K2 native a distance. Shutterstock
Located in ~ the border in between China and Pakistan, K2 is about 800 feet shorter than Everest, but professional climbers consider the ascent much much more difficult. Virtually 80 world have died while climbing K2 and it"s taken into consideration one the the most grueling climbs in the world. And also while virtually 4,000 people have test Everest, just 300 have tried to climb K2.
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K2"s rise season is typically in between June and also August. Excessive weather makes it impossible to rise in all however the warmest temperatures.
In 2008, virtually 200 climbers from about the civilization arrived in ~ K2"s basic camp to effort the climb. Each team intended to walk up separately, spacing the end their ascents in order to protect against traffic jams ~ above the route.
But bad weather retained climbers from reaching the summit during June and also July. In August, a team of climbers from the US, France, Pakistan, Italy, Serbia, The Netherlands, and also South Korea — in addition to their Sherpas and also high-altitude porters — started the ascent.
Urdokas Camp site on the trek come Mighty K2 mountain of Karakorum range. Getty images
A series of snowstorms make it impossible to climb K2. Climbers spent the summer months acclimatizing and preparing come head up once the weather cleared.
On august 1, a group of 25 climbers native the US, France, Pakistan, Italy, Serbia, The Netherlands, and also South Korea — along with their Sherpas and high-altitude porters — started the ascent from Camp 4. They"d spent the previous days climbing up the camp, located at roughly 7,800 meter (25,000 feet), and collection off to finish the final leg that the climb.
Though each group spoke their very own language and also had made separate preparations because that the summit, they came together to tackle the final leg.
Or at the very least that was the plan.
From the start, there to be problems. Negative planning, a lack of communication, and poor conditions endangered lock all.
Climbers begin to traverse K2's Bottleneck. You can see the icy serac overhang above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou3m2Ic4gFE
The climbers to be being led by a nine-person "trailbreaking group" comprised of members from assorted climbing teams who were responsible for the addressing ropes along the food that would make it possible to safe summit.
But they gained a late begin on the trail. They likewise failed to lug enough rope to appropriately prepare the Bottleneck, a small rocky pathway with steep gullies, widely thought about to be the most harrowing component of the climb. A serac — a block the glacial ice — hangs over the Bottleneck, threaten to loss on mountain climbing at any kind of moment. As Norwegian climber Lars Nessa defined in "The Summit," "the key tactic is to minimize your time under the serac."
As the trailbreaking team headed toward the Bottleneck, the became noticeable that they"d begun fixing rope method too early on the course, which meant that not enough rope was left for the most complicated parts that the climb.
The group of 25 was lugged to a standstill together climbers had to move earlier down the food to collect rope in stimulate to relocate forward
Gul Dana, widow that high altitude porter Jahan Baig, a Pakistani mountaineer who died in the 2008 K-2 disaster, holds a picture of she husband at her home in Shimshal town of Hunza valley in north Pakistan. Getty images
At around 4 p.m., the group was making its means across the Bottleneck as soon as Dren Mandic, a climber native Serbia, lost his footing and also fell.
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Climbers watched as he tumbled under the next of the mountain and skidded to a stop. Mandic summary stood up, and then collapsed again. Few of his Serbian teammates descended to attempt to help him, but it was as well late. Mandic to be dead.
While attempting to move Mandic"s body, the second death occurred. Jehan Baig, a high altitude porter indigenous Pakistan who"d been hired by the French team, appeared to experience from oxygen deprivation and began exhilaration erratically. He slipped and plunged to his death.
A caravan of climbers creeps its way through the Bottleneck on respectable 1, 2008. The Summit/Amazon
The very first set of climbers reached the summit at about 4:30 p.m. Hours passed as one by one they commemorated reaching K2"s peak. The last climbers to head turn off the hill were Marco Confortola (from Italy) and also Ger McDonnell (from Ireland) at roughly 7:30 p.m. Due to the fact that of the so late start, they would certainly be descending ago down to Camp 4 in the dark.
Around 8:30 p.m., a group of Norwegian climbers to be passing with the Bottleneck top top their way back down once a chunk of the serac fell on them, dislodging and also cutting off the addressed lines the had remained in place to assist them descend, successfully stopping the group in their tracks.
As the heavy, spicy ice dropped upon the group, Norwegian climber Rolf Bae shed his footing. His mam Cecilie Skog and also their teammate Lars Flatø Nessa watched helplessly together Bae fell to his death.