Disasters that changed history Everest v.s K2

Although the Everest disaster that happened in Into Thin Air took place during a completely different time, once you go more in depth of what happened, you soon realize that history repeats itself as you comprehend that the disaster that occurred on K2 eerily resembles that tragedy that arose on Everest just 14 years before.

Into Thin Air is an electrifying true story of a large group of mountain climbers that were determined to summit Everest and be able to recount the tale for loved ones back home. But when the drive that the climbers posses causes them to make a simple mistake, it leads to a chain of catastrophic events that eventually turns the promising expedition into the worst disaster ever in Everest history.

  • I believe that the theme of Into Thin Air is to always keep going. The climbers in Into Thin Air all were getting sick, and deaths were happening almost every day. The climbers were able to push through their limits and realize that they could rest once they got off Everest. With the K2 disaster, so many deaths happened, that only a little more than half of the original group was able to go back home. The climbers on K2 faced conditions that no person should ever have to , with the unforgiving weather and their friends being destroyed by the mountain. The amount of emotional, mental, physical strength and endurance it took for the survivors to produce is unimaginable and can very easily be related to Everest as conditions were unfortunately extremely similar.

Although Into Thin Air does not directly address the K2 disaster, there are many similar factors that occurred during both events that can lead to the connection between the two. The fact that both events had multiple deaths, caused by the climbers fault or the mountain, and the amount of struggle that was present in order to not give into the mountain could be sensed in both events.

"It is the mountain of mountains, the climbers summit. And those who do succeed on reaching the top, it is an accomplishment virtually none have dared to repeat. Even for those prepared to risk everything, there are limits."

This quote gives the reader a peek at what K2's characteristics are like. Harsh, unforgiving, and incredible are just some words that can live up to K2's actual persona. The people that made it to the top and back down can tell you that it was the biggest impact on their life, and no one would be insane enough to do it again. Not many people know K2 because it is constantly being overshadowed by Everest, its taller cousin, but those who have climbed both can tell you that Everest is like a show. If you are looking for a challenge, go to K2.

“For many among the obsessive, competitive fraternity of high-altitude mountaineers, K2 symbolizes the greatest test of will and ability a mountain can pose.”

K2 is just for the best of the best; anything below that standard would perish in K2’s environment. Any climber can climb a mountain, but if that climber decides that they want to challenge themselves by seeing how far they can go, this quote implies that they should find that out on K2.

K2 fights not to be just another mountain overshadowed by Everest; it proves itself by contributing overwhelming scenarios and impossible tasks that challenge the climbers that dare trek the perplexing mountain.

“These are highly experienced climbers who just had an unlucky experience on what is the hardest mountain on earth.”

This quote lets the reader get an understanding of what an outsider's point of view would be on K2s disasters. These analyses' are from climbers that had scaled K2 before and know the horrors of the mountain. The interviewees know the risks and the horrible things that will happen on K2 if they are exposed to the conditions that they currently are under.

The people that died on K2 were definitely not bad climbers, they just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. They were highly experienced climbers, but that could nothing against K2's power and force going against them.

Go to 0.36 and watch until 1.06

This is a documentary of climbers that have attempted or have summited K2, and what their perspectives are on this deathly mountain. Professionals that have observed the mountain explain how K2 is so different that any other mountain, even Everest. It explains that although there are very great risks climbing K2, their is also a thrill that climbers can’t get on anywhere else.

Rooijen is laying down, weak, in a hospital bed, with a Pakistan officer attending to his face. You can see his face is severely frost-bitten, some places more than others. His eyes have a faraway look in them as if he isn’t in the present, and is still recalling the treacherous climb.

"Cecilie felt ready to have children and they had discussed it. She thought she could return to working as a nurse and when they climbed, they could take their children with them to the mountains. But Rolf wasn't ready to settle down. He died on the mountain, swept away by an ice avalanche, yards in front of Cecilie."

This quote explains that K2 can tear your whole life apart. It is a monstrous mountain, and it makes sure that everyone knows it. Cecilie and Rolf were a newly wed couple, and they both shared the passion for mountain climbing. While other climbers' spouses hated being away from their significant other for the long periods of time, Cecilie and Rolf never had that struggle. They both were accomplished mountain climbers, and married just a year before their ascent to K2. They both had bright futures with each other, and they knew the risks that could happen when climbing K2. They must have believed that since they both were experienced mountain climbers, that K2 would be a breeze for them. This quote shows that K2 has no mercy for her climbers. K2 is a milestone in a hikers life; it creates challenges that physically and mentally burden the climber to a certain extent that everything after the climb is affected by it.

Credits:

Created with images by Mahatma4711 - "Mt. Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam" • SamHawleywood - "Way To Everest BC" • girolame - "Mont Everest" • SeHi - "K2" • Mahatma4711 - "Lhotse wall in front of Everest peak" • SamHawleywood - "Everest From Kalapathar" • Bernt Rostad - "Mount Rainier"

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