British-American woman conquers K2, holds Pakistan flag atop

ISLAMABAD Jul 31: Vanessa O’Brien, a mountain climber, became the first British-American woman to have conquered K2, the second highest peak in the world that lies between Pakistan and China.

K2 is the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest. It is located 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level and lies on the border between Baltistan, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.

K2 is counted among the most treacherous peaks for climbers. On an average, one climber out of four loses his or her life while descending from it.

On her achievement of the remarkable feat, 52-year-old O’Brien paid tribute to Pakistan by posing with the country’s flag atop the mountain. She also held the flags of Britain, US, UN Women and American Red Cross, and posted the pictures on Twitter.

According to the Forbes magazine, O’Brien is the first American woman to climb the treacherous mountain.

The Alpine Club of Pakistan said on Sunday that O’Brien, who has also scaled Mount Everest, reached K2’s summit on Saturday and began descending from the peak the same day.

Authorities said on June 19 that a nine-member international team – comprising climbers from Scotland, China, Norway, Pakistan and Nepal, and led by O’Brien – had left for Askoli from Skardu to attempt a conquest of K2.

On July 23, the team reached the base camp and on Saturday it had reached the peak of K2.