JULY - AUGUST 2018
John and the team have officially left C4 and are pushing for a planned summit tonight between 8-11PM PST. The GPS data has been inconsistent but we will keep everyone updated as news comes in, please keep John and his team in your thoughts and prayers!
You can try following on this alternative GPS map as well.
Hello everybody out there this is Geoff Schellens with John, we’re at Camp 3 on K2, we climbed the black pyramid today, John is engaging climbing which is challenging at times but good overall, we started using oxygen today at a low flow rate that helped us get form Camp 2 to Camp 3, we are now sitting at 24,000 ft on the dot and everyone is doing really well, clouds have dissipated and given us beautiful views, the plan is to sleep in a little bit and we have a shorter day to Camp 4 mostly of snow walking, then set ourselves up for summit the day after fingers crossed. That’s all for now thanks for following along, bye!
(Beginning of the call quality is poor but it gets better)
Wow, so this is happening. It feels as if it was just yesterday that I was writing to you about gearing up for an assault on Everest and Lhotse. I vividly remember the fear and anxiety that was coursing through me as I typed out each word, unsure of what lay ahead. Now, almost 14 months later to the day, I find myself in the same position with that same anxious excitement in my gut.
So without further ado, here is our planned schedule for our summit attempt of K2. It remains the same as yesterday but for those that may have missed it, here you go:
- July 17th: K2BC > C1 (20,000’)
- July 18th: C1 > C2 (22,000’)
- July 19th: C2 > C3 (24,000’)
- July 20th: C3 > C4 (25,000’)
- July 21st: C4 > Summit (28,251’) > C3 or C2
- July 22nd: C3 or C2 > K2BC
If you are following me on GPS and want to watch our push to the summit on the morning of the 21st, we will depart July 20th around 10 PM Pakistani time and hope to summit between 6 and 9 AM. I am 12 hours ahead of California/Pacific Time, 11 hours for MDT, 10 for CDT, and 9 for EDT. For those following from outside of the United States, particularly Denmark, I’ll leave the math up to you. I encourage everyone to grab some popcorn on Friday evening and watch my progress to the top of K2!
Alright, enough about the logistics and scheduling, let’s get real and a tad bit quotey… This mountain scares the hell out of me but I know that I am ready and that I belong here. I’ve put in the work to get here, but as Winston Churchill once said, “You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the performance is to be a success.”
I’ve set the stage and now it my time to rise to the occasion, even though it is difficult to wrap my head around the fact that something I have dreamed of for years brings me so much fear. I suppose that life’s greatest accomplishments should bring us fear. It’s that fear that provides the opportunity for personal growth. With that in mind, I will embrace it, move upward, and continuously remind myself of Joshua 1:9… “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Lastly, I want to leave you with some closing thoughts… About a month before my departure from LAX, I was trail running in the hills behind Berkeley. My anxiety level was high and I was having one of those days that cause you to question your own sanity. All of a sudden, a thought sprang to mind that provided a sense of peace and I have used it in moments of doubt ever since…
“If something should happen and I don’t make it back, I want you to know that it isn’t because I failed, it’s because I tried.”
We all have dreams, some crazier than most, and it is almost always the fear of failure that prevents us from chasing them. For a long time, this same fear haunted me, until I realized that one thing scared me more, the regret of not giving myself the chance to succeed. It is my hope that you will take this thought to heart and that through my adventure, you might find the inspiration to chase your own dreams. It’s not failure if you give it your all.
Summit or not, the journey has been incredible. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each and everyone of you for all of the love and support along the way. You inspire me.
As planned, I spent most of my rest day catching up on replying to comments and questions on the website, and personal emails. It took a ton of time because I have received an overwhelming amount, but it was great to finally get caught up. I was even planning on challenging everyone to ask more questions. That was until, we had a team meeting to review the weather forecasts and Garrett moved our “summit push” up in the schedule.
At this moment, we are planning on departing the comforts of K2BC on the morning of Tuesday the 17th to begin our way to the top. By leaving on the 18th, we would target a summit on the morning of the 21st. Over the past couple of days, we had tentatively targeted the 19th as our day of departure but the weather forecasts are showing improving trends for the 20th and 21st.
To simplify this tentative schedule for everyone, here is the current plan with rough elevations:
July 17th: K2BC > C1 (20,000’)
July 18th: C1 > C2 (22,000’)
July 19th: C2 > C3 (24,000’)
July 20th: C3 > C4 (25,000’)
July 21st: C4 > Summit (28,251’)
Remember that Pakistan is exactly 12 hours ahead of California and with a targeted summit time of 6-9 AM on the morning of July 21st, this means that we would be pushing for the summit on Fridayevening in the States. I also want to caution everyone that this is all subject to change with the weather and other circumstances, as I’m sure those that followed my Everest expedition are well aware of. We will have more clarity around our plan tomorrow and will be sure to fill you in as information becomes available.
Until then, I suppose I should start organizing gear again and getting mentally prepared for the toughest challenge of my life to date. Few people actually have the opportunity to know when they face a life changing challenge and even fewer can say that it is something that they actually wanted. It makes me feel a little crazy…
PS – In my “1st Rotation” journal, I mentioned the names of my partner organizations in the “Leading from the Front” project and completely forgot to mention the awesome team at Taylor Farms! I’d offer to make up for it with a round of drinks for the entire team but that would be pretty costly, so I’m going to offer it up to anyone on the team who is following along! Thanks for the support, it means the world!