In only 6 days time, an all South African team is hoping to achieve the first South African ascent of K2, the Savage Mountain.
SA Mountain would like to wish the South African K2 Expedition all the very best with their journey to become the first South African’s to stand on the summit of “The Savage Mountain”
Remember the old adage: Come down safe; Come down friends; Get to the top – in that order.
AGE: 44 Years old (Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway)
GENERAL: Married, with one daughter.
NICKNAMES: RGK, Tuck box, Shitski
OCCUPATION: Art Director at Ogilvy JHB | Professional Global Speaker
CLIMBING RESUMÉ: Kilimanjaro x 9, Mt Elbrus x 3, Aconcagua, Mt. Everest, Lobuche East, Mt. Kosciouscko, Alpamayo, Pisco,.
ATTEMPTS: Mt Kenya, Denali x 2, Ama Dablam, Ruwenzori
NORMAL PEOPLE HOBBIES: Painting Ngunis, killing bonsai trees
CLAIMS TO FAME: Wrote a bestselling book – Mind Over Mountain, I have eaten McDonalds in 21 countries, and I have the ability to destroy climbing gear- beyond the laws of physics.
BATTLES: Early mornings, chocolate, unpredictable work hours ruining workout plans, depression and anxiety.
CLIMBING K2 CAUSE: Robby’s fundraising campaign aims to raise awareness and begin conversations around mental wellness, particularly depression and anxiety. #Ask4Help
CALL TO ACTION: Visit www.ClimbK2SA.com and please purchase a block of advertising space/s on the summit banner for R1000 ($75) each.
The next installment in our “Meet the Team” is John Black. He doesn’t give himself enough credit as you’ll read below, but John is one hell of a climber, fast like gazelle, strong like tractor and Type A team mate – making him an integral part of the South African first on K2.
AGE: 42 – a midlife crisis waiting to happen…
GENERAL: Married, with a 9-year-old son
NICKNAMES: JB, JAB, Joe, Joseph (the others are not suitable for inclusion here)
OCCUPATION: Co-owner of Trappers Outdoor and Outland Distributors, I work and play in the outdoors.
CLIMBING RESUMÉ: Summitted the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro 9 times, Elbrus twice, Mt Kenya, Mt Blanc, Lobuche twice and Ama Dablam in the Himalaya, Alpamayo, and Quitaraju in the Andes.
ATTEMPTS: Ruwenzori in Uganda
NORMAL PEOPLE HOBBIES: Running, camping, the bush, traveling.
CLAIMS TO FAME: started a business and 12 years later still going, sub 3hr marathoner
CATCH PHRASE/MANTRA/MOTTO: “I didn’t come this far, to only come this far”, and I constantly remind myself of what Edward Whymper wrote: “Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.”
BATTLES: Early mornings, work / life / training balance, biting my tongue.
CLIMBING K2 CAUSE: I am focussed on organising the expedition and supporting the amazing charities and causes that my teammates are making a huge effort to assist. It’s about time a South African summitted K2.
Allan Dickinson is the third member of Team K2SA to be featured. Here are some facts about Allan and why we call him the “Wild Card”. When the team went to Ama Dablam in Nepal in 2013, this was Allan’s first ‘big’ mountain trip. Despite being the Wild Card, Allan managed to exceed expectation and climbed like a beast. He has since climbed respectable peaks, and all with a smile
AGE: 38, he’s Baby of the team.
GENERAL: Married with two sons – 6 and 3 years old
NICKNAMES: AL, Allie, ALBO, and in his industry – Dickie..
OCCUPATION: General Manager at DNG Presentation Staging (Audio / Visual & Rigging)
CLIMBING RESUMÉ: Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Ama Dablam in the Himalaya, Alpamayo and Quitaraju in the Andes.
ATTEMPTS: Denali in Alaska and Artesonraju in the Andes.
NORMAL PEOPLE HOBBIES: Running, camping, travelling, Hiking, Fitting stuff to my Hilux.
CLAIMS TO FAME: Raising two children while staying semi-sane
CATCH PHRASE/MANTRA/MOTTO: Don’t stop until you finished.
BATTLES: Getting my 3 year old to sleep!
CLIMBING K2 CAUSE: Allan is raising money for the SOS Charity Fund, a charity set up to support people in the Audio-Visual industry who face adversity through injury or COVID related issues.
AGE: 40 Years old
GENERAL: I love adventure, the outdoors, and keeping fit – the more adrenaline the better. Aerobatic pilot, sky diver, base jumper, rock climber and microlight pilot. Trail running, cycling and mountain biking and swimming being my favourite sports.
NICKNAMES: Wa or Eva.
OCCUPATION: Mechanical Engineer
CLIMBING RESUMÉ: Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus, Mt