BY SEÁN P. FEENY
POPULAR Donegal adventurer and businessman Jason Black is expected to return home from his latest expedition late next week. The Letterkenny man and his team were this week making their way down from K2 after making a decision on Monday not to climb to the peak. Writing in his blog voodooascent.com, Jason said he had been ‘riding a crazy emotional roller coaster of highs and lows unimaginable on K2’.
“Last night (Sunday) we had a team meeting and it was decided that it’s over. K2 has proven impossible to climb this year, Mother Nature and the mountain have spoken and we must listen – listen not and we pay the ultimate price. As I type, this is hitting home with a tear in my eye. It’s reality…it’s over, the pain-staking preparation, years of training, mentally and physically, all the sacrifices – I can truly say I have given it my all and with my team members, we stood shoulder to shoulder in the pursuit of summit success on this magnificent mountain, not a single stone was left unturned.”
After reflecting on the team’s decision overnight, Jason posted another blog on Tuesday, looking back on the gruelling expedition that was cruelly stopped by mother nature. He wrote: “Before I leave K2 for home I want the last chapter of this incredible expedition to be about humanity and humility. nWithout doubt, we all get handed ‘lemons’ sometimes in life. No one is immune from this.
“Maybe it’s an incurable illness, dealing with depression, maybe it’s a duff education, a dysfunctional upbringing, losing our loved ones, the car breaking down or, in my case, today simply turning my back on the summit of K2. Bad things happen … We all know that. But how we respond is where our future lies.
“Being in the wild has taught me not to fear the unexpected but to embrace it, in fact those unseen curve balls, like this expedition, very often are the making of us.
In reflection in order to thrive and survive in the game of life, it’s really important to understand we don’t need to have all the parts of life’s jigsaw – nicely sealed and wrapped up – for it to be a success. Sometimes, in my case, the opposite.”
This is John's first trip to the World Championships where he will come up against full-time professionals.