From ArticleWorld

At 8,611 m, K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. Unlike Everest, K2 is not in the Nepal Himalaya, but in the Karakoram segment of the range. The mountain stands on disputed land: the summit is in Xinjiang, China, but the approach is from the Northern Areas of Pakistan, which is marked on Indian maps as part of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Ascents and dangers

Everest is more popular, since it is the highest mountain in the world, but there is consensus in the international climbing community that K2 is the harder of the two by a long shot, and that it is one of the highest Eight-thousanders. Just over a year after that of Everest, and 52 years after the first attempt made by Oscar Eckerstein and Aleister Crowley, Lino Lacedelli and Achille Comp, two Italians successfully completed the first ascent of K2 on July 31, 1954.

An indication of how much harder K2 is, and how treacherous the summer weather can be in the Karakoram is in the statistics – as of end-2004, barely 200 people have made it to the top of K2, compared with over 2,000 on Everest. K2 has claimed 51 lives so far, and Everest, with ten times more ascents, 200. Some climbing historians believe that K2 is especially unlucky for women, since all five women to have summitted died on mountains, three on the way down from K2.

Other names

Other names for K2 include Godwin-Austin, after the man who conducted the first major topographical survey of the Karakoram in 1856 as part of the Survey of India, Qogir or Chogir in Chinese , Lamba Pahar in Urdu, Dapsang in Tibetan or Balti, and Kechu (a corruption of K2).