chhoghori, K2. "K2 Chhoghori The King of Karakoram". Skardu.pk. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  4. ^ "K2". Britannica.com. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  5. ^ "AdventureStats - by Explorersweb". www.adventurestats.com. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Stairway to heaven". The Economist. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  7. ^ Brummit, Chris (16 December 2011). "Russian team to try winter climb of world's 2nd-highest peak". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  8. ^ Curran, p. 25
  9. ^ The most obvious exception to this policy was Mount Everest, where the Tibetan name Chomolungma (Qomolongma) was probably known, but ignored in order to pay tribute to George Everest. See Curran, pp. 29–30
  10. ^ a b c d Curran, p. 30
  11. ^ "Convert Roman into Urdu Script". changathi.com.
  12. ^ "Place names – II". The Express Tribune. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
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  • Booth, Martin (2001) [2000]. A Magick Life: A Biography of Aleister Crowley (trade paperback) (Coronet ed.). London: Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-71806-4.
  • Curran, Jim (1995). K2: The Story of the Savage Mountain. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-66007-2.
  • McDonald, Bernadette (2007). Brotherhood of the Rope – The Biography of Charles Houston. The Mountaineers Books. ISBN 978-0-89886-942-2.

External links

2008 K2 disaster

The 2008 K2 disaster occurred on 1 August 2008, when 11 mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth. Three others were seriously injured. The series of deaths, over the course of the Friday ascent and Saturday descent, was the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering. Some of the specific details remain uncertain, with different plausible scenarios having been given about different climbers' timing and actions, when reported later via survivors' eyewitness accounts or via radio communications of climbers who died (sometimes minutes) later in the course of events on K2 that day.

The main problem was reported as an ice avalanche occurring at an area known as "The Bottleneck", which destroyed many of the climbers' rope lines. However, two climbers died on the way up to the top prior to the avalanche. Among the dead were people from France, Ireland, Korea, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, and Serbia.

Daewoo Precision Industries K2

Daewoo Precision Industries K2 assault rifle was developed by the South Korean Agency for Defense Development and manufactured by S&T Motiv (formerly Daewoo Precision Industries). It is currently the standard service rifle of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. Shoulder-fired and gas-operated, the K2 is capable of firing both 5.56×45mm NATO and .223 Remington ammunition. The K2 supplanted the M16A1 assault rifle for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces since its adoption in 1984.

Haplogroup K2

Haplogroup K2, also known as K-M526 and formerly known as K(xLT) and MNOPS, is a human Y-DNA haplogroup.

Relative to its age, the internal structure of K2 is extremely complex, and subclades of it are carried by males native to regions including Australasia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Horn of Africa. Many of its branches are very common, the most numerically important being R in Europe and South Asia and O in East and Southeast Asia (as well as recent immigrants to other continents). Haplogroups N and Q while less common overall are also very widespread; M and S are almost entirely restricted to Oceania and eastern Indonesia, where they occur at high frequency.

Rare subclades outside of these major lineages are known mainly from Island Southeast Asia (including the Andaman Islands and the Philippines). Basal K2a* has been found only in Upper Paleolithic remains from western Siberia and the Balkans, known respectively as "Ust'-Ishim man and "Oase-1'.". K-M2313* has been documented in two living individuals, who have ethnic ties to South Asia and South East Asia respectively: a Telugu from India and an ethnic Malay from Singapore. In addition, K-Y28299, which appears to be a primary branch of K-M2313, has been found in three living individuals from India. NO* has not been identified in living individuals or remains.

K2 (TV channel)

K2 is an Italian free-to-air television channel owned by Discovery Networks Europe. Its registered office is in Rome. It launched on 1 October 2004 as an analogue terrestrial television channel managed by the Italian subsidiary of Fox Kids Europe, Fox Kids Italy S.r.l.

