K2 - Abruzzi Spur - 1954

K2 was climbed for the first time in 1954, by Italians Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli.

First ascent of K2 ( 8611m )

Abruzzi Spur

Karakoram, Pakistan

31 July 1954

Climbed by Lino Lacedelli, Achille Compagnoni

Other members of the expedition: Erich Abram, Ugo Angelino, Walter Bonatti, Cirillo Floreanini, Pino Gallotti, Mario Puchoz, Ubaldo Rey, Gino Solda, Sergio Viotto, Mario Fantin, Ardito Desio

K2 was climbed for the first time in 1954, by Italians Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli. Supplementary oxygen was used, but Compagnoni and Lacedelli claimed to have completed the final 200m to the summit without it, their supply having run out. It is now known that this claim was exaggerated, and was very likely entirely untrue.

K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and was the fourth mountain of over 8000m to be climbed.

The 1954 expedition was led by Professor Ardito Desio,  with Achille Compagnoni as the climbing leader. It was a combined mountaineering and scientific expedition. The scientific wing of the expedition included Professor Paolo Graziosi, Professor Antonio Marussi, Dr. Bruno Zanettin, Captain Francesco Iyombardi and Dr. Guido Pagani. The expedition employed around 500 porters on the trek to base camp and was supported on the mountain by a team of high altitude porters.

Walter Bonatti and Hunza porter Mahdi endured a bivouac in the open, without oxygen, close to the top camp after bringing up oxygen cylinders for the summit pair. Mahdi suffered serious frostbite and later lost nearly all his fingers and toes.

The circumstance surrounding Compagnoni and Lacedelli's climb from the top camp to the summit, and the desperate bivouac by Bonatti and Mahdi, were disputed for decades. It now seems clear that the account given by Bonatti in his book Mountains of my Life is accurate (the notes by Robert Marshall included in  the book shed further light on the affair).

Mario Puchoz died from pneumonia at an early stage on the expedition.

More about this ascent

External references for this climb.

K2 in the Ascent Book

Other climbs on K2 in the Himalayan Climbs mountaineering database

Mountain Facts

K2, Baltoro Muztagh, Pakistan

N 35° 52′ 52.7916″ W 76° 30′ 48.0168″

Elevation: 8611m