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Mount Godwin Austen – The highest peak of India

Mount Godwin Austen – The highest peak of India

K2 also known as Mount Godwin Austen is the second highest mountain peak after Mount Everest. From the great Trigonometric Survey its name has been derived as Thomas Montogomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram from Mount Haramukh to the south, and he sketched two of the most prominent peaks namely K1 and K2. Its elevation is around 8,611 metre or 28,251 feet. According to the policy of The Great Trigonometric Survey the mountain peaks has to be recognised by their local names. So, K1 was locally known as Masherbrum still then K2 didn’t occupy its local name, most probably due to its remote location. It is located on the border between northern Pakistan and China.








It is also known as the mountain of savage due to extreme difficulty that the people encounter while climbing on this mountain peak. It would be well signified with the fact that it has got the second highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. It is also claimed that, if four people have tried to reach on the top of it then one would have died trying it. It is even more fatal to climb it from the Chinese side so people generally try from the north Pakistan side which is comparably easier to climb from. Unlike Annapurna, which has got the highest fatality rate in climbing K2 has never been climbed during winters. The mountain was first surveyed by the Survey Team of Europe in 1856. The first serious attempt to climb K2 was undertaken by Oscar Eckenstein through the Northeast Ridge but they failed miserably.








The failure was also attributed due to sickness, lack of physical training, personal conflicts and poor weather conditions. An Italian expedition finally succeeded in climbing to the summit of K2 through the Abruzzi Spur on 31 July 1954. The expedition was led by Ardito Desio and the two climbers who reached the summit were Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli. The most recent attempt was undertaken by two New Zealanders Marty Schemidst and his son Denali, on 28 July, 2013 but they died after an avalanche destroyed their camp completely. As there is almost one-third of the oxygen available at the summit of K2 as there is on sea level. It is covered with glaciers and snow covered mountains that rise from its base at about 15000 feet on the Godwin Austen Glacier, a tributary of the Baltoro Glacier. The mountain was first discovered and measured in 1856 by Col. T.G. Montgomerie of the Survey of India, and it its special symbol K2 is given to it because it was the second peak measured in the Karakoram Region. As K2 is much prone to frequent, extremely severe storms and harsh climatic conditions that make the already treacherous climbing conditions on its slopes even more challenging.








Moreover, humans at such highly elevated places find seriously uncomfortable in functioning of their body system so, it is one of the world’s most difficult mountains to climb. It is located hundreds of miles to the north of Mount Everest. It is locally known by the name of “Chogo Ri,” which means “The Great Mountain. It is a rocky mountain which becomes an ocean of snow especially during winters. In 1987 it was concluded by a newspaper report that it might be higher than Mount Everest but soon after it was measured and the entire report was unaccepted as it was 778 feet shorter. For people who just love thrill and adventure without having the feeling of being stuck and those whose body permits them to climb at such a high elevation should try and have the taste of success by climbing on this mountain peak. It is seriously a highly admired and brave task. One must take proper trainer and the essential and required kit with him as even a little negligence can prove fatal. Till 2009 11 women have tried climbing K2 but four of them failed to do so. K2, having its share of epic ascents, is also a mountain of literature. Some of the best writing about the trials of mountaineering has come from gripping adventures on the Savage Mountain.








Various books have been written on the adventures related to the mountain peak like the 1939 Tragedy which is a very famous book by Andrew J. Kaufman and another book known as Triumph and Tragedy by Jim Curran which describes briefly the epic adventure that climbers enthral into while ascending to this highly difficult mountain peak. The Godwin-Austen Glacier is close to K2  in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The glacier can be approached via the important Balti town of Skardu. K2 is notable for its local relief as well as its total height. For most of its climbing history, K2 was not usually climbed with bottled oxygen and altitude sickness is also a problem. When we ascend above eight thousand metres then it is considered to be the death zone. So, if one is really interested in taking on an adventurous tall then you can embark upon climbing upon this mountain peak.

About Devesh Mishra

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