Number of climbers on K2 Soar


Yesterday we wrote that the mountaineers on K2 are enjoying a bit of solitude before the arrival of commercial expeditions. The solitude will not last much longer. According to Pakistani newspapers, hundreds of visitors are going up Baltoro.

So far, Pakistani authorities have issued 175 permits to climb K2, Dawn reported, and the number may grow. Still, it is only a fraction of the 1,700 total permits for peaks of 6,500 m or higher.

K2’s numbers climbed steadily until the turn of the century, then skyrocketed in the 2020s. According to blogger Alan Arnette, 2018 was a record year with 62 summits. The last peak came in 2022, after the COVID hiatus. By then, Nepalese expedition outfitters had exported their business model, encouraging clients to tackle the 14 8,000-meter peaks as quickly as possible. There were about 60 summits in 2021. In 2022, Pakistan issued 207 permits for K2. That year, on July 22 alone, about 150 climbers trudged to the summit via fixed ropes.

a line of climbers, attached to a rope, crosses a snow slope below a giant serac.a line of climbers, attached to a rope, crosses a snow slope below a giant serac.

The line of climbers on the serac traverse of K2 and the Bottleneck, with the stricken Mohammad Hassan (wearing black pants and a dark yellow top) lying on the snow between them. Photo: Lakpa T. Sherpa

Last year there were a similar number of summits on a very busy summit day at the end of the season after a long period of bad weather. Unfortunately we also saw local porter Muhammad Hassan slowly dying at the Bottleneckas the line of climbers passed him by. Hassan was the only casualty on the mountain that year. Of the 112 total summits, most occurred on July 27, with a handful the following day.

Flourishing Business

After several years of frozen royalties, the permit to climb K2 has been increased to $12,000 for a team of seven, and $3,000 more for each additional member starting in 2023. That’s still cheap compared to Everest, which costs $11,000 per person and is set to rise next year. But whether on K2 or Everest, the price hike hasn’t deterred wealthy clients willing to pay what’s going to be the going rate for a fully catered, guided experience.

After Hassan’s death last year and the subsequent investigation, there was talk of possible measures or restrictions. However, the new season has already started and there is no change to be seen. Expedition money is a vital source of income for the local tourism industry. For local porters and guides, it can be life-changing.

On the positive side, despite so many people and so many summits (thanks in large part to fixed ropes, abundant oxygen, and Sherpa support), the number of summit-to-death cases has dropped. According to recent statistics, the most dangerous The 8,000-meter-high mountain Nanga Parbat is now less popular, even in Pakistan.

Most K2 teams should reach K2 or Broad Peak Base Camp this week. In the meantime, the mountain is quiet. Only one person has ventured beyond Camp 2 so far. Benjamin Vedrines climbed alone, sometimes holding on to old ropes from last year, to 7,300 m on top of Black Pyramid. Then he paraglided back to Base Camp.

This was his second acclimatization trip on K2, which he wants to climb without oxygen and in one day.

The mail Number of climbers on K2 Soar first appeared on Explorers Web.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top