“Mystery is essential to mountaineering. What is unveiled to the individual when involved with creative mountaineering forms part of a new bond with the mountain experience…it is in forging true bonds rather than the collection of numbers or establishment of records that unveils a bit of mystery…
If there is such a thing as spiritual materialism, it is displayed in the urge to possess the mountains rather than to unravel and accept their mysteries” -Voytek Kurtyka, The Art of Suffering
After a few weeks of travel, a few years of planning, and a few decades of dreaming, I set foot on the world’s second highest mountain. Our first rotation was a relative success…some marginal snow conditions and weather made upward progress more challenging than it would otherwise be, but I spent a headache-free night at camp one and climbed halfway to camp two before descending back to base camp to outrun an approaching storm. Now, armed with an excellent weather forecast, I’m heading back up the mountain tomorrow for what I hope will be my final acclimatization rotation. My primary objective is to sleep in camp three and touch as high as K2’s “Shoulder.” Located at approximately 8000m and above most of the technical climbing on the route, this task is in certain respects one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried. I’m just ready to embrace the mysteries of K2’s higher slopes and to interact with such historic features as House’s Chimney and the Black Pyramid.
I’m feeling great after a few rest days in base camp: my sinus and throat issues have mostly cleared up, my acclimatization is excellent, and I’ve been walking 1-2 hours each day to keep the blood flowing. Follow along on the Where’s Hari tab to track progress….I’m anticipating 3-4 nights on the mountain before returning to this deliciously thick air!