K2 Black Panther

The K2 Black Panther (Hangul: K2 '흑표'; Hanja: K2 '黒豹') is a next generation South Korean main battle tank designed by the South Korean Agency for Defense Development and manufactured by Hyundai Rotem. Developed as modern main battle tank that will replace most of the remaining M48 Patton tanks and complement the K1 series of main battle tanks currently fielded by the South Korean military, the K2 Black Panther combines an auto-loaded 55 calibre 120 mm main gun, advanced composite armour along with hard and soft-kill active protection systems. Mass production commenced in 2013 and the first K2s were deployed with the armed forces in June 2014. The K2 costs over US$8.5 million per unit, making it one of the most expensive main battle tanks in service.

K2 Sports

K2 Sports, LLC is an American company founded in 1962 by brothers Bill and Don Kirschner on Vashon Island, near Seattle, Washington in the United States. K2 is known for pioneering fiberglass ski technology, which made skis significantly lighter and more lively than their wood and metal contemporaries. Famous users of K2 skis include Seth Morrison, pro champion Spider Sabich, World Cup and Olympic champion Phil Mahre, and his twin brother Steve Mahre, World Champion and Olympic silver medalist and Laurent Donato, great Belgo-Italian amateur skier.

In late 1969, the company's rapid growth required new capital and Bill Kirschner decided a well-financed partner was necessary. The company was acquired by the Cummins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana. Then in November 1976, the company was acquired by a private group of Northwest investors. The group, called Sitca, purchased K2 and its subsidiary, Jansport.

In 1982, company management purchased all outstanding shares of Sitca Corporation from the group of Northwest investors. Management decided to concentrate all resources on the alpine ski market. It sold its Jansport subsidiary, distribution subsidiaries in Canada, France and Austria, and majority ownership of the Swiss distribution subsidiary

In September 1985, Anthony Industries, Inc. acquired 100 percent of the stock of Sitca Corporation. Anthony, an NYSE listed company, develops and manufactures products for leisure and recreational markets under many brand names.In 1995, Anthony Industries sold off its Anthony Pools division to its rival, Sylvan Pools, and changed its name to K2, Inc. By 2000, board member Richard Heckmann had assumed control and embarked on a vigorous growth program. In order to remain financially competitive, in 2001 K2 moved its manufacturing from Vashon Island to Guangzhou Province, China, and its offices to Seattle.Thereafter, the company acquired Rawlings Sporting Goods and Worth, a manufacturer of baseball bats; Brass Eagle and Viewloader in the paintball business; Volkl, Marker, and Marmot. On June 22, 2006, K2 announced it was moving its business office from Vashon Island to Seattle's Industrial District.On April 25, 2007 Jarden Corporation announced a definitive agreement to acquire K2, Inc. for a cash and stock value per share of $15.50. Jarden is controlled by Martin Franklin, a British investor and triathlete. Jarden was later acquired by Newell Brands, who then sold K2 to private equity firm Kohlberg & Company in 2017.

K2 Telecom

K2 Telecom is a telecommunications network company in Uganda. It was established in January 2013. By November 2015, the company's estimated its number of subscribers at about 200,000.


The Karakoram is a large mountain range spanning the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, with the northwest extremity of the range extending to Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It begins in the Wakhan Corridor (Afghanistan) in the west and encompasses the majority of Gilgit–Baltistan (Pakistan) and extends into Ladakh (India), and the disputed Aksai Chin region controlled by China. It is the second highest mountain range in the world, and part of the complex of ranges including the Pamir Mountains, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayan Mountains.. The Karakoram has eight summits over 7,500 m (24,600 ft) height, with four of them exceeding 8,000 m (26,000 ft): K2, the second highest peak in the world at 8,611 m (28,251 ft), Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II.

The range is about 500 km (311 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. The Siachen Glacier at 76 kilometres (47 mi) and the Biafo Glacier at 63 kilometres (39 mi) rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions.The Karakoram is bounded on the east by the Aksai Chin plateau, on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the river valleys of the Yarkand and Karakash rivers beyond which lie the Kunlun Mountains. At the northwest corner are the Pamir Mountains. The southern boundary of the Karakoram is formed, west to east, by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok rivers, which separate the range from the northwestern end of the Himalaya range proper. These rivers flow northwest before making an abrupt turn southwestward towards the plains of Pakistan. Roughly in the middle of the Karakoram range is the Karakoram Pass, which was part of a historic trade route between Ladakh and Yarkand but now inactive.

