K2 - Chogori - Mt. Godwin Austen


The Savage Mountain

The Largest Pyramid on the Earth

k2K-2, the second highest point on earth, located in the Karakoram segment of the Himalayan Range. In 1958, Fosco Mariani, the great Italian climber described the Karakoram as the "World's Greatest Museum in Shape and Form." Standing at 28,251 feet, K-2, the crown jewel of the Karakoram, is the world's second highest peak. K2's imposing granite pyramid contains enough mass to fill over 80 Matter horns. Many mountaineers consider K2 the most difficult and dangerous 8,000 meter peak to climb. K2 takes second place only to Mount Everest more than 1,500 miles away. The summit of K2 lies on the border of China and Pakistan. On its eastern side is Chinese Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in Xinjiang Province (formerly Chinese Turkestan); while on its west are the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The local Balti people, who live on the Pakistan side, call it "Chogori" meaning “Mother Mountain” in their Tibetan dialect. The Chinese officially refer it to as Qogir or Qiaogeli Feng. 
Initially this gigantic coned shape mountain was known as the Mt Godwin Austen because the mountain was first surveyed in 1856 by a European survey team headed by Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen. Later a British officer T.G. Montgomery designated it K2 for the second peak in the Karakoram Range - and
"K" being the the initial letter of the word Karakoram, the titanic range of ancient granite to the west of the Himalayas that splits the subcontinent from the Central Asia.. The other peaks of the Karakoram Range were named K2, K3, K4 and K5, but eventually renamed Masherbraum, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I respectively. These peaks represent some of the world’s highest summits.

Chogori - K2 or Mt Godwin Austen was first attempted in 1902, but it was 52 years later when an Italian expedition scaled it successfully in 1954. Recently, in 2004, Pakistan celebrated the golden jubilee / 50th anniversary of its first successful scaling and it was good to have the leader of the 1954 - Italian Expedition visiting Pakistan and sharing experiences with many still wanting to climb K-2.
En route to Skardu, one can walk in to a friendly captain's cockpit to have a glimpse of the top of the K-2 pyramid in the far distance on the skyline.
Below left is a picturesque view of the famous base camp "Concordia" - which serves as the final step towards the deadly journey upwards to the giant Killer Mountain - as known by many a mountaineers who lost their comrades in an attempt to reach atop the mighty K-2. See Map - Skardu - Concordia and K-2 Base Camp.


k2 first climb31 July 1954 - 2004: 31 July 1954 was the day when at 6.00 pm two men finally conquered the summit of the K2, the second highest mountain in the world, but certainly the most challenging and feared. Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni climbed the 8,611 Metres high peak while Colonel M. Ataullah and Arshad Munir accompanied the expedition from Karakoram Club of Pakistan. Captain (later Lt. General) G.S. Butt was the liaison officer. In 2004, the 50th anniversary of maiden climbing of K-2 was celebrated throughout the mountain climbers' associations besides Italy and Pakistan. The 50th anniversary events, which took place mainly between July 30 and August 1, included a scientific-mountaineering expedition on K-2, the honorary leader of which was Minister Alemanno, the inauguration of a K-2 museum in Skardu donated by Italy, the issuing of a K-2 postal stamp by the Government of Pakistan and an Italian-Pakistan polo match   During the celebrations, six Pakistani porters were drowned in a river while an Italian expedition was attempting the K-2. To attend the celebrations, 78-year old Lino Lacedelli came to Pakistan and went to Skardu “to say hello and goodbye to the king of mountains”. Lacedelli was accompanied by a 24-member team who held a ceremony at base camp on July 15. Compagnoni, 89, lives in Italy, could not attend the ceremony. Read More .... (Map courtesy of Computer Terrain Mapping)

Tips for those wishing to come close to Chogori or go atop it:

Maps (courtesy mountainzone.com) - Baltoro Glacier (above) Gasherbrums (bottom)

Related Links: | K2cimb.net | Women Climbers of K-2 and Nanga Parbat | K2 at 50: The Bitter Legacy | Recalling Epic K2 First Ascent |
| K2 Base Camp - Concordia Trek | Karakoram'99 | Pictures - Karakoram Mountains |


This page was created on 17 April  2006 / 10 May 2006

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