Just like Lijjat Papad’s tagline of yore, the Karakorams seem pretty mazzedar with each passing day.
Forbidden fruit has always held a mesmeric appeal of its own and the mighty Baltoro glacier in PoK is high up on my bucket list much to my husband’s chagrin! 😁
Studded with some of the world’s highest landforms, the Baltoro is a veritable treasure trove of mystifying beauty. Check it out:
The proudest peak that you can see in these pictures, jutting at a whopping 8611 metres above sea-level, belongs to the humongous K2. Just to put that into perspective, 10 Burj Khalifas piled one on top of the other still wouldn’t make the cut!😱😱😱
K2 is an exact replica of how we drew mountains in drawing class. A-shaped with unbelievably steep sides. What K2 might lack in height compared to its much-celebrated cousin Everest, it more than makes up in technical difficulty. The second highest mountain in the world is ruthless, to put it mildly. For every 4 that summit it, 1 is sure to be history during descent. Not for nothing is it nicknamed the ‘Savage Mountain’ meant only for the serious climber and not the hordes of amateurs who scramble up the relatively easier Everest for their two minutes of fame on her peak.
Joining the fearsome league of its neighbour, the Nanga Parbat in the Karakoram, as well as Annapurna massif in Nepal, as the world’s deadliest mountains, K2 is pretty inhospitable in every season but is particularly unforgiving in winters, so much so that nobody has dared to brave her wrath when the rest of the Karakoram is literally submerged in snow.
K2 can even be conquered from her northern face, which lies in China, but for some reason, I don’t find the view as scenic or hypnotic as the frozen Baltoro on the southern side.
I’d give anything…Yes ANYTHING…to wade through chest-high snow on the Baltoro and look up up up up up this mighty, endless wall of white.
Traversing the Baltoro itself is a challenge for the most seasoned mountaineer and those who can even make it to K2’s base camp, let alone other advanced camps and the cherry on the icing [the summit itself!], I doff my hat to them!
So, what’s the next best thing? I’ve begun following a brave mountaineer by the name of Fredrik Sträng on Facebook!😂 I see K2 in all her glory through his eyes. Check out these otherworldly clicks of his:
This guy cheated death almost a decade ago on the worst day in the history of mountaineering casualty when the white witch saw red! His largeheartedness, to not push for summit, but instead, descend the slopes to attend to the man he saw plummet to the base of the mountain, must have earned him enough good karma to not join the long list of 11 fatalities, who got screwed by a deadly avalanche in the upper reaches of the mountain.
I could write reams and reams on this permanent fixture of my dreams…see K2’s even bringing out the poetess in me!😂