K2 Not Named The ‘Killer Mountain,’ For Nothing: British Climber Who’s Mother Died On K2 Goes Missing On Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’
K2, also known as the Savage Mountain, due to the extreme difficulty of ascent, is the second highest mountain in the world, at 28, 251 feet above sea level — and, less than 1,000 feet short of Mount Everest at about 29,029 feet — Everest’s exact altitude is in dispute. K2 is located on the China/Pakistan border, in northern Pakistan; and has the second highest fatality rate of the eight highest mountains (above 8,000 feet), with around 300 successful summits, and 77 fatalities — about one person dies for every four who reach the summit.” Not for the faint of heart. In case you are interested, Annapuma, also located in the Himalaya’s, peak’s out at 26,545 feet, is the world’s tenth highest mountain; and, its most lethal.– 191 summits, 61 fatalities. K2 has NEVER been successfully summited in winter — a true ‘Lion In Winter.’ Successful ascents have almost always been made in July and August, the warmest time of the year,” on the mountain according to Wikipedia.
Sadly, K2 has claimed another victim/s. Jack Hardy, writing in the February 28, 2019 edition of London’s The Telegraph, writes that “a British climber whose mother died on K2 has gone missing (as has his partner) while ascending a peak in Pakistan known as, “Killer Mountain.” “Tom Ballard had been tackling the perilous Nanga Parbat with an Italian climbing partner, Daniele Nardi; but, the pair have not been heard from since Sunday,” Mr. Hardy notes. Mr. Ballard, “30 years-old, is a distinguished climber, and in 2015 became the first person ever to complete a solo climb of all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter. His mother, Alison Hargreaves, was the first woman to reach the top of Mount Everest unaided. She died in 1995, during a descent from the peak of K2,” the publication noted.
Mr. Hardy notes that “Nanga Parbat is a notoriously difficult challenge for any climber, and earned the menacing, “Killer Mountain,” moniker due to the high number of deaths on its slopes”
Sadly, it would seem, that Mr. Ballard has followed in his mother’s footsteps; and the Killer Mountain has claimed another victim. This news comes as some climbers are no doubt en route, or are already trekking to base camp at Mount Everest, as the sweet spot for climbing — in the next few months — begins. It is a sobering reminder to all climbers that patience, meticulous and painstakingly slow/delicate progress, and a dose of good luck/weather, are virtue’s on the mountain. Even if all that happens, the mountain……gets a vote. RCP, fortunascorner.com