K2, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest. It lies in the Karakoram range, partly in Pakistan, partly in China.
K2 became popularly known as the Savage Mountain after George Bell—a climber on the 1953 American Expedition—told reporters, “It’s a savage mountain that tries to kill you.” Of the five highest mountains in the world, K2 is the deadliest; approximately one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit.
The summit was reached for the first time by the Italian climbers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni, on the 1954 Italian Expedition led by Ardito Desio.
K2 is the only 8,000+ metre peak that has never been climbed from its eastern face. Ascents have almost always been made in July and August, which are typically the warmest times of the year; K2’s more northern location makes it more susceptible to inclement and colder weather. The peak has now been climbed by almost all of its ridges. Although the summit of Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is a more difficult and dangerous climb, due in part to its more inclement weather.
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