Compare Everest vs. K2: What Are The K2 or Everest More Difficult? Why Is K2 So Dangerous?

Conquering the Everest vs. K2 peaks is the ambition of many adventurers. If you are one of them, you will want to read this article first. Let’s click for more info!

Everest vs. K2: Comparison Table

Conquering the highest peaks is the dream of many people. The Everest vs. K2 is their ultimate goal.

Many adventurers have tried to conquer these two peaks. Many have succeeded, while many others have not.

Everest  K2
Elevation 8,848 m (or 29,029 ft) 8611m  (about 28,250 feet )
First Summit 29 /5 /1953 31/7/1954
No of Summits 6871 281
Deaths 295 (2018) 91 (2021)
People Reached 9,159 (2018) 377 (2021)
Deadliest Year 1996 (15 die and 98 summits) 1986, (13 die and 27 summits)
First Man Norgay (Nepal) and Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) Compagnoni and Lacedelli (Italy)
First Woman Junko Tabei (1975, Japan) Wanda Rutkiewicz (1986, Poland)
Range Karakoram Himalaya
Country Pakistan Nepal

Everest vs. K2: Main Differences and Difficulty

What is the difference between K2 and Mount Everest? Why Is K2 So Dangerous? Below is the detailed info for K2 compared to Everest.

#1. Altitude

In 1986, one satellite reading indicated that the K2 peak was higher than Everest, about 11m. However, a new survey in the following year confirmed K2 is the second highest mountain in the world, after Everest.

The current heights (relative to sea level) of these two peaks are:

  • The Everest: 8848.86 m.
  • The K2: 8,611 m.

But regarding the journey from foot to peak, K2 peak is farther than Everest.

The winner: The Everest peak.

#2. Commercialization

In contrast to the increasing commercialism of Everest, the K2 peak still represents the historical spirit of mountaineering.

Everest has been greatly de-mythologized. Meanwhile, the K2, which is reclusive and distant, has retained an aura of danger and mystery.

Among hard-core adventurers and mountaineers, conquering Mount K2 is considered a much more significant achievement than Everest.

The winner: The K2 peak.

#3. Deaths

K2: As of February 2021, only 377 people have conquered the ascent to its summit. There have been 91 deaths during attempted climbs.

Everest: As of the end of 2018, the Himalayan Database reports that 295 people are considered to have died attempting to climb Everest. Meanwhile, 9,159 summit climbs by 5,294 people were successful.

Higher mortality rates: The K2 peak.

#4. Popularity

Everest is more popular, making it very easy to identify a company with paid guides willing to take you up the mountain. Many popular routes come with fixed ropes, making everything easier for climbers.

If you join a paid-for tour, you will be called a “short-roped” as you will be attached to one Sherpa by a short rope. That way, you can hit the summit easily and quickly.

On the flip side, K2 is less popular because of its difficulty and remoteness. No fixed ropes are available, and no short-roped clients.

Therefore, only skilled and experienced mountaineers usually consider conquering the K2 summit. In addition, climbers often have to work in a group and support each other during the journey to conquer K2.

According to skilled climbers, the Everest trek is ideal for those who want to tell others stories at parties. But to be one of the most excellent climbers, you must conquer K2.

We do not agree entirely with this statement, but we understand its reasoning.

More popular: Mount Everest.

#5. Avalanches

We all know that the weather in the mountains is always unpredictable, and some mountains are more unpredictable than others.

K2 is located further north than Everest, making its weather extremely harsh and unpredictable. The weather in this area can change at any time.

Moreover, there are more avalanches in the K2 area than on mount Everest.

Successfully conquering K2 depends a lot on skills and luck factors. Look at the data on people who died trying to climb K2, and you will see that it’s terrifying.

More avalanches: The K2 peak.

#6. Remoteness

No matter where you come from, rescue expeditions above 6000m are challenging. However, having settlements nearby would be very helpful.

For the Everest climbing trip, two towns are located within one or two days of the route, adding to climbers’ peace of mind.

On the other hand, K2 is one totally isolated mountain. If you run into trouble there, it will take a long time before someone can come to your aid.

More remoteness: The K2 peak.

#7. Route and Climbing

Generally, climbing Mount Everest is not technically challenging.

Many routes have been arranged effectively for you to conquer Everest faster and easier. Various zigzags are available, making it easier to climb.

Steep climbs are not something you often face during the entire journey. Only several obstacles, such as Khumbu Icefall and  Hillary Step, are very difficult.

On the flip side, K2 routes are not laid out because few people are willing to face this arduous journey. As the mountain is triangle-shaped, you will struggle with a steep climb from the beginning.

Many challenging obstacles are available on K2, so every day is a technical climb. This climb is also more technical, combining rock, alpine, and ice climbing throughout the journey.

More challenging: The K2 peak.

#8. Rules for Different Countries

K2 is located in a difficult location, while Everest is located in Nepal, where flights are pretty cheap, and visas are always available.

The dirt roads that lead you to the Everest summit are easy to hike, and you will encounter many Everest Base Camps along the way. So you don’t get exhausted.

In addition, many Sherpas are ready to help you carry your equipment and provide houses to stay in. Overall, the Everest climbing experience is relatively straightforward.

Contrastly, it is harder to approach K2. It is located in Pakistan, a notoriously tough country to access. Moreover, visas are challenging to obtain, making this country, not an ideal tourist destination.

You will need to cross a glacier to reach K2. It is not just a glacier. Instead, it is a highly technical trip, including snow, rock, and glacial ice, potentially dangerous and highly technical.

