While many people have assumed that Mt. Everest is the tallest and the hardest peak to climb in the world, they may not be completely right. The Everest, without a doubt, is not easy to climb. There has been a very high death rate for climbers who have failed to reach the highest peak in the world.
However, there is a more dangerous mountain that is deadly for the climbers. A lot of them take the mission as a challenge to themselves. And only a few people have reached the peak to this day. That peak is the second-highest in the world, K2. K2 is also known as the savage mountain. A mountaineer even went as far as to call the peak “the worse place on Earth.” This explains why K2 is one of the most dangerous and threatening peaks one could attempt to climb.
In this article, let’s find out why K2 is harder to climb than Everest.
Is K2 Harder to Climb than Mount Everest?
Yes, K2 is, in fact, harder to climb than Mount Everest. You shall be warned if you are a mountaineer looking to climb the K2 as your next quest. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the peak is one of the deadliest places on Earth. Not only will you suffer from suffocation due to lack of oxygen as the roads exceed the top, but you may also undergo avalanches.
There are a lot more dangers on the way. The remoteness of the area adds up to the danger of the mountain. K2 is not as popular as the Mt. Everest. Though the heights are different for both peaks, many people have been successful in climbing the highest peak in the world, but not many have been successful in climbing the second-highest mountain in the world.
Likewise, the routes may be a problem for many. A very small number of mountaineers who have successfully reached the top of K2 have taken similar routes up to the top. In contrast, summiteers who have taken certain routes up the peak have ended up dying on the way or while descending. K2 has been a disastrous place for many mountain climbers to this day.
Why is K2 Harder to Climb than Mount Everest?
The death rates in K2 are higher than in other peaks like Mt. Annapurna. and Nanga Parbat, with rates of 25 percent and around 20 percent, respectively. Moreover, people have not even been able to climb the former as compared to the latter.
Besides this, the conditions of the area around the K2 are one of the most remote among every other mountain in the world. And a mountaineer can hardly even find the most basic facilities around the area. On the other hand, Mt. Everest has been popular as the highest peak in the world for many centuries. Hence, there are definitely, more facilities on the way, and in the area of Everest.
Dirt roads make it easier to hike through the Everest. It becomes harder to climb K2 as there aren’t as many Sherpas or porters to take you along the road as compared to the ones you can easily find anywhere around the Everest Basecamp area. Resting just anywhere before going on the toughest climb of your life is not even in question.
Some people have climbed Mt. Everest but failed to climb Mt. K2 for so many reasons!
The Southeast Spur route, or Abruzzi Spur, is considered the most used and somewhat easy route compared to other routes in K2. However, the K2 Bottleneck is located in this area. Going through the bottleneck is possibly one of the toughest parts of the journey.
Climbers must make steep (50 to 60-degree) traverse seracs for 100 meters (330 feet). The extremely tough altitude makes it all the worse for climbers to get through it.
“The K2 Bottleneck is at a very high altitude resulting in a slower pace of climbers. And a slower pace leads to a longer exposure time.”Furtenbach said.
He adds, “All the route below the hanging serac until the traverse to the final summit slope is exposed to risk from falling ice. This can happen anytime, day and night. The couloir, the traverse, and the last summit slope have a significant slab avalanche risk.”
Karrar Haidri, the Pakistan Alpine Club’s secretary, claims that there have been 90 deaths on K2. And the most disastrous deaths have taken place in K2 Bottleneck. This is possibly one of the most difficult routes to take, yet the most common. The Abruzzi spur, where the K2 Bottleneck is located, is life-threatening to even the best mountaineers in the world.
Remoteness of K2 is Dangerous than Everest
When ascending towards the peak of Mt. Everest, you can find towns with hints of life after a day or two of continuous climb. On the other hand, K2 does not give you this sense of comfort.
No matter how far you go, you can barely find signs of life in K2 unless you take along your own set of team or Sherpas with you. K2 is the loneliest and the remotest mountain you can go to. Hence, if someone is lost, the likelihood of finding that person is much less than the chance of being found on Everest. No one can spot a lost summiteer in K2 unless people are sent to find lost mountaineers.
Avalanches and Rough Weather Conditions
Many mountaineers have attempted to climb up K2 but failed because of the weather conditions. Many people in and around the area have claimed that the weather conditions in the mountain are worse than in Everest. The mountain is one of the coldest places in Pakistan, which justifies why the weather is never in favor of the climbers.
Furthermore, K2 has the chance of more avalanches as not many people have succeeded in getting there without dying due to such natural calamities. Avalanches and icefall in K2 are more probable than in Everest. While there are avalanches and icefalls on Everest, the ones that happen in K2 are much worse. One can barely even think of coming out alive or making it to the top with ease or even slight difficulties when you’re there. A lot of summiteers have been victims of such natural and unpredictable events. Even locals, Kashmiri Pakistanis, in the area have forever feared climbing K2.
A visa in Pakistan is Not Easy to Get for Foreigners
Foreigners have never had it easy to simply travel to Pakistan as Visa is less likely to get approved. Since K2 is located in Pakistan, it becomes hard for you to access the peak. On the other hand, getting a Visa to Nepal is not as tough. The government has been very generous in providing access to their country for foreigners.
This plays a major role in determining why Mt. K2 is harder to reach than Everest.
No Stops in K2
Unlike Mt. Everest, you can barely get a teahouse to rest on your journey up the top. Anyone who tries to go up the mountain has to settle in tents. The tents will likely cause you more difficulties than sipping hot and much-needed tea in the middle of the way at the Everest base camp.
Mountain climbers’ likelihood of getting injured before even reaching the base camp is very high in K2. On the other hand, there are fewer dangers of getting injured in the Everest base camp than in K2.
K2 is Steeper than Mt. Everest
Many people do not know about this, but K2 is much steeper as one reaches the peak than Mt. Everest. We are not claiming that Everest is flat. But it sure isn’t as steep and pointy as K2 is. The mountain’s steepness makes it harder for people to conquer the peak. One can hardly get themselves to go beyond K2 at a point.
This is also why the mountain has been labeled a “savage.” And, to this day, nothing defies the title the mountain has gotten. K2 is shaped like a triangle. And completely so. But Mount Everest is not as triangle as K2 despite the twists and turns.
Though Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world, there is no denying that no mountain or summit is harder to conquer or climb than K2. K2 is the most terrific yet dangerous climb a mountaineer could ever take. And, the very few people to have been successful in doing so have set records as some of the best mountaineers in the world.