"The Savage Mountain"- Grade 4

Composed by Julie Giroux

Commissioned by the Eastern District
of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association
Jason Barclift, President
Russell W. Knight, Commissioning Chair
Premiers Jan. 2012
GRADE 1 & 2



K2, also known as "The Savage Mountain sits on the border between Pakistan and China.
It is the second highest peak in the world with a peak elevation of 8,611 m (28,251 feet) and
carries with it the second highest fatality rate of 27%. For every four people who attempt its climb, one will die.
It has never been climbed in winter.
Thomas Montgomerie named the peak using the Great Trigonometric Survey. The policy was to use local names
whenever possible however K2 had no local name due to its remote location and continues to be known today
by its surveyors mark. K2 is so severe a peak, many feel the name is appropriate.
The italian climber Fosco Mariani agrees and has been quoted describing it as
"... just the bare bones of a name, all rock and ice and storm and abyss. It makes no attempt to sound human.
It is atoms and stars. It has the nakedness of the world before the first man or of the cindered planet after the last."
The greatest challenge of ascending K2 is the extreme high altitude. There is only one-third as much oxygen as there is at sea level.
Acclimatisation is essential when climbing without oxygen to avoid some degree of altitude sickness.
K2's summit is well above the altitude at which high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE)
can occur. Above the 8000-metre altitude is the boundary known as the "death zone" which includes the top 611 meters of K2.
Bottled oxygen is used by many climbers to help alleviate some of the altitude's effects. Altitude related complications
have greatly contributed to K2's death toll.
The second greatest challenge is the climate. Due to the severity of its terrain, K2 gives little to no shelter from its many
storms which can blow up with little to no warning. Many of the deaths while climbing K2 are weather related.
K2 is massive, beautiful and literally, can take your breath away. It calls to mountain climbers around
the world with the song of a deadly Siren. Most heed its warning, but a few will not be thwarted.
Seventy-three percent WILL make it to the very top and will come down changed forever.

This is a Raw and Powerful Work
filled with intrigue and beatiful melodic lines
certain to keep your students interested.
Time length is 7:15 minutes
Texas Grade Level - 4
Piano part is not optional - 6 percussion + Timp
(7 percussionists would make the instrument swaps much easier)

This is the Premier Recording of K2
by the North Carolina All District Band