Tuesday 14th july on K2.

It’s now Saturday morning the 18th July and the stage is set on K2 …. But before i begin to bring you up to speed on my progress over a few blogs, I’ve had this burning madness question bouncing about my head as i climbed, it’s either the long batches of isolation away from society or the shear lack of oxygen, but here goes….. Have a guess what the difference between a €1 million racehorse and a €100 racehorse ?…. Anyway it’s Tuesday morning 14th July, breakfast was at 5.30am made up of flat bread, eggs & beans with lemon tea, sounds familiar. “Jesus can’t wait for that Saturday morning grilled Irish breakfast that’s now become the best morning of the week in the Black household.” The objective now was to complete the second and hopefully the final rotation safely,to as high as physically possible without the use of oxygen allowing the body to acclimatise to the lack of O2 and the changes in air pressure. On the evening of the 17th I prepared my pack as light as possible with my personal items of clothing to expect the unexpected “or so i thought”. I had to carry up my summit push food required to survive on K2 so i need (over night) camp one food ,camp two ,three and finally camp four food. Each camp i bagged separately with high altitude treats “not” dried hot pot, cup a soup and some nuts, knowing all the time that i don’t eat well at altitude. Adding in also was the food i needed for this rotation. Sleeping bag pee bottle ” really ,who wants to get up in the middle of a freezing mountain cliff edge”. Satellite phone for safe communications, foam mat to sleep on to protect from the frozen ice below, by now my rug sack was well and truly loaded for the three day journey ahead. Half an hour ahead of schedule with crampons helmet and ice axe in hand 6.30am it was off & Walter Mitty wouldn’t have a look in. Morning sun soon rose bringing with it warmth, delayering climbing up through the glacier navigating thru the icefall arriving advance basecamp in 2hrs. From their it was a sharp left turning up and looking up the 70 dog climb that looked endless disappearing into the mornings low cloud base on K2. But like all great adventures it start every time with one foot in front of the other. Soon into the climb my lungs were on fire gasping for what ever amount of O2 was available, forgetting but quickly minded your at 5300mts above sea level. Slowing the pace down to a plod four steps at a time, stopping to catch my breath while carrying this now small car on my back. As I climbed the views were just breath taking reminding me of the “why” to witness Mother Nature again at her best was just a joy. Avalanches after recent snow fall were rumbling all around as i climbed higher and higher and rocks shot past within meters like missiles, it was a hostile climb and it was K2. Feeling strong I nibbled on nugget for the 6hr climb into camp one. With my tent thankfully in place from my first rotation quickly i was melting frozen ice on my small MSR gas stove of a welcomed cupasoup. Laying out my sleeping arrangements from the 4star cliff edge balcony at 20.000ft. The sun dropped at 4pm and arrived was Jack Frost taking with him a wind chill of -10. As the stove now sat in the tent vestibule boiling water needed for hydration now took place from the comforts of my down sleeping bag in the tent. A second cuppa soup made up evening dinner and it was of to sleep shattered at 6.30pm….. So well obviously the €1,000,000 one is 10,000 times faster than the €100 one. right? That’s clearly ridiculous.Is it even ten times faster ? No way. Twice as fast? Unlikely. At best ,the difference is ever going to be a few seconds or a nose as it’s said. And i guess it’s the same in life ….. Jason.