of the factors that makes K2 so challenging is the sustained technical
difficulty. It is sustained often described as a cone of ice and
limestone, and has slopes of 45 degree angles or more. Climbers
typically fix 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. Because
high-altitude porters are rarely employed, all of the work of carrying
and setting the ropes and high camps must be done by the climbers
On Everest, there are typically 2 four or
five day weather "windows" during the spring climbing season. Although
K2 is almost impossible to climb
without being caught in life-threatening weather, the best months to
climb are June, July and August. The sudden storms are caused in part
because the peak is so much higher than the mountains around it -- it
juts up into the upper layers of the atmosphere and like a rock in a
river can create eddies in the jet stream, with good weather on one side
of the mountain, and life-threatening conditions on the other.
There are fourteen "8,000ers" – fourteen
mountains above 8,000 meters high that of course represent the 14
highest points on planet Earth. The following list of statistics was
provided in February, 2001 by Xavier Eguskitza, the renowned Basque
chronicler of Himalayan climbing. Although K2 is listed 3rd
in the rank of danger, this is factoring in the total number of deaths.
Eguskitza points out, "If we consider the number of deaths coming down
from the summit, K2 is by far the most dangerous, about 3 times more so
than Annapurna. The problem on K2 is that if you reach the top, your
chances of returning are significantly reduced."
K2 fatality statistics
Know how to survive
order to survive K2 you will need luck and skill. You´ll have to know
medicals, the altitude aids and altitude problems.
Read up well, start with the MountEverest.net
sections and then practice. There will be limited possibilities for
rescue or medical attention on K2.
You´ll have to know how to stitch somebody
up, general first aid and all in all how to be entirely self reliable in
many life threatening areas in order to save yourself, your porters or
fellow climbers. Do your homework, your life might depend on it.
don’t need the Everest face mask on K2. The Khumbu cough doesn’t exist
here. You might however choose to bring
oxygen. Although K2 is listed as a "no-oz" mountain, many
skilled climbers have summited it using oxygen. Park from Korea is
bringing it, Rob Hall used it, if you do too you’ll be in great
Get the right bottles from Poisk, along with
unused oxygen gear. K2 is only slightly lower than Everest, the climb is
hard and the barometric pressure is said to be lower then that of
Everest at the base of the mountain. If you feel uncertain about your
no-oz abilities, don’t hesitate to bring it and use it.