Wednesday, October 11, 2017

ExWeb Interviews K2 Summiteer Vanessa O'Brien

It looks like ExWeb is back up and running, at least in some capacity. The site, which had gone dark pending a sale to a new owner, has had a few updates posted in recent days, including an exclusive two part interview with Vanessa O'Brien, who summited K2 this past July. By virtue of her dual citizenship, she became the first American and British woman to climb that mountain, which still ranks amongst the hardest climbs in the world.

In the interview, Vanessa talks about the difficulties she faced on the climb, including a tough 16-hour summit push. This was her third attempt on the mountain, and she touches on the frustration and challenges of coming back to a place that has provided so much difficulty in the past too. She also speaks at length about her role as the leader of the team, often finding herself playing "good cop" and "bad cop" as needed.

Other topics of discussion include what it was like to be in K2 Base Camp this year, why other teams didn't find the same success that her's did, and how reaching the top has impacted her after the expedition ended. Vanessa shares what it was like to 'pass through hell to reach heaven," an indication of just how difficult the climb was, but the relief that was felt when they actually made it to the top.

For some fantastic insights into what it is like to climb the "Savage Mountain," you can read part 1 and part 2 of the interview for yourself. For anyone interested in big climbs in the Karakoram, Vanessa has some fascinating insights and information to share.

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