Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The World's Most Dangerous Mountain

Eddie Bauer, June 1, 2020; Pfc. Sandoval, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

The rigors of Mt. Baldy, Los Angeles
Mt. Everest may not have the highest peak in the world. (There are irregularities in measurement, whether or not to count the snow piled on top, politics, tourism, England's reputation, and more nonsense than we can imagine). That distinction may go to K2, considered the second highest peak. K2 is certainly more dangerous, more of a challenge, and far less frequently summitted. If anyone thinks s/he's a mountaineer, it may be a deadly choice to tackle Denali in Alaska, K2 in Pakistan (formerly India), or the world's biggest mountain in Hawaii, tallest but we do not usually count the part under water.

Breathtaking: K2
(Eddie Bauer) “K2 is a savage mountain that tries to kill you.” That is how climber George Bell described the infamous peak after the first American expedition in 1953 -- forever giving the mountain its nickname, the Savage Mountain. Sixty-six years later Eddie Bauer mountain guides Adrian Ballinger and Carla Perez aim to summit the 8611-meter peak and join a community of explorers fewer in number than those who have been to outer space. Even more incredible, they will both attempt the feat without the use of supplemental oxygen. Every step of the way the team faces hazardous conditions, terrifying setbacks, and crushing misfortunes. But as Ballinger puts it, “I'll go until the mountain tells me I can’t go anymore.”

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