Over this past weekend, 30 people (including 3 Americans) summited 28,251-foot K2. This is an impressive amount of summits considering K2 has only ever seen around 300 summits ever. K2 is the most difficult mountain to climb on Earth as well as Earth’s second tallest mountain. 1 in 4 climbers attempting the summit perish. Those aren’t good odds.
Unfortunately, this past weekend K2 also took it’s first life of the season. Miguel Alvarez, a 46-year-old Spanish climber, was found deceased in his tent at Camp 4. He may have summited, but some reports say he turned around 1,000 feet from the summit.
According to Italian climber Tamara Lunger, this Alvarez spent a night outside above 8,000 meters before making it back to his tent. A night exposed to the elements above 8,000 meters is simply more than a human body can take.
Alvarez had previously summited Everest, Cho Oyu, Mansalu, and Nanga Parbat – all 8,000 meter peaks.
On July 22nd, a weather window opened up that allowed many climbers to take a shot at the summit of K2. The window stayed open through the weekend and has closed now allowing for 30 summits and taking one life.
K2 has historically taken a lot of lives and proved the highest challenge there is for mountaineers. Since the first summit in 1954, 337 people have summited K2 and 84 people have died attempting to summit K2.
K2 (also known as Chhogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu, and Mount Godwin-Austen) is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest. It is located on the border between Baltistan, in the Gilgit–Baltistan (part of Kashmir under the administration of Pakistan), and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. With a peak elevation of 8,611 m (28,251 feet), K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram Range and the highest point in Pakistan.
K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent and the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. For every four people who have reached the summit, one has died trying. It is more hazardous to reach K2 from the Chinese side; thus, it is mostly climbed from the Pakistani side. Unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality-to-summit rate, K2 has never been climbed in winter. – wikipedia