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Jennifer Jordan

Women of K2

A National Geographic Channel / Fox Television Studios / Skyline Ventures Production. Created, Written and Co-Produced by Jennifer Jordan.

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Film Description

Photo of K2 Team Trek Team approaches K2 in 2002. Photo by Jeff Rhoads.

Few people will ever breathe the rarefied thin air that veils the top of the world. Even fewer survive the experience. Himalayan climbing is the most deadly of recreations, many times more lethal than sky diving, race car driving, or base jumping off skyscrapers. Combined. On certain peaks, the statistics are staggering, but on K2 they are mind-boggling. While Everest has been climbed over 2000 times and seen 175 deaths, only 240 have scaled K2, and nearly 60 have perished in the process. That’s an unimaginable rate of one in four death to survival.

And as bad as those odds are, they are even worse for women. At the start of the 2004 climbing season, five talented and determined women had reached K2’s 28,261 foot (8616 meter) summit, but only two of them made it down alive. And soon after, they too perished while climbing other 8000 meter peaks. Today, all five women are dead.

Women of K2 examines several areas of theory, speculation and discussion and asks controversial and challenging questions of women mountaineers as well as the medical and climbing communities.

Photo of Jeff Rhoads and Jennifer Jordan at K2 Jeff Rhoads and Jennifer Jordan during the filming of “Women of K2.”

Deadly or not, every year brings new women climbers to K2, ready to test their strength and will against one of the deadliest mountains on Earth. Among them during the 2002 climbing season was Spanish climber and fashion model Araceli Segarra.

Photo of Jeff Rhoads at K2 Jeff Rhoads filming “Women of K2” at base camp.

Women of K2 examines the dark history of the mountain’s female pioneers while following the attempts of Segarra who soared into the international climbing world when she summited Everest during the catastrophic 1996 season, captured in the dramatic IMAX film.

“I have great respect for the mountains,” Segarra says, “and for K2 in particular. I am here to climb, but no mountain is worth my life.”

Women of K2 was created, written and co-produced by Jennifer Jordan. It originally aired on National Geographic Channel December, 2003.