A scary scene emerged out of Pakistan just a few weeks ago as climbers documented a massive queue on the second-highest mountain on Earth. On July 22, a significant traffic jam occurred on K2 Moutain as a whopping 145 climbers summited the peak in just one day. A new record—that’s double how many usually summit in a season! It also is the same amount of climbers who reached the summit in a 42-year span from 1954 to 1996.
The viral video was making rounds on social media and showed a large number of climbers seen on K2’s Bottleneck traverse en route to the summit. In the mountaineering world, this dangerous section is known to be one of the scariest ascents of the climb. The Bottleneck is located along the South-East Spur the most popular route to access the summit of K2.
Pakistan’s tourism industry has been booming as of late, with tourist numbers increasing by over 300% since 2014. A budget-friendly country with unreal mountain scenery, it’s attracting outdoor adventure lovers in droves. This raises the question of whether Pakistan should increase permit fees, create a lottery system, or place a cap on the number of climbers looking to reach the famous peak. Mountaineers fear that with the latest restrictions placed on Everest, K2 is receiving more attention than ever before and ultimately will face commercialization.
As if summiting isn’t dangerous enough, waiting in a queue to reach the top is another risk that has been added to the list. According to Explorersweb, of the five highest mountains in the world, K2 is the deadliest and approximately one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit.