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High Altitude Medicine
Point Zero

K2 should not be your first 8000er. In order to have a fair chance of success and survival, you need prior practice. For Everest, good starts are Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Shisapagma, Aconcagua, MountMcKinley or GII.

For K2, a great experience is gained at Everest, Makalu, Manaslu, Gasherbrum 1, Broad Peak and the likes.

Most accomplished climbers leave K2 in the end line of their climbs of the other Himalayan giants.

K2 will require a great deal of self-reliance, altitude experience, rope- and climbing skills as well as managerial competence to lead and organize alpine expeditions.

Some of the peaks in Karakorum are well crowded, frequented by commercial expeditions. There are no commercial expeditions at K2; except for loosely knitted permit-sharing expeditions consisting of climbers mostly doing their own thing.

If you are a novice to climbing, read up on the basics at MountEverest.net Point Zero. There you will learn about becoming a climber, getting in shape and raising the funds. Getting ready for Everest requires around 2-3 years of diligent climbing. The equivalent should have you ready for K2 in about 3-5 years starting at armchair level.

You have the time however. Age is no problem in the mountains. Most ace climbers are in their 40s and 50s, this figure changing upwards every year.

For a comparison on physical best before age:

In New York, a nun - "Sister Madonna" - finished a Triathlon competition last weekend (summer 2001). Sister Madonna is 73 years old.