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Located on the border between Pakistan and China, K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. For many climbers, it’s a greater prize than Everest, with limited routes, a steeper ascent, and a harder push to the summit. Nicknamed the “Savage Mountain,” K2’s peak juts unprotected into the atmosphere, exposing climbers and porters to life-threatening weather conditions. Despite being paid at rates far below those received by international expedition leaders, these porters—who provide critical supplies to expedition base camps and take on higher-altitude tasks in support of ascending climbers—do some of the most difficult and dangerous work. These efforts make them worthy of recognition as the true heroes of mountaineering. A film by Lara Lee.