National Geographic : 2012 Apr
N Mt. Everest 8,850 meters 8,800 m 8,700 m 8,500 m 8,400 m 8,200 m 8,300 m 8,600 m K2 8,611 m Kanchenjunga 8,586 m Lhotse 8,516 m Makalu I 8,485 m Cho Oyu 8,201 m PEAKS OVER 8,000 METERS (26,247 ft) To Advanced Base Camp Altitude 4,650 m PAKISTAN CHINA K2 North Glacier CHINA KAZ. TAIWAN INDIA PAK. K2 ASIA NEPAL 0mi 30 0km 30 Kashi (Kashgar) Yecheng (Kargilik) Mazar Ilik Boundary claimed by India K2 Advanced Base Camp Chinese Base Camp Aghil Pass Broad Peak Gasherbrum II Gasherbrum I Chiragsaldi Pass Yar kant Shaksgam CHINA INDIA PAKISTAN Plateau of Tibet Taklimakan Desert KunlunMountains Karakoram Range Approach Route Driving Trekking THE INTERNATIONAL 2011 K2 NORTH PILLAR EXPEDITION The approach to K2 from the north side is challenging. After reaching the village of Ilik by SUV, the expedition spent five days trekking through the Aghil Pass and across the Shaksgam River before it reached Chinese Base Camp. THE HARDEST WAY An image created using satellite measurements shows the expedition's key camps along K2's North Ridge route, which follows the steep fin of rock and snow to the so-called Japanese Couloir, a gorge just below the summit. The route was first scaled in 1982, by a Japanese expedition. K2 takes its name from the 1856 survey notes of British explorer T. G. Montgomerie: "K" for Karakoram, a subrange of the Himalaya, and "2" for the second peak he noted on the horizon.