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Aug 10, 2008

K2 of Pakistan- SECOND Heighest Peak in the World

K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth (after Mount Everest). With a peak elevation of 8,611 metres (28,251 ft), K2 is part of the Karakoram segment of the Himalayan range, and is located in the Northern Areas of the Pakistani Kashmir region, on the border between Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the difficulty of ascent and the fact that for every four people who reach the summit, one dies trying. Among the Eight-thousanders, K2 has the second-highest climbing mortality rate after Annapurna.

KYBERFUN
K2 in summer: view of the South Face from Concordia.
The upper portion of the Abruzzi Spur is the right skyline.


NAME

The name K2 is derived from the notation used by the Great Trigonometric Survey. On 10 September 1856, Thomas Montgomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram from Mount Haramukh, some 130 miles to the south, and sketched the two most prominent peaks, labelling them K1 and K2.
The policy of the Great Trigonometric Survey was to use local names for mountains wherever possible 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. The name Chogori, derived from two Balti words, chhogo ('big') and ri ('mountain') (شاہگوری) has been suggested as a local name, but evidence for its widespread use is scant. It may have been a compound name invented by Western explorers. or simply a bemused reply to the question "What's that called?" 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.


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


Lacking a local name, the name Mount Godwin-Austen was suggested, in honour of Henry Godwin-Austen, an early explorer of the area, and while the name was rejected by the Royal Geographical Society it was used on several maps, and continues to be used occasionally.
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 (Urdu: کے ٹو)[7][0] 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."
KHYBERFUN
K2 from the east, photographed during the 1909 expedition


CLIMBING HISTORY

Early attempts

The mountain was first surveyed by a European survey team in 1856. Thomas Montgomerie was the member of the team who designated it "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, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I respectively.
In 1892, Martin Conway led a British expedition that reached 'Concordia' on the Baltoro Glacier. The first serious attempt to climb K2 was undertaken in 1902 by Oscar Eckenstein and Aleister Crowley via the Northeast Ridge, but after five serious and costly attempts, the team could only reach up to 6525 meters (21,410 feet). The failures are attributed to a combination of questionable physical training, personality conflicts, and poor weather conditions — of 68 days spent on K2 (at the time, the record for longest time spent at such an altitude) only eight provided clear weather.
The next expedition to K2 in 1909, led by Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi, reached an elevation of around 6,250 m (20,500 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 m (500 ft) of the summit before being driven back by a storm.
The next attempt on K2 was not made until 1938, when an American 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 8000 m (26,250 ft) before turning back due to diminishing supplies and the threat of bad weather.The following year an expedition led by Fritz Wiessner came within 200 m (650 ft) of the summit, but ended in disaster when four climbers disappeared high on the mountain.

KHYBERFUN
Location on Pakistan/China border

Charles Houston returned to K2 to lead the 1953 American expedition. The expedition failed due to a storm which pinned the team down for ten days at 7800 m (25,590 ft), during which time Art Gilkey became critically ill. A desperate retreat followed, during which Pete Schoening saved almost the entire team during a mass fall, and Gilkey was killed, either in an avalanche or in a deliberate attempt to avoid burdening his companions. In spite of the failure and tragedy, the courage shown by the team has given the expedition iconic status in mountaineering history.
KHYBERFUN
K2 from Broad Peak Base Camp

SUCCESS AND REPEATS

An Italian expedition finally succeeded in ascending to the summit of K2 on July 31, 1954. The expedition was led by Ardito Desio, although the two climbers who actually reached the top 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 was the famous Italian climber Walter Bonatti, who proved vital to the expedition's success in that he carried oxygen to 26,600 feet (8,100 m) for Lacedelli and Compagnoni. His dramatic bivouac in the open at that altitude wrote another chapter in the saga of Himalayan climbing.

On August 9, 1977, 23 years after the Italian expedition, Ichiro Yoshizawa led the second successful ascent to the top; with Ashraf Aman as the first native Pakistani climber. The Japanese expedition ascended through the Abruzzi Spur route traced by the Italians, and used more than 1,500 porters to achieve the goal.

KHYBERFUN
Carl Drew climbing ladders on Abruzzi Spur

The year 1978 saw the third ascent of K2, via a new route, the long, 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 noted mountaineer James Whittaker; the summit party were Louis Reichardt, Jim Wickwire, John Roskelley, and Rick Ridgeway. Wickwire endured an overnight bivouac about 150 m below the summit, one of the highest bivouacs in climbing 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.
Another notable Japanese ascent was that of the difficult North Ridge (see route information below), on the Chinese side of the peak, in 1982. A team from the Mountaineering Association of Japan led by Isao Shinkai and Masatsugo Konishi put three members, Naoe Sakashita, Hiroshi Yoshino, and Yukihiro Yanagisawa, on the summit on August 14. However Yanagisawa fell and died on the descent. Four other members of the team achieved the summit the next day.
The first climber to summit K2 twice was a 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 (July 31 , 1983). Three years later, on July 5, 1986, he summitted on the Abruzzi Spur (double with Broad Peak West Face solo) as a member of Agostino da Polenza's international expedition.

RECENT ATTEMPTS

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 terrible weather and comparatively greater height above surrounding terrain. The mountain is believed by many to be the world's most difficult and dangerous climb, hence its nickname "the Savage Mountain." As of August 2008, only 305 people have completed the ascent, compared with about 2,600 individuals who have ascended the more popular target of Everest. At least 76 people have died attempting the climb. Notably, 13 climbers from several expeditions died in 1986 in the K2 Tragedy during a severe storm. More recently, on August 1, 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; three climbers have been rescued,[26] but 11, including Gerard McDonnell, the first Irish person to reach the summit, are confirmed dead.

KHYBERFUN
K2 from Concordia


THE USE OF BOTTLED OXYGEN

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

WOMEN CLIMBERS

This section needs additional citations for verification.Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2008)
Legend once had it that K2 carried a "curse on women". The first woman to reach the summit was Wanda Rutkiewicz, of Poland, in 1986. The next four women to reach the summit were all killed in climbing incidents — three of them died descending from K2 itself, among them fêted British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves in 1995, and Rutkiewicz herself died on Kangchenjunga in 1992. However, the "curse" was broken in 2004 when Edurne Pasaban summitted and descended successfully, and again in 2006 when Nives Meroi of Italy and Yuka Komatsu of Japan became, respectively, the seventh and eighth women to summit K2, both descending successfully. After Eun-Sun Oh in 2007, Cecilie Skog became the tenth woman to have summitted successfully in 2008. But her husband Rolf Bae, who was climbing with her, perished during the descent when he was one of 11 climbers killed in a 2008 climbing accident.
Prepared by: SANIAAAAAA

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