What makes K2 Mountain a ‘Death Zone’?

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

09th Feb, 2021. 04:29 pm
K2 death zone

In an aerial reconnaissance launched by Pakistan Army helicopters atop the world’s second-highest mountain, K2, to locate the three missing climbers Pakistan’s Muhammad Ali Sadpara, John Snorri from Iceland and MP Mohr from Chile is still continued on fourth straight day to find the ill-fated mountaineers had diminished.

The three climbers had gone missing while attempting to summit K2, nicknamed the “Savage Mountain,” which has a peak elevation of 8,611 metres (28,251 ft), and is part of the Karakoram Range, not far from the Himalayas.

But why K2 brings out the best and worst in those who climb it? International media outlets say that the K2 is known as the Savage Mountain after George Bell, a climber on the 1953 American Expedition, that it was a ‘savage mountain that tried to kill those to attempt to scale it’.

On K2, routes are not well laid out, since there aren’t many people who feel up to the challenge of this foreboding mountain. The mountain is shaped like a triangle, so you will face a steep climb from day one, regardless of the route you choose.

Every day is a technical climb on K2, with many really difficult obstacles along the way. This climb is much more technical as well, with mixed rock, ice, and alpine climbing the whole way up.

Of the five highest mountains in the world, K2 is the deadliest and approximately one person succumbs to fate on this mountain for every four who reach the summit. Though infamous for its high altitude and lack of oxygen, 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.

It was first surveyed as part of the British Survey of India in 1856, by T.G. Montgomery. The British wanted to work out in particular where the border was between Kashmir and China.

Later in 1902 English occultist Aleister Crowley with his partner Oscar Eckenstein made the first attempt on K2.

According to the report, between August 6 and 10, 1986, five mountaineers from the United Kingdom, Austria and Poland had died on K2 in the Karakoram Range during a severe storm.

On January 16 this year, a Spanish mountain climber, Sergi Mingote, had lost his life while climbing the K2, Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, had announced. He had slipped down a crevasse.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted

“Sad death of Sergi Mingote at K2,” Sanchez tweeted. “He wanted to continue making history by being part of the first expedition to crown this mountain in the middle of winter and a tragic accident has ended his life. A big hug for the loved ones of this great athlete.”

However, the same day, a team of climbers from Nepal had become the first mountaineers to successfully complete a winter attempt on the summit of K2.

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