Gasherbrum II, also known as K4, is one of the world’s highest mountains.
Why Is It Famous?
Gasherbrum II is 8,035 meters higher than sea level, making it the 13th highest mountain in the world. It is also the Gasherbrum massif’s third-highest peak.
As part of the Gasherbrum massif, Gasherbrum II is in the Karakoram Mountains in the Himalayas. It sits on the border separating Xinjiang, China from the Gilgit-Baltistan province of Pakistan.
Gasherbrum II is part of the Himalayas’ Karakoram mountain range. The Baltoro Glacier sits below it. Some consider Gasherbrum III as a Gasherbrum II sub-peak due to its topographic prominence that is just 461 meters. Provided that weather is nice, climbers who take the normal route tend to have a reasonable success rate due to the accessibility of the mountain. It is the “easiest” of the peaks over 8,000 meters in the Karakoram, but it is still reserved for experienced climbers.
Events in Time
Thomas George Montgomerie designated Gasherbrum II as K4 in 1856 during his Great Trigonometric Survey. This indicated that it was the fourth mountain in the Karakoram. Gasherbrum and combines Balti words to mean “beautiful mountain.”
In 1909, the Duke of Abruzzi explored the Gasherbrum mountains along with Vittorio Sella. An international Himalayan expedition explored it further in 1934, making it up 6,250 meters of Gasherbrum II.
An Austrian expedition first climbed the mountain in July 1956. That team overcame their camp and supplies got buried in an avalanche. More teams have reached the summit of Gasherbrum II over the years. In 2011, the first team reached the summit in winter despite a class-four avalanche burying them.
Gasherbrum II is a popular summit for climbers to attempt to ascend as it is among the easier 8,000-meter mountains. It is still sufficiently challenging to make it hard for geologists to explore.