News floods through the mountaineering grapevine this weekend that the greatest & the most natorious mountain in the world has been summitted. K2 known as the savage mountain due to its extreme difficulty is Situated in Pakistan standing at 8,611 meters , it maybe the second highest mountain in the world after the might of Mt Everest, but certainally the toughest. With just over 350 successful ascent ever in its history getting to the summit is virtually impossible, but for the meer few. This day two years ago my summit attempt was over due to a huge avalanche taking out camp four taking with it all our equipment tents, oxygen and climbing gear required to go higher. This weekends success on K2 fills feelings and emotions that few will ever understand, flowing through my veins a commitment of one day returning to that hallow ground. After my recent attempt on K2 ,returning to Ireland myself & Sharon were invited to that wonderful small village in kilcornan Co. limrick to the home of Irelands most famous and heroic mountaineer Ger McDonald who singley and unselfishly put others first while this fellow Nordic team chose to decent leaving a fallen Korean this week nine years ago. His solo actions caused him the ultimate, his life. Meeting “Gertie” Gers mum was emotional along with his brother & sisters and brother in law Damien. We spent the night talking laughing and crying over each but very different expeditions, this home filled with raw love & yet still Grief stricken our invite was honest to a family filled table of homemade salads and pots of tea, it was so real and so humbling sitting in the home of a true Mountaineering hero . Leaving the next morning receiving Ger McDonalds treasured ascender from Gertie, its been on all my ascents since, holding it dearly along with draping the tricolour around what felt like Gers heroic shoulder inspires me still to return, fulfilling a dream journey to return and dance that dance once again.
Personally I wish to congratulate Vanessa o brein, led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, she’s the first successful American female to top out on K2, having climbed on K2 with Venessa she was so capapable and determined that quality that undoubtedly helped her huge world famous success, writing her into mountaineering history. In addition to O’Brien, 11 other persons summited. Among the clients were John Snorri Sigurjonsson, the first Icelander to climb K2, and three Chinese climbers – Zhang Liang, Jing Xue and Mr. Azong. The seven Sherpas who topped out were Mingma Gyalje, Dawa Gyalje Sherpa, Tsering Pemba Sherpa, Nima Nuru Sherpa, Lakpa Nuru Sherpa, Nima Tshering Sherpa and Ang Tsering Sherpa.