Located on the border between Pakistan and China, K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. For many climbers, it is an even greater prize than Everest, with limited routes, a steeper ascent, and a harder push to its summit.
Nicknamed the “Savage Mountain,” K2’s peak juts unprotected into the atmosphere, regularly exposing climbers and porters to life-threatening weather conditions.
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Despite being paid at rates far below those received by international expedition leaders, such porters—whether they provide critical supplies to expedition base camps or take on higher-altitude tasks in support of ascending climbers—do some of the most difficult and dangerous work. They are the true heroes of mountaineering.