It’s hard to know how I feel tonight – I’m leaving what’s been my home for the past month and while it’s far from a five star hotel instead a single tent pitched on an active bortoro freezing cold glacier, it’s been good to me this time round.. and I’ve weirdly loved it.. each night my small yellow and white tango tent sits at the foot of K2 cuddled up to this misjudged white giant of Mother Nature and like a angry dog it’s slowly mellowed to allow me stroke it, pet it and finally play on it.. each night I’d sit for hours wrapped in my goose down jacket staring up at that heaven like summit amongst the stars and I’d dream of what it would be like to see the world from up top…through time the fear and the threats and fierce reputations of the mountain dwindled and a romance like relationship blossomed, you see I started to listen to the mountain and removed any egotistic aggressive conquering attitude instead I felt respectful, great full free & fearless.
Daily life at basecamp was made up of moving vast amounts of specialised equipment higher and higher camp to camp on the abruzzi ridge line , returning after each rotation to our basecamp cooks that prepared food like you wouldn’t believe- a standard unimaginable with the limited resources. Along the glacier dotted approx 90 tents with each team taking up their own refuse or claim.
Nights became quite special as climbers head torches illuminating the horizon in there tents they read or journal daily events.. you see life on Expedition is so removed from normal life with no modern gadgets commodities life here’s so simple truly back to basics.
It’s incredible how through time you can operate on less. Not needing entertained by that tv pushing propaganda type viewing telling us how we should look & behave, what we should eat and drink. The simplicity and luxury of a light switch, a toilet to sit on, instant heat… all a distant memory. Instead the art of conversation is critical to basecamp survival, engaging in others cultures, habits, likes and dislikes , what makes their life tick and why oh why K2 .. an art that sadly in the mindedness world is being eroded by the online social platforms. You become so hardened to this life you don’t find the cold no more sleeping on rocks and ice becomes the norm, using your pee bottle in the middle of the night to heat your sleeping bags a real treat.. but most of all having the space in your mind to listen to your thoughts, concerns, ambitions, dreams and most of all give thanks for what you have and have not.
But now it’s time for home to see my precious family and friends.. I take my leave never to return my time here is done I’ve danced the dance and survived…
It’s with pride I bring how that now famous Tri colour and spread the trials and tribulations of K2 and most of all inspire in schools, clubs and organisations the youth of our community that set your goals set them high find answers to obstacles believe in yourself and be incredible in this very short life.