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.