1. K-2 K-2 is the second-highest peak on Earth at 8,611 metres (28,251 feet). Only Mount Everest is taller, by 237m, at 8,848m (29,029ft) (778ft).

(Source: Britannica)


2.One of the 14 8,000-meter mountains, or “eight-thousanders,” K2 is the highest mountain in the world (26,247ft).

(Source: NASA Earth Observatory)


  1. Thomas George Montgomerie, a British officer engaged in service with the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, scaled a tiny peak in Kashmir in 1856, giving the mountain its name. He discovered two notable peaks in the Karakoram more than 200 kilometres away and gave them the names K1 and K2, with the ‘K’ denoting the Karakoram. K1’s previous name, Masherbrum, was changed. However, K2 called Chogori (Big Mountain) to have a locally.

(Source: The Telegraph)

  1. In honour of Henry Godwin-Austen, a pioneering local explorer, the mountain is occasionally referred to as Mount Godwin-Austen. The name was used on many maps and may still be found there, despite the Royal Geographical Society’s rejection of it.

(Source: CIA World Factbook)

K2 seen from Concordia camp

  1. Another name more commonly used is Chogori, derived from two Balti words, Chogo (big) and ri (mountain). This may just be a name created by western explorers or possibly a confused response to the question “what’s that called?” as very few local people would have ventured close to K2.
    (Source: Curran, Jim. (1989). K2: Triumph and Tragedy. London: Mariner)
  2. Since 1953, when George Bell named K2 during an expedition, it has been referred to as the Savage Mountain. After almost dying on a failed ascent and describing the peak as “a nasty mountain that seeks to murder you,” he made the summit. (Source: Seattle Times)
  3. Up to this point, K2 was the main eight-thousander to have never been move in winter. Nonetheless, in January 2021, a group of 10 Nepali climbers drove by Nimsdai Purja left a mark on the world with the principal winter highest point of K2. (Source: BBC News)
  4. It is assessed that between one out of four or five K2 summiteers bite the dust on the mountain. This is a highest point to-death pace of around 22%. On Everest, this rate is assessed to be 3%. Annapurna is the main eight-thousander with a higher passing rate at around 25%. (Source: Alan Arnette)

ATLAS & BOOTSA memorial to climbers who have died on K2

  1. The first serious attempt to climb K2 was undertaken in 1902 by an Anglo-Swiss expedition. They spent 68 days on K2 and reached a maximum altitude of 6,525m (21,407ft).
    (Source: Conefrey, Mick. (2015). The Ghosts of K2. London: Oneworld)
  2. The first summit of K2 was on 31st July 1954 by ItaliansLino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. However, their success was shrouded in controversy as during the ensuing years and decades, the summiteers along with other team members accused each other of a number of deceptions on the mountain. These betrayals included secretly moving camps and siphoning oxygen in order to reach the summit first.
    (Source: The Independent)
  1. It was 23 years until K2 was summited briefly time. In 1977, a Japan-Pakistan joint undertaking summited. The undertaking included Ashraf Aman, the principal Pakistani to climb K2. (Source: Himalayan Database)
  2. As of June 2019, only 379 people had reached the summit of K2. Initial reports from this year suggest that this number may have now risen to over 400 as over 30 people may have made the summit during the 2019 season.
    (Source: CNNand Alan Arnette)
  3. The summit of K2 is located on the China-Pakistan border. Pakistan is to the South and Chinato the North.
    (Source: Google Earth)

ATLAS & BOOTSK2 is located on the border of Pakistan and China

  1. K2 is usually climbed from the Pakistan side where its base camp is located at around 5,150m (16,896ft). The route typically uses a series of four camps before the final ascent of the Abruzzi Ridge to the summit.
    (Source: National Geographic)
  2. The first woman to summit K2 was Polishclimber Wanda Rutkiewicz on 23rd June 1986. Rutkiewicz died in 1992 attempting to summit Kangchenjunga in a bid to become the first woman to climb all 14 eight-thousanders. In October 2019, she was depicted in a Google Doodle.
    (Source: The Independent)
  3. In 2004, 65-year-old Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontán became the oldest person to summit K2.
    (Source: British Mountaineering Council)
  4. The 2008 K2 disaster was the deadliest day in the history of K2 mountaineering. Eleven mountaineers died in a series of incidents following an ice avalanche that swept away fixed ropes near a feature called the Bottleneck.
    (Source: BBC)

ATLAS & BOOTSBroad Peak is located near K2

  1. The most deadly climbing season on K2 was 1986. A total of 13 climbers died in separate incidents spanning two weeks.
    (Source: New York Times)
  2. One of the most interesting facts about K2 is that it is flanked by five of the world’s 17 highest mountains.
    (Source: Viesturs, Ed. (2009) K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain. New York: Broadway)
  3. K2 is also a member of the seven second summits;the secondhighest mountains on each continent. It is widely acknowledged that it would be a harder challenge to climb the second-highest peak of each continent instead of the highest. 
    (Source: Krakauer, Jon. (1997) Into Thin Air. New York: Villard)
  4. The last 611m stretch of the mountain is known as ‘the death zone’. Above 8,000m, the air is so thin it is insufficient to sustain human life for long without supplementary oxygen.
    (Source: BBC)
  5. Legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner described K2 as “the mountain of mountains” after completing the fourth ascent of the peak in 1979. “It is the most beautiful of all the high peaks,” he continued. “An artist has made this mountain.”
    (Source: Outside Magazine)