Residing at the cruising level of a commercial airplane at 8,848 m or 29,029 feet is Mount Everest or known as Sagarmatha in Nepalese or Chomolungma in Tibetan is the highest mountain in the world. Despite that, Everest is not the hardest mountain to climb. The second highest mountain, mount K2, is even harder to climb than Everest. Everest has a death rate of 3.87% per summit, which means around 4 people die for every 100 summit. This number is considered low and safe because there are just so many people climbing Everest nowadays.
With K2 mountain, the death rate is 26.5%. So for every 4 people summited 1 person dies. What makes K2 harder to climb?
First the location. K2 is located in Pakistan–a not visa friendly country. If you’re an Indian national, it will be hard to obtain Pakistani visa. If you’re coming from these 24 countries, lucky you! You can get a visa on arrival providing that you’re travelling with the designated tour operator.
If you’re coming from these 5 countries: congratulations! You may enter Pakistan without a visa. For every other national, you need the invitation from Pakistani or travel agency.
Once you get into Pakistan, K2 is located in the remote area. If you climbing Everest, the trek to basecamp is laid over there and sleep in teahouses. For K2, you bring everything and sleep in a tent. Once you reach the basecamp, K2 is a very technical mountain. Sure, Everest has the Hillary step as the obstacle. But in K2, it is so steep and the combination of alps, ice, and rock climbing.
However, K2 is still not the deadliest mountain in the world. The title goes to Annapurna in Nepal with a death rate of 35%. The mountain is prone to avalanches that have been taking climbers’ lives in the past.
Then, there are still unclimbed mountains in the world. The highest unclimbed mountain in the world is Gangkhar Puensum at 7,570 metres located in Bhutan. It’s technically challenging but also legally impossible due to the ban from Bhutan government for religious reason.
The highest mountain that legally possible to climb but yet to be summited is Muchu Chhish at 7,452 metres located in Pakistan. So far, there were two attempts that failed to summit this mountain. So, maybe, you can get up, train yourself, and be the first person to summit Muchu Chhish. Good luck to you!