Why K2 Is Deadlier Than Mount Everest

A profile of K2, the world's second-highest peak. i i

At least 11 climbers are feared dead on K2, the world's second-highest peak. Two Dutch climbers were rescued Aug. 4, 2008, from the peak, which is on Pakistan's border with China. Ed Viesturs hide caption

itoggle caption Ed Viesturs
A profile of K2, the world's second-highest peak.

At least 11 climbers are feared dead on K2, the world's second-highest peak. Two Dutch climbers were rescued Aug. 4, 2008, from the peak, which is on Pakistan's border with China.

Ed Viesturs

Eleven people are feared dead on K2, the world's second-highest mountain. Two Dutch climbers have been rescued by helicopter, while an Italian awaits evacuation.

Professional mountaineer Ed Viesturs, believed to be the first American to climb the peak without supplemental oxygen, says because K2 is steeper and more technical to climb than Mount Everest, most climbers who attempt it have a higher level of ability.

He says, however, that the challenge of K2 makes climbers push much harder and risk more to get to the summit.

Correction Aug. 12, 2008

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ed Viesturs was the only American to climb K2 without supplemental oxygen. That feat was also accomplished by Chris Warner in 2007.

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