May 3, 2022

Why K2 is More Dangerous than Everest?

by Bernice

Just one individual in every twenty who climbs Everest also climbs K2.

K2 is always known as the Himalayan Siren.

It’s also among the world’s most dangerous mountains, with a death rate of 25 percent, compared to 6.5 percent for Everest.

So, why is K2 more dangerous than Everest? K2 is much more dangerous than Everest due to the lack of Sherpas, backup, fixed routes, fixed ropes, more unpredictable weather and avalanches, the difficulty and sloping of the ascent, and the climb expedition logistics.

It’s the globe’s second-highest summit, behind Everest, with 8611 meters.

In one of the worst mountaineering catastrophes, 11 hikers died on K2 in 2008.

What is it about K2 that makes it so dangerous?

Because Everest is the most well-known 8000-meter peak, we’ll compare it to K2.


Table of Contents

K2 and Everest are Situated in Different Countries with Different Rules

To answer why K2 is so dangerous, note that K2 is situated in a challenging environment. Mount Everest is located in Nepal, where visas are readily obtainable and reasonably inexpensive flights.

You won’t be fatigued because you’ll be approaching Everest Base Camp on simple-to-hike dirt paths.

You may hire Sherpas to transport your gear and live in tea houses to add it all. The experience is, on the whole, relatively straightforward.

The ascent to K2, on the other hand, takes place in Pakistan, a notoriously tricky country to enter. Visas are difficult to obtain, and it’s not generally thought of as tourist destinations.

A glacier leads to the summit of K2. It isn’t just a glacier; it’s a technically challenging and sometimes deadly excursion incorporating glacial ice (is glacial ice a mineral?), rock, and snow.

Before getting to the summit, you’ll need to delve deep for grit and stamina. Upon approaching the base camp, a significant injury can happen.

Teahouses and Sherpas are the final things you’ll see. It would help if you took all of your belongings with you, and tents must be pitched along the way, making the trip much more difficult.

A view to Mountain K2
A view of Mountain K2

Related Article: Alpine Climbing vs. Mountaineering

K2 and Everest Have Its Differences in Route and Climbing

Another reason why K2 is more dangerous than Everest is because of the regular ascent of Everest, the trails have been carefully mapped out. Furthermore, there are numerous zigzags, making the climb simpler.

Furthermore, steep ascents aren’t something you see often. Just a few particularly challenging difficulties like the Khumbu Icefall and Hillary Step. The ascent to the summit of Everest isn’t technically challenging.

Related Article: When is Everest Climbing Season?

Because several people feel up to the challenge of this frightening mountain, the paths on K2 are not adequately set out. Since the peak is built like a triangle, you’ll face a tough ascent from the start, regardless of your chosen route.

Each day is a tough climb on K2, as several highly challenging barriers are along the way. The climb is also more demanding, requiring alpine, ice, and rock climbing.

Hard rock climbs like Black Pyramid, and you can find House’s Chimney in the center of an alpine environment.

You’ll come face to face with the Motivator – traversing below a massive hanging glacier at a high altitude, where you’re already depleted of oxygen.

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The Different Remoteness of K2 and Everest Increases Uncertainty

Rescue missions above 6000 meters are challenging regardless of where you will be, but having settlements close helps. Two little towns are within a day or two of the route, adding to the sense of security.

K2 is a solitary mountain. If you’re in trouble there, it will take a long time for anybody to reach you safely, which makes K2 more dangerous to climb than Everest.

Related Articles: Is It Safe to You Drink Glacier Water?

K2 and Everest Have Their Popularity Differences

This point is intertwined with the preceding two. Because of Everest’s prominence, it’s relatively easy to find businesses that will carry you up the hill with professional guides. 

As a result, the most famous routes are outfitted with fixed ropes, making climbing easier. Paid-for tour participants are often called “short-roped” since they are linked to a Sherpa using a short rope to reach the peak swiftly and easily.

On the other hand, K2 is less well-known because of its complexity and distance. There are no fixed ropes and short-roped clients. Team members must be skilled and proficient mountaineers who add to the team’s success.

Someone famous once said that you ascend Everest to tell individuals stories at gatherings. Climb K2 if you want to be among the top mountaineers in the world. We disagree with the assertion that something is always true, but we understand its logic.

A view of Mountain Everest
A view of Mountain Everest

Related Article: How to Choose Mountaineering Boots?

There are More Avalanches on K2

You all know how fickle the climate in the hills can be. Some mountains, on the other hand, are more erratic than others. Because K2 is more north than Everest, the weather is significantly more unpredictable and extreme.

You can’t bank on a break in the clouds to provide you with the window you require to reach the pinnacle and return safely because the weather could change. Also, avalanches are more common on K2 than on Everest.

As a result, a successful ascent on K2 depends much more on luck than competence. When you look at a list of K2 deaths, you’ll notice some highly competent mountaineers, which is terrifying and makes peak K2 more dangerous to climb than peak Everest.

Related Article: How Long Does It Take to Climb Everest?

K2: Siren of the Himalayas

K2: Siren of the Himalayas is a documentary movie from 2012 that documents how deadly is K2. Despite its lethal reputation, numerous expeditions try the summit each year, drawn by the allure of K2. It is one of our favorite movies, and you can watch it on Amazon Prime.

K2: Siren of the Himalayas
69 Reviews
K2: Siren of the Himalayas
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Jake Meyer, Duke of Abruzzi (Actors)
  • Dave Ohlson (Director) - Dave Ohlson (Writer) - Jason Reid (Producer)

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is K2 the deadliest mountain?

K2 is the deadliest mountain because out of the five highest mountains in the world, approximately one person dies for every four who reach the summit. K2 is the world’s hardest peak due to its steep slopes, exceedingly difficult geography, and adverse weather.

Its extraordinarily high altitude causes an oxygen deficiency. At the peak of K2, a climber has only one-third of the oxygen in the atmosphere compared to sea level.

Related Article: The 10 Hardest Mountains to Climb in the World

Which is more difficult, Everest or K2? 

Even though the top of Everest is higher, K2 is a harder ascent, owing to the more adverse weather. Just 377 people had completed the climb to the peak of K2 as of February 2021.

Is it possible to see dead bodies on Everest?

The standard Everest routes are littered with corpses. Over 8,000 meters lies the Death Zone, often known as Everest’s Graveyard. Lhakpa Sherpa witnessed seven dead bodies on her most recent ascent in 2018, such as one whose hair was still flying in the wind.

What is the highest mountain that has never been climbed?

Gangkhar Puensum, at 7,570 meters, is often regarded as the world’s tallest unclimbed peak. It is situated in Bhutan, near the Chinese border, and several parties have tried to scale it, with one crew achieving a subsidiary summit in the late 1990s but not the main summit.

How do cliff climbers sleep?

Sleeping on a rock ledge is typical practice for experienced rock climbers on multi-day trips. When there isn’t a natural ledge available, the next best option is to create your own. Portaledges are swinging cots that enable climbers to establish a storm shelter or bed for themselves throughout a climb.

Black Diamond Equipment - Single Portaledge
  • Precise engineering for strength, durability and ease of set-up and adjustment
  • Frame is built from double-butted 6061 T-6 45 mm machined and anodized aluminum
  • Four pull straps tighten the floor

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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About the author 

Bernice

Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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