Longtime Back Bay resident becomes first US woman to summit dangerous K2

On her third attempt in as many years, Vanessa O’Brien became the first American woman to summit K2, the world’s second tallest mountain and one of the deadliest.

“You have to have a reason for going. For me it was a sense of national pride,’’ said O’Brien, 52, a longtime Back Bay resident who recently relocated to New York. “I wanted to be the first American woman. For me, it was so important to show that I could.’’

At 28,251 feet, K2 is only 778 feet shorter than Mount Everest, but it is considered to be a far more daunting climb.