An embers all you need.

…..continued on.. It’s 6.30 Wednesday morning at camp one and a I’m awakened to the sound of a gas pressurised stove in the tent next door as they prepare their breakfast , for those that know me well early mornings just ain’t my best friend. Turning over the sound of climbing harness ness & the clanging of jurmars lockables & crampons signalled the ” id better get up”. With that i fired up my stove melting frozen ice for a hot cup of porridge took the guts of 30mins & 2 seconds to gulp down, with a litre of water for hydration sorted from the same pot its was out into the cold crisp morning. Geared up in my climbing equipment it was off to camp two where I’d planned to sleep over for a further two nights ramping up the effects of altitude allowing a significant increase in the production of red blood cells in the body to carry more oxygen to the vital organs. The main objective over the next few days was to lay the foundation to a successful summit bid in the coming weeks, that involved the priority of ensuring all my survival food was in each of the four camps on route to the summit. Too many times on expeditions I’ve either been caught out myself or seen it happen to others ,by ‘assuming’ that someone else was carrying the right gear, whether it be the rope, food or fuel only to find out that everyone had ‘assumed’ the same thing. !!!!! One great thing about time on expedition in the wilderness is that it teaches you that every little thing matters. One wrong step, one missed opportunity or one lapse of judgement can be a matter of life or death, then you learn you cannot take such things for granted, tent in the right place Avalanche friendly, sleeping bag, food ,fuel ,stove all placed with precision as your last line of defence… It’s good training for life too, if something’s is important always check – never assume, I might look a little foolish asking the basic questions, but better the FOOL than the ASS… and off I go. The climb was tough going starting out but soon the body adjusted and that rhythm of one foot in front of the other kicked in, the route now moved over very steep mixed ground of rock & hard ice on a pronounced ridge line. Four hours into the climb the very famous “chimney ” lay a head a super tight vertical section of approx 30 meters, which at sea level wouldn’t give me any issue but a super sonic altitude it was a challenge to say the least. A jumble of old ropes from previous expedition and a metal hand ladder set the scene, selecting which rope to tie into was like playing Russian roulette, with that i carefully placed my 12 point crampons as carefully as possible moving up the narrow chimney section ,I could hear my heart beating faster & faster pausing every few steps to recover till eventually topping out at 6700meters at camp two. Thinking “Jesus that was hairy”, as i hauled myself into camp. Stove out ice melting some well needed water reflecting on what a punishing day it was, soon it was a distant memory as i washed down some noodles and a view of the snow filled Himalayan mountain range leaving your mind boggled, simply beautiful the silence the shapes and sizes as the sun sparkled of the white carpets & others in its shadows K2 stood King & Queen ,head & shoulders in this Arena of giants, you see i was enjoying this moment ,all the fear the obsticals of this day were mist and i was finally honouring the journey, not the destination. Tomorrow i visit the black pyramid at 23.000ft….. It’s Thursday morning slept like a log and feeling strong after a hot cup of lemon tea and two digestive biscuits it’s off to the dizzy heights of 23.000ft into thin air. Continuing on the same rocked ridge line higher an higher my self an fellow climbing partner Noel ascended. The silence was golden and my father was heavy on my mind now that each step was getting tougher and tougher, reflecting on what type of man can keep going after loosing two of the most precious people in his life “his wife & son” both stolen from this world prematurely, when times are tough and conditions are at their worst, that we learn what we’re truly capable of. My dad had passed on his greatest strength ” there a few greater feelings than finding out you can achieve more,and endure more, than you had previously imagined, and it’s only when we are tested that we realise just how brightly we can shine..and he sure shines. At reaching the appropriately named black pyramid at 23.000ft it signalled the end of climbing on this final training rotation, taking a few seconds to visualise the route as next time round it was the real deal. I quickly descended to camp two cooked up some noodles “don’t be surprised ” tucked in for an early night and early the following morning decended 36 pitches to advance base camp and along the glacier to a welcoming basecamp of hot tea and noodle soup ” be rude not too”. Sometimes on an mountain like K2 an Ember is all you need… It only takes a tiny ember to start a great fire…. Cheers dad. Jason.