Besides, finding Sherpas and teahouses is also more difficult when conquering K2. You will have to bring all the necessary equipment and set up your tent on your way, making the journey to conquer K2 more difficult.

Harder: The K2 peak.

Everest vs. K2: Which Is Harder To Climb

Why Is K2 So Dangerous? K2, although lower than Mount Everest, is considered one of the world’s most dangerous and challenging mountains. It’s nicknamed “Savage Mountain.” Unlike Mount Everest, you can’t simply hike to the top.

So the conquest of K2 tends to be only for skilled and intrepid explorers and climbers.

In addition, it will also require careful preparation of equipment, mental and physical. Once something goes wrong, it would take a long period for you to get someone’s help.

Everest is more accessible, and you can easily find companies with paid guides who will take you up the mountain. For professional climbers, it’s more like a trip than climbing or an expedition.

To sum up, exploring K2 is a more challenging trip. It is in a more remote location that is more challenging to access with inclement and unpredictable weather. Support is not nearly available, and the mortality rate is also higher.

That said, the K2 treks should not be your first high-altitude trek.

Why K2 Is More Dangerous Than Everest? Why is K2 So Deadly?

Chogori (K2) is the second-highest mountain in the world after Everest. Many climbers try to conquer the highest point of K2, however, many are forever lying on the snow-covered mountain.

So, what makes K2 so dangerous? Here are reasons why K2 is more dangerous, so deadly, and harder to climb than Everest:

#1. Challenging terrain:

K2 has many irregular slopes and is shaped like a pyramid. The cliffs of K2 have an extremely steep slope (above 45 degrees). At the bottleneck, the slope goes up to 80 degrees, almost vertical.

#2. The weather is extreme and very unpredictable:

At the top of K2, there are huge glaciers distributed everywhere. These glaciers are unstable, often collapsing, making the climbing process dangerous, and even causing people to lose their lives.

#3. Route difference:

Everest has very well-laid-out routes. It also has less slope than K2, making it easier for you to climb.

Regarding K2, the routes are very bad. K2 mountain is shaped like a triangle, so you will face many challenges from day one.

#4. Popularity:

Everest is so famous that there are many paid guides to take people up the mountain, making things easier for those who want to conquer.

In contrast, K2 is uncommon due to its remoteness and rugged terrain. This means no well-laid-out routes. All team members must be experienced and skilled climbers.


The answers and information below will help you gain more insights into Everest vs. K2.

#1. Is Climbing K2 Harder Than Everest?

Mount Everest is higher than K2, but K2 is a more complex and dangerous climb, partly due to inclement weather. As of 2021, only approximately 380 people have completed the ascent to its summit.

#2. Which Is Deadlier, K2 or Everest?

K2 is one of the most dangerous mountains worldwide, with a fatality rate of 25%, while Everest is 6.5%.

In addition to the lack of support, Sherpas, routes & fixed ropes on K2, the more unpredictable avalanches & weather, the steepness & technicality of the climb, and the logistics of the trek & climb, making the K2 summit more difficult than Everest.

As of 2019, 379 people have reached the summit, but 85 have died. As for Mount Everest, more than 4,000 people have successfully climbed to the top.

#3. Is K2 the Same as Everest?

No. The K2 summit is at about 28,251 ft (8,611 meters) above sea level, after Everest (at 29,032 ft or 8,849 meters), making K2 the second-highest mountain worldwide.

#4. Is K2 the Deadliest Mountain?

Among the highest mountains worldwide, K2 is the deadliest mountain. One person dies for every four who hit the summit.

#5. Are There Still Bodies on K2?

You may come across the bodies of the mountain climbers on K2 who unfortunately died on the way.

#6. Can You Climb K2 Without Oxygen?

Conquering the peaks of K2 without supplemental oxygen is a dangerous endeavor. Therefore, never risk your life by climbing K2 without oxygen.

#7. Why Is K2 So Difficult to Climb? Why Is K2 So Dangerous?

K2 is in a more remote location that is more challenging to access with unpredictable and inclement weather. Also, support is not nearly available, and the mortality rate is also higher.

#8. How Much Does It Cost to Climb K2?

Climbing K2 will usually cost from $15,000 to $39,000.

Experienced mountaineers may spend as little as $8,000, while those looking for a more comprehensive guided experience might need to spend up to $70,000.

#9. Can You Be Rescued From Everest?

Yes. Many helicopters are available but with huge risks.

#10. How Many People Have Lost Their Lives on K2?

As of February 2021, there have been 91 deaths during attempted climbs.

#11. What Percentage of Climbers Died on K2?

According to NASA, the percentage of climbers who died attempting to conquer K2 is around 25%.

#12. Does It Cost Money to Climb Mount Everest?

The price range for a standard supported climb is between $28,000 and $85,000.

A fully custom climb should cost $115,000, and those extreme risk-takers can start at under $20,000.

#13. Can You Climb K2 Without Experience?

The answer is No. It is very dangerous.

#14. Why Can’t Helicopters Go to Everest?

The air is just too thin for most helicopters to create enough lift to remain airborne.

#15. How Many Climbers Have Died on Everest?

More than 300 people are considered dead on Everest. Moreover, about 200 bodies remain on the mountain because of the difficulty in recovering them.

#16. Has Any Female Climbed K2?

Vanessa O’Brien has become the first American woman to reach K2.

#17. Can You Climb Everest Without Paying?

All foreign climbers must spend $11,000 to get a permit to climb Everest.

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