Climbing

K2 and the Invisible Footmen

Despite being paid at rates far below those received by international expedition leaders, porters on K2 do some of the most difficult and dangerous work. They are the true heroes of mountaineering.

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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.

[Also Read K2 In Winter: Can It Ever Be Done?]

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.


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