annapurna vs mount k2

Annapurna or K2: Which is more dangerous?

Which is more dangerous: Annapurna or K2? Mountaineers have long debated this question, and there is no easy answer. Each mountain has its own dangers, and climbers must be prepared for anything if they hope to reach the summit. In this article, we will compare and contrast the two mountains, looking at their similarities and differences. We will also consider the risks involved in climbing each one. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of which mountain is more dangerous—and why.

Mount Annapurna

Annapurna is an abbreviated form of the Sanskrit words anna (food) and pūrṇa (full), meaning “Goddess of the Harvest”. Nepali historian Mani Ratna Tuladhar first used the name in a Hindu purāṇa (religious text) called Skanda Purana.

This text describes the goddess Annapurna as Shiva’s wife and Ganesha’s mother.

The Annapurna massif is located in the Himalayas in Nepal and includes several peaks over 8,000 meters (26,247 feet). The highest peak in the massif is Annapurna I, which stands at 8,091 meters (26,545 feet). Annapurna I is the tenth-highest mountain in the world.

mount annapurna view

The first recorded attempt to climb Annapurna I was made by a French expedition in 1950. The expedition was led by Maurice Herzog, and it included Lionel Terray, Gaston Rébuffat, and Marcel Ichac. On June 3, 1950, Herzog and Terray became the first people to reach the summit of Annapurna I.

Since that time, an estimated 365 people have climbed Annapurna I, and about two-thirds of those climbers have been successful. However, the mountain has also claimed the lives of many climbers. As of 2022, there had been 72 recorded deaths on Annapurna I, making it the deadliest of the eight-thousanders (mountains that are taller than 8,000 meters).

Mount K2

K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest. It is located in the Himalayas on the border between Pakistan and China. The mountain was first surveyed by a European expedition in 1856, However, it was not until 1892 that a German expedition led by Martin Conway attempted to climb the mountain.

mount k2

Conway’s expedition was unsuccessful, but it did manage to reach a height of about 4691 meters (15390 feet). In 1902, a team led by Oscar Eckenstein and Aliester Crowley reached up to 6,525 meters (21,407 feet ) after five consecutive attempts. It was not until 1954 that anyone reached the summit of K2.

On July 31, 1954, an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio became the first people to stand on top of the mountain. The team included Rita Meroi, Lino Lacedelli, Achille Compagnoni, and Walter Bonatti.

As of  February 2022, there have been 377 people who have reached the top of K2. However, 91 climbers have perished while attempting to go higher.

Annapurna or K2: Which is more dangerous?

Annapurna, the world’s 10th highest mountain, is actually more dangerous to climb than K2, the world’s 2nd highest mountain. In fact, Annapurna has been nicknamed “the killer mountain” because it has the highest fatality rate of any 8,000 meter peak, with one in four climbers dying on the mountain.

So what makes Annapurna so dangerous? There are a few factors. First, the weather in Annapurna is notoriously unpredictable and can change very quickly. This can make conditions on the mountain very difficult to assess and can lead climbers into dangerous situations.

Second, the route to the summit of Annapurna is particularly treacherous, with a number of steep, exposed sections. This makes it easy for climbers to lose their footing and fall.

Finally, the altitude of Annapurna means that climbers can experience altitude sickness more easily than on other mountains. This can lead to disorientation and confusion, which can be dangerous in an already treacherous environment.

Fatality Rate

Few latest studies of 2022 claim the fatality rate of k2 has drastically decreased to around 13% ( previously 29% according to NASA), whereas approximately 32% of climbers die while attempting to climb Annapurna I. So, even though more people have died on K2, Annapurna’s fatality rate is actually higher.

The Risks Involved in Climbing Each Mountain

Climbing any mountain is a risky endeavor. However, certain risks are specific to each mountain.

On K2, the biggest risks come from avalanches and rockfalls. The route to the summit of K2 goes through the “ Bottleneck”, a narrow mountain section that is particularly prone to avalanches. In 2008, 11 climbers were killed in an avalanche in the Bottleneck.

On Mount Annapurna, the biggest risks come from Crevasses. A crevasse is a deep crack in the ice, and they can be very difficult to see. This makes them very dangerous for climbers, as they can easily fall into one and be seriously injured or killed.

Why do people still climb Annapurna?

Despite its dangers, Annapurna continues to be a popular mountain to climb. Part of the reason is that it is one of the few 8,000-meter peaks that can be climbed without the use of supplemental oxygen. This makes it a bit more accessible to climbers than some of the other high peaks.

Another reason is that the views from the summit of Annapurna are truly breathtaking. The mountain sits in the middle of a massive valley, and on a clear day, climbers can see for miles in every direction.

So even though it is dangerous, Annapurna remains an enticing challenge for mountaineers worldwide.


Both K2 and Annapurna are dangerous mountains to climb. However, Annapurna is actually more dangerous than K2, with a higher fatality rate. This is due to a number of factors, including the unpredictable weather, treacherous routes, and the high altitude. Climbing any mountain is risky, but those who choose to climb Annapurna and k2 must be aware of the dangers involved.


Being a travel and trekking guide for over a decade, I decided to expand my passion for a travel to be a tour organizer and build my team of travel experts. What's best about my passion is that I get to spend a considerable amount of time every single day with the legendary climbers and mountain lovers from all around the worlds. There's no greater achievement for me than having a set of regular friends around who always have stories of their great feat or their special encounters with the locals in the mountains to share.

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  1. According to NASA, approximately 25% of climbers die while attempting to climb K2 where as approximately 32% of climbers die while attempting to climb Annapurna I. So, even though more people have died on K2, Annapurna’s fatality rate is actually higher.

    Question? How is that possible if 32% of the fatality rate is Annapurna there should be more deaths because fatality does mean death right? And how can K2 have a 25% fatality rate but more people have died should K2 fatality rate be higher since more people have died I don’t understand how they came up with those numbers.

    • The difference in the fatality rates is due to the number of people who have attempted to climb each mountain. While more people have died on K2, fewer people have attempted to climb it, so the fatality rate is lower than Annapurna’s, even though more people have died. In other words, the fatality rate is calculated as the percentage of people who die out of the total number of people who have attempted the climb. So, even though more people have died on K2, the lower number of people attempting the climb results in a lower fatality rate.

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