LETTERKENNY businessman and mountaineer Jason Black flew out to Pakistan on Tuesday, June 23, to climb his way back to the top of the world. Two years ago, Jason (44) became the first Donegal person to reach the summit of Everest and now has his sights on K2, the second highest mountain in the world.
Just short of Everest’s 8,848m, what K2 lacks in stature it makes up for with reputation. Known as both “the mountaineer’s mountain” and “the savage mountain”, because of the barometric pressure, K2 can feel higher and colder than the world’s highest peak.
Scaling this also involves much more skill and technical expertise because it’s much more vertical, with lots of rock and ice. There is also a risk of frequent avalanches of snow and rocks. Furthermore, the weather conditions are very unpredictable and localised.
For 76 days Jason will battle against the sheer ability to stay alive. The mountain has not been attempted by any Irish mountaineer since 2008, when Ger McDonnell was the first Irish person to reach the summit.
Unfortunately, Ger lost his life along with ten other mountaineers following an avalanche on the descent, in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.
Jason is part of a six-person team and will be joined by French Canadian Monique Richard, two Norwegian and two American climbers.