Is K2 the same as Kilimanjaro?
No, they aren’t. K2 which is on the border of Pakistan and China and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania are two vastly different mountains. Sure, they are both thousands of meters tall, but when it comes to climbing difficulty, preparation requirements, and topography, they don’t have a whole lot in common.
Because the two mountains share the letter K, many people mistake them for being the same. So, let’s take a closer look at K2 and Kilimanjaro and talk about their differences so that you always remember which one is which, shall we?
Where K2 and Kilimanjaro Located?
Not only are these two mountains not the same, but they’re located on separate continents! K2 is a part of the Karakoram Mountain Range, which sits on the border of Pakistan and China–a majority of the mountain is on the Pakistan side. Kilimanjaro, on the other hand, is located in Tanzania, an African country, right next to the border of Kenya.
The topography around K2 is much more mountainous and dramatic than the landscapes near Kilimanjaro. In fact, the land surrounding Kilimanjaro is relatively flat, and the closest mountain to it, Mount Meru, is around 70 kilometers away.
Is K2 or Kilimanjaro Higher?
K2 has an elevation of 8,611 meters (28,251 feet), whereas Kilimanjaro’s peak elevation is a few thousand meters shorter at 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). The only mountain with a higher elevation than K2 is Mount Everest, which stands just a few dozen meters higher. However, if you measure from the Earth’s core to the peak, Kilimanjaro is actually the sixth tallest mountain in the world, above K2 and Mount Everest.
Due to K2’s extreme elevation, reaching the summit can take around two months–a long time, right? That’s because your body has to slowly acclimate to the altitude levels. Over in Africa, Kilimanjaro can be completed in about seven to nine days since the oxygen levels are more manageable.
Which Mountain Is More Dangerous K2 or Kilimanjaro?
When it comes to danger levels, K2 is by far the more threatening mountain. Why? Well, any elevation above 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) is referred to as the death zone. At these altitudes, human life can’t be sustained for long periods of time due to low air pressure and lack of oxygen. Climbers have to be extremely time conscious when entering the death zone or rely on oxygen tanks. Either way, one delay caused by an injury or unexpected storm can turn into a life-or-death situation.
Additionally, K2 requires technical ice-climbing that takes years of training to master. Even the best climbers in the world struggle with the mountain’s extreme conditions. Kilimanjaro, however, requires zero technical climbing, and its summit can be reached by uphill walking.
Book A Hike Up Kilimanjaro!
Only a select group of elite climbers will ever dream of attempting K2, but that’s not the case with Kilimanjaro! Anyone over the age of 10 who is up for an adventure is more than welcome to hike to the top of the African mountain. Choosing the right tour guide is crucial for your safety and overall experience. That’s why at Climbing Kilimanjaro, our professional guides go above and beyond to monitor each person in the group and create an experience you’ll never forget