Saturday, August 2, 2014

2008 K2 Disaster

2008 K2 disaster

  1. The 2008 K2 disaster started on 1 August 2008 and considered as the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.
  2. Eleven (11) mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, five (5) on 1 August and six (6) on 2 August due to serac falls.
  3. A serac (originally from Swiss French sérac) is a block or column of glacial ice, often formed by intersecting crevasses on a glacier and is commonly house-sized or larger and are dangerous to mountaineers since they may topple with little warning. Even when stabilized by persistent cold weather, they can be an impediment to glacier travel.
  4. K2 (also known as Chhogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu, and Mount Godwin-Austen) is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest.
  5. K2 is part of the Karakoram range, not far from the Himalayas, and is located on the border between Baltistan, in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China's Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. 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.
  6. K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent and is regarded by mountaineers as far more challenging than Everest, and is generally looked upon as one of the most dangerous mountains in the world with the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders which are the fourteen mountains that rise more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) above sea level; they are all in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges.
  7. K2 is more difficult and hazardous to reach the peak of K2 from the Chinese side; thus, it is usually climbed from the Pakistani side and unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality-to-summit rate (246 summits, 55 deaths), K2 has never been climbed in winter.
  8. The name K2 is derived from the notation used by the Great Trigonometric Survey. Thomas Montgomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram from Mount Haramukh, some 210 km (130 miles) to the south, and sketched the two most prominent peaks, labeling them K1 and K2.
  9. The policy of the Great Trigonometric Survey was to use local names for mountains wherever possible and K1 was found to be known locally as Masherbrum. K2, however, appeared not to have acquired a local name, possibly due to its remoteness because the mountain is not visible from Askole, the last village to the south, or from the nearest habitation to the north, and is only fleetingly glimpsed from the end of the Baltoro Glacier, beyond which few local people would have ventured.
  10. The name Chogori, derived from two Balti words, chhogo ("big") and ri ("mountain") (شاہگوری) has been suggested as a local name, but evidence for its widespread use is scant. It may have been a compound name invented by Western explorers or simply a bemused reply to the question "What's that called?" It does, however, form the basis for the name Qogir (simplified Chinese: 乔戈里峰; traditional Chinese: 喬戈里峰; pinyin: Qiáogēlǐ Fēng) by which Chinese authorities officially refer to the peak. Other local names have been suggested including Lamba Pahar ("Tall Mountain" in Urdu) and Dapsang, but are not widely used.
  11. Lacking a local name, the name Mount Godwin-Austen was suggested, in honor of Henry Godwin-Austen, an early explorer of the area, and while the name was rejected by the Royal Geographical Society it was used on several maps, and continues to be used occasionally.
  12. The surveyor's mark, K2, therefore continues to be the name by which the mountain is commonly known. It is now also used in the Balti language, rendered as Kechu or Ketu (Urdu: کے ٹو‎).
References:

K2
2008 K2 disaster
Serac
List of deaths on eight-thousanders
List of books about K2
1986 K2 disaster

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