K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth after Mount Everest. With a peak elevation of 8,611 metres (28,251 ft), K2 is part of the Karakoram Range, and is located on the border between Xinjiang, China, and Gilgit in Pakistan.
K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the difficulty of ascent and the 2nd highest fatality rate. For every four people who have reached the summit, one has died trying. Unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality rate, K2 has never been climbed in winter.
The standard route of ascent, used far more than any other route, is the Abruzzi Spur located on the Pakistani side. An Italian expedition finally succeeded in ascending to the summit of K2 on July 31, 1954. The expedition was led by Ardito Desio and included a Pakistani member, Colonel Muhammad Ata-ullah. There is only one-third as much oxygen available to a climber on the summit of K2 as there is at sea level. Although the summit of Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is a much more difficult and dangerous climb, due in part to its more inclement weather and comparatively greater height from base to peak. The mountain is believed by many to be the world’s most difficult and dangerous climb, hence its nickname “the Savage Mountain.”
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