K2: the inviolable peak in winter. Where it is, height and curiosity

K2 is a mountain belonging to the Himalayas , also called the “peak of the world” because it hosts some of the highest peaks on our planet and among these we also find K2. Second only to Everest, this mountain is part of the very famous 8000m peaks, that is, the peaks that exceed 8,000 meters in height but it is not only for this reason that K2 has often been talked about. In fact, if Everest has welcomed various successes from the mountaineers who have ventured on its banks to reach its summit, K2 has often been called “the wild mountain”. There are many who died trying to conquer it, perhaps too many, to the point that even today the risk of not returning exists and is more real than one can imagine.

Where is K2 located and how high is it?

K2 belongs to the Himalayas and is located on the border between China and Pakistan (in particular the Pakistani part of Kashmir. It is the second highest mountain in the world after Everest (which belongs to the same range) and measures 8,609 meters. meters of altitude. Even if it has not been awarded the record of height, the summit of this mountain is much more complex to reach than that of Everest and to say it are the same results achieved by world-famous mountaineers. Messner himself claims that K2 is the most difficult mountain of the 8000ers to climb, much more than Everest.Unfortunately, this is demonstrated by the numerous mountaineers who died trying to conquer this mountain: we are talking about the third peak in the world with the highest mortality rate , preceded only by Annapurna and Nanga Parbat .

Why is climbing K2 so difficult?

Compared to Everest, this is a truly inaccessible mountain and undoubtedly more difficult to climb : therefore if the height is lower, there is no comparison from the mountaineering point of view. If Everest can be tackled even by inexperienced mountaineers, K2 could prove fatal and unfortunately it has been on many occasions. But why is this mountain so difficult? First of all because of its slope, which is decidedly more pronounced than that of Everest , but also because of the continuous climbing passages, complex and often located at very high altitude.

It should also be considered that the K2 base camp is located 80 km away from Askole, which is the nearest place accessible by car. From here, therefore, you have to continue on foot and travel 60 km on the Baltoro glacier which is certainly not hospitable and easy to deal with. From this very first stretch the K2 is therefore impervious and inhospitable: there are several mountaineers who have not even managed to reach the base camp. 

Despite its difficulty, mountaineers continue to venture to conquer K2 but if in the summer the climb can be at least feasible, in the winter it becomes a really risky undertaking. K2 is covered in ice and most of the failures and deaths that have occurred on this mountain date back to this season of the year. Challenging K2 in the winter requires courage, but above all unconsciousness. 


by Abdullah Sam
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