Thursday, August 25, 2011

50 years of scaling K-2

K-2 (at 28,251 feet), the second highest point on earth, is located in the Karakoram segment of theHimalayan Range in Pakistan. In 1958, Fosco Mariani, an Italian climber described the Karakoram as the "World's Greatest Museum in Shape and Form."  The local Balti people call it "Chogori" meaning “The Mother Mountain”. 

The summit is considered as the most difficult to climb by the mountaineers around the world. And that is why it remained un-scaled till as late as July 1954. And it was on 31 July 1954 at 6 pm to be exact when Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni from Italy finally conquered K2.

In 2004, the 50th anniversary of maiden climbing of K-2 was celebrated throughout the mountain climbers' associations besides Italy and Pakistan. To attend the celebrations, 78-year old Lino Lacedelli came to Pakistan and went to Skardu “to say hello and goodbye to the king of mountains”. Lacedelli was accompanied by a 24-member team who held a ceremony at base camp on July 15. Compagnoni, 89, lives in Italy, could not attend the ceremony.

On 25th December 1954, Pakistan Post issued an Ana 2 stamp to commemorate the maiden scaling of the K2. And to immortalize the golden jubilee of the K2 scaling, Pakistan Post issued a Rs. 5 stamp on31 July 2004. Besides a multicoloured first day cover for Rs. 30 was also issued.

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