K2, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and Dafdar Township in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang. K2 is known as the Savage Mountain after George Bell, a climber on the 1953 American Expedition, told reporters “It’s a savage mountain that tries to kill you.” Of the five highest mountains in the world, K2 is the deadliest: approximately one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit.
Also occasionally known as Chhogori, or Mount Godwin-Austen, other nicknames for K2 are The King of Mountains and The Mountaineers’ Mountain, as well as The Mountain of Mountains after climber Reinhold Messner titled his book about K2 the same. K2 is the only eight-thousand metre peak that has never been climbed during winter or from its East Face. Ascents have almost always been made in July and August, the warmest times of year; K2’s more northern location makes it more susceptible to inclement and colder weather.