The Tashkurghan National Nature Reserve and the Pamir Wetlands National Nature Reserve in the Karalorun and Pamir mountains have been nominated for inclusion in UNESCO in 2010 by the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO and has tentatively been added to the list.

Kepler space telescope

Kepler space telescope is a retired space telescope launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars. Named after astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009, into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit. The principal investigator was William J. Borucki. After nine years of operation, the telescope's reaction control system fuel was depleted, and NASA announced its retirement on October 30, 2018.Designed to survey a portion of Earth's region of the Milky Way to discover Earth-size exoplanets in or near habitable zones and estimate how many of the billions of stars in the Milky Way have such planets, Kepler's sole scientific instrument is a photometer that continually monitored the brightness of approximately 150,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view. These data are transmitted to Earth, then analyzed to detect periodic dimming caused by exoplanets that cross in front of their host star. Only planets whose orbits are seen edge-on from Earth can be detected. During its over nine and a half years of service, Kepler observed 530,506 stars and detected 2,662 planets.

Korea National League

The Korea National League is a football league, the third tier of the South Korean football league system. It consists of 8 clubs. The league is considered a semi-professional league, but every player in the National League is a full-time professional footballer.

List of exoplanets discovered in 2017

This is a List of exoplanets discovered in 2017.

For exoplanets detected only by radial velocity, the mass value is actually a lower limit. (See Minimum mass for more information)

List of exoplanets discovered in 2018

This List of exoplanets discovered in 2018 is a list of confirmed exoplanets that were first observed during 2018.For exoplanets detected only by radial velocity, the listed value for mass is a lower limit. See Minimum mass for more information.

Mount Kitchener

Mount Kitchener is a mountain located within the Columbia Icefield of Jasper National Park, which is part of the Canadian Rockies. The mountain can be seen from the Icefields Parkway (highway 93) near Sunwapta Pass.

Mt. Kitchener was originally named Mount Douglas by J. Norman Collie after David Douglas. In 1916, the mountain was renamed Mount Kitchener, its present-day name, after Lord Kitchener, who had just been killed in World War I.


A serac (originally from Swiss French sérac) is a block or column of glacial ice, often formed by intersecting crevasses on a glacier. Commonly house-sized or larger, they are dangerous to mountaineers, since they may topple with little warning. Even when stabilized by persistent cold weather, they can be an impediment to glacier travel.

Seracs are found within an icefall, often in large numbers, or on ice faces on the lower edge of a hanging glacier. Notable examples of the overhanging glacier edge type are well-known obstacles on some of the world's highest mountains, including K2 at "The Bottleneck" and Kanchenjunga on the border of India and Nepal. Significant seracs in the Alps are found on the northeast face of Piz Roseg, the north face of the Dent d'Hérens, and the north face of Lyskamm.

Synthetic cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids are a class of molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body (the same receptors to which THC and CBD attach, which are cannabinoids in cannabis plants). They are designer drugs that are commonly sprayed onto plant matter and are usually smoked, although since 2016 they have also been consumed in a concentrated liquid form in the US and UK. They have been marketed as herbal incense, or “herbal smoking blends” and sold under common names like K2, Spice, and Synthetic Marijuana. They are often labeled “not for human consumption” for liability defense.When the herbal blends went on sale in the early 2000s, it was thought that they achieved psychoactive effects from a mixture of natural herbs. Laboratory analysis in 2008 showed instead that many contained synthetic cannabinoids. Since 2016 synthetic cannabinoids are the most common new psychoactive substances to be reported. From 2008 to 2014, 142 synthetic cannabinoids were reported to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). A large and complex variety of synthetic cannabinoids are designed in an attempt to avoid legal restrictions on cannabis, making synthetic cannabinoids designer drugs.Most synthetic cannabinoids are agonists of the cannabinoid receptors. They have been designed to be similar to THC, the natural cannabinoid with the strongest binding affinity to the CB1 receptor, which is linked to the psychoactive effects or "high" of marijuana. These synthetic analogs often have greater binding affinity and greater potency to the CB1 receptors. There are several synthetic cannabinoid families (e.g. CP-xxx, WIN-xxx, JWH-xxx, UR-xxx, and PB-xx) classified based on the base structure.Reported user negative effects include palpitations, paranoia, intense anxiety, nausea, vomiting, confusion, poor coordination, and seizures. There have also been reports of a strong compulsion to re-dose, withdrawal symptoms, and persistent cravings. There have been several deaths linked to synthetic cannabinoids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the number of deaths from synthetic cannabinoid use tripled between 2014 and 2015.In 2018 the United States Food and Drug Administration warned of significant health risks from synthetic cannabinoid products that contain the rat poison brodifacoum, which is added because it is thought to extend the duration of the drugs' effects. Severe illnesses and death have resulted from this contamination.

The K2

The K2 (Korean: 더 케이투; RR: Deo Keitu) is a 2016 South Korean television series starring Ji Chang-wook, Song Yoon-ah and Im Yoon-ah. It premiered on tvN every Friday and Saturday at 20:00 (KST) on September 23, 2016 until November 12, 2016 for 16 episodes.

Uniform 1 k2 polytope

In geometry, 1k2 polytope is a uniform polytope in n-dimensions (n = k+4) constructed from the En Coxeter group. The family was named by their Coxeter symbol 1k2 by its bifurcating Coxeter-Dynkin diagram, with a single ring on the end of the 1-node sequence. It can be named by an extended Schläfli symbol {3,3k,2}.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a group of structurally similar, fat-soluble vitamins that the human body requires for complete synthesis of certain proteins that are prerequisites for blood coagulation (K from Koagulation, German for "coagulation") and which the body also needs for controlling binding of calcium in bones and other tissues. The vitamin K-related modification of the proteins allows them to bind calcium ions, which they cannot do otherwise. Without vitamin K, blood coagulation is seriously impaired, and uncontrolled bleeding occurs. Preliminary clinical research indicates that deficiency of vitamin K may weaken bones, potentially leading to osteoporosis, and may promote calcification of arteries and other soft tissues.Chemically, the vitamin K family comprises 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (3-) derivatives. Vitamin K includes two natural vitamers: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K2, in turn, consists of a number of related chemical subtypes, with differing lengths of carbon side chains made of isoprenoid groups of atoms.

Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is made by plants, and is found in highest amounts in green leafy vegetables because it is directly involved in photosynthesis. It may be thought of as the plant form of vitamin K. It is active as a vitamin in animals and performs the classic functions of vitamin K, including its activity in the production of blood-clotting proteins. Animals may also convert it to vitamin K2.

Bacteria in the gut flora can also convert K1 into vitamin K2 (menaquinone). In addition, bacteria typically lengthen the isoprenoid side chain of vitamin K2 to produce a range of vitamin K2 forms, most notably the MK-7 to MK-11 homologues of vitamin K2. All forms of K2 other than MK-4 can only be produced by bacteria, which use these during anaerobic respiration. The MK-7 and other bacterially derived forms of vitamin K2 exhibit vitamin K activity in animals, but MK-7's extra utility over MK-4, if any, is unclear and is a matter of investigation.

Because a synthetic form of vitamin K, vitamin K3 (menadione), may be toxic by interfering with the function of glutathione, it is no longer used to treat vitamin K deficiency.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 or menaquinone () is one of three types of vitamin K, the other two being Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K3 (menadione). K2 is a bacterial product and is usually found in fermented foods or animal products.There are nine chemical variants of Vitamin K2, determined by number of isoprenyl units in their side chains. The most common in the human diet is the short-chain MK-4, which is usually produced by bacterial conversion of Vitamin K1, and is commonly found in animal products. Long-chain menaquinones include MK-7, MK-8 and MK-9 and are more predominant in fermented foods such as natto. Longer-chain menaquinones (MK-10 to MK-13) are produced by anaerobic bacteria in the colon, but they are not well absorbed and have little biological function.When there are no isoprenyl side chain units, the remaining molecule is vitamin K3. This can only be manufactured synthetically, and is used in animal feed. It was formerly given to premature infants, but due to inadvertent toxicity in the form of hemolytic anemia and jaundice, it is no longer used for this purpose.

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