Finding mountaineering documentaries and movies is a hassle because no streaming or on-demand service seems to be able to carry more than one or two at a time. Thankfully, YouTube is an entire resource for some of the best K2 docs out there. Now, whether or not it’s legal, is “unknown”.
These are some of the best K2 mountaineering documentaries you can watch on YouTube that we’ve found.
K2: Siren of the Himalaya
Covering the terrain and sheer power of the world’s second-highest mountain, this documentary takes us through how an expedition on K2 begins with the hiring of porters right through to the unveiling of the “King of Mountains.”
Mountain Men: The Ghosts of K2
This BBC documentary covers the history of K2’s most devastating expeditions and its most successful. It features footage of the first man to ascend the mountain, Achille Compagnoni, and others. The film features a plethora of original historical footage of some of the most memorable expeditions as well.
K2: The Killer Summit
In August of 2008, several international expeditions made an assault on K2, by the end of the expedition, 11 climbers had been killed. The survivors were met with controversy over contradicting reports on what actually occurred on the mountain. This documentary covers the events of the 2008 K2 Disaster, the mountain’s most tragic event to date.
If you have a Netflix subscription, you can also watch the film “The Summit,” which covers the story in greater detail. This film reappears on Netflix periodically.
K2: The Savage Mountain
This one is one of our favorites, and it covers the 1978 British K2 West Ridge Expedition led by Christ Bonington, which, might we add, missed his calling as a program host/narrator.
The mountaineer takes us through the expedition’s attempt to summit K2, which ended in tragedy when one of the expedition members was killed in an avalanche. In between sequences, Bonnington can be seen quite at home in front of the camera telling viewers about some of K2’s history and filling us in on the expedition.
Fatal Altitude: Tragedy on K2
This documentary also covers the 2008 K2 Tragedy that left 11 climbers dead that August. The documentary covers the series of events that occurred from the Friday of the ascent to the Saturday of the descent, which left many with questions about how the events actually transpired.
Although we’d like to think we know what happened, each time you watch a documentary or read an article about this particular event, you learn new information that directly contradicts other accounts. It’s part of what makes this story so intriguing.
Also, check out our selection of must-read books about climbing disasters.