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K2 (8,611m.)

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Mount Godwin-Austen, Chogo Ri

Elevation (feet)


Elevation (meters)


Best Climbing Months

May, June & July

First Climber(s)

Achille Compagnoni, Lino Lacedelli

Year First Climbed






Pakistan is home to various high rise peaks, K-2 is the highest mountain peak in Pakistan. With the height of 8,611 metres, K-2 towers all other mountains in the country. This high rise mountain in the Karakoram Range is referred to as Chogori in local parlance. Chogori is a Balti word, which means ‘king of mountains’.

The mountain is situated on the Pak-China border and lies in the Karakoram Range of mountains. To scale the mountain one can use the traditional and more reliable route that passes through Skardu. Skardu is a small hilly town in the north of Pakistan, which is well connected by road and air link with Islamabad. You can take the Shigar-Dassu-Askole route from Skardu to scale the K-2.

The expedition led by J. L. Eckenstein in 1902 was perhaps the first organised expedition to explore the various routes to K-2 Mountain. Though the expedition did not scale the K-2, it gathered some useful data that helped mountaineers in later years. Two members of the expedition were successfully reached to a height of 6,523 metres.

In the later years K-2 witnessed many ascents and today the peak has been climbed from all the sides. But the adventure lovers every now and then try to take a new and different route to conqueror the mountain.

Concise History of K2

For the first time in 1856, Captain Montgomery conducted the first ever survey of Karakorams and named the peak K-2 locally known as “Chogo Ri”. He also determined its height. In 1861 Captain Godwin Austen explored and mapped the great glacier region comprising the Chogo-Lungma, Kero-Lungma, Biafo, Panmah and Baltoro. He was the first to traverse most of these glaciers to discover the approaches to K-2 and to sketch it topography. He named K-2 as Mount Godwin Austen.

In 1902, first attempt to climb K-2 was made by a six men group of European climbers led by an English man Eckenstein. They could climb up to 6600 M.

In 1909, the Duke of Abruzzi (Italy) led a large expedition to Karakorams. Their attempt to climb K-2 failed at a height of 7500 M.

In 1929, Duke of Abruzzi’s nephew the Duke of Spoleto (Italy) led an expedition but abandoned climbing K-2 and concentrated on scientific work.

In 1938, an American expedition for K-2 organized by American Alpine Club and led by Charles Houston could reach a point 7925 M on July 21.

In 1939, again an American expedition for K-2 led by a German-American climber Fritz Wiessner made an attempt and could reach a point 8380 M. The end result was a failure.

In 1953, an American expedition for K-2 which included Housten and Bates from 1938 expedition could climb up to 7750 M. expedition ended unsuccessful.

In 1954, Italians again returned after vigorous training and adequate planning under the leadership of Desio. On 29 July two members out of four reached the summit for the first time. The ascenders were Lino Lacedelli and Aehille Compagnoni.


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