Mountaineering is considered an extreme sport by many people, an activity that is only undertaken by the most daring. Every year people with time and resources are trying to conquer some of the highest peaks on the planet end up either dead or gravely injured. Of the most notorious mountain ranges in the world, none has gained infamy more than the K2.
The K2 is located in the Karakoram Range and is the second tallest mountain on the planet standing at more than 29,000 feet above the sea level. It has been referred to as the Savage Mountain by people owing to the extreme difficulty in ascending it, and the mountain is so dangerous that it has the second highest fatality rate, one out of every four people who try to ascend the range dies. Most people who try to climb it make their journey from the Pakistani side because the Chinese side of the mountain is almost impossible to navigate.
The K2 Mountain Disasters
There have been many calamities that have occurred on the K2 because of climbers trying to go head to head with nature. Of all the tragic accidents that have happened on the mountain, there are three that stand out. The first one took place in June 1986 when eight climbers met their deaths as they attempted to be the first people to climb the Southwest Pillar, some of the bodies were never recovered. There was another disaster in the same year when another group of five mountaineers died on the K2 after a severe storm rocked the area. In 1995 the K2 was rocked by other series of disasters when a group of six died on the mountain due to bad weather and strong winds that at times could reach 100 mph the group was made up of Americans and New Zealanders. The deaths occurred while they were climbing down from the top. In 2008 there was another tragic accident when a total of 11 mountaineers affiliated to international expeditions died on the mountain with three others getting seriously injured. The leading cause of the disaster has been pinned on an avalanche which unhooked and destroyed the rope lines the climbers used to ascend the mountain.
What Makes K2 Dangerous?
Mountains have always been a dangerous place for people, and the cold weather alone is enough to kill even the most prepared climbers. K2, however, takes the dangers to a new level. Unlike other mountains, the K2 has very steep stretches that do not have any flat breaks where climbers can rest. The mountain is also prone to avalanches due to the massive snowing that gets worse during winter, the avalanches have been responsible for most of the accidents recorded in the area. Rock falls are also a common occurrence that presents a high risk to the climbers who are always at the mercy of nature. The weather up the mountain is extremely brutal with severe storms and strong winds that can reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour