K-2 is located on the border between China and Pakistan. K2, is locally also known as Chhogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu, and internationally Mount Godwin-Austen. It is said to be the “Mountain of Mountains”, and is considered more challenging than Mount Everest. It is the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest, at 8,611 meters. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram Range and the highest point in Pakistan.
T.G. Montgomerie discovered the peak in 1856 when surveying India. The British initially named it Godwin Austin, however it was eventually changed to K2. The first attempt to climb K-2 was in 1902 by Oscar Eckenstein, a British chemist. His attempt along the northeast ridge was not completed and this route was not attempted again for seventy-four years.
K2 is centered in the heart of the Karakoram Range and can be seen in its entirety from Concordia. It is the largest concentration of the highest peaks anywhere on earth.
K2 has four major ridges the Abruzzi Spur to the Southeast, the Negrotto Pass and the Angel Peak in the Southwest, the Juncton Peak in the Northeast and the Savoia Pass in the Northwest. K2 is considered to be one of the world’s greatest treks with breathtaking scenery and an amalgamation of some of the finest natural pyramids in the world.
The trek on the Baltoro Glacier is surrounded by the scenic mountains Masherbrum (7750m), Uli Biaho Tower (6190m), Trango Towers (6300m) Grand Cathedral (5228m) and Mustagh Tower (7284). From Concordia you can see K-2 as well as Broad Peak (8044m), Gasherbrum Group, Golden Throne (7365m) and Chogolisa (7686m).
The trek up K2 is thrilling, however precautions must be taken before the execution of this journey. One of the factors that make K2 so challenging is that the climbers themselves must do all of the work of carrying and setting the ropes and high camps. Steep slopes of ice and limestone can only be tackled if climberssecure their ropes typically up to 2,500 meters of rope on the south side routes, and up to 5,000 meters of rope on the north ridge route.
Another factor to remember is when to climb! Although the weather is unpredictable the forecasted best months to climb are June, July and August. The extreme weather can differ from one side to the other, with pleasant weather on one side of the mountain, contrasted with life-threatening conditions on the other.
In order to survive K2 a diverse set of skills will be required. Information and procedures regarding medical and altitude problems will have to be memorized and practiced since there are limited possibilities for rescue or medical attention on K2.