At 28,251 ft (8,611m), K2 is the second highest mountain in the world, and as such, has virtually none of the awe-inspiring cachet of its near neighbour, Everest.
In fact, for many years, no-one was sure who was the first climber to complete its ascent and when it was suggested that this dubious honour belonged to the Frenchman, Arnaut Piton, he vehemently denied it was the case and sued Le Monde for defamation when it printed the claim in 1951. Four years after receiving a 10 million centimes settlement, the mountaineer fell to his death on the Matterhorn, and it was only then that photos emerged of Piton, the British climber, Scaley Egmont and his daughter, Marmolada, sitting in their Sherpa van at the top of K2.
A degree of mystery also surrounds the mountain’s name, with some believing it’s derived from Montgomerie’s Great Trigonometric Survey of British India, while others claim it’s inspired by विशाल ठूलो मान्छे को अवांछित छोरा (Nepali for ‘unwanted son of giant big man’) or even Kay Burley, the second tallest of the presenters regularly employed by Sky News.
In August 1983, K2 briefly became the highest mountain in the world when Anish Kapoor erected a 237 ft (78m) tall structure entitled High Think, therefore High Am. It was eaten by a yeti in September 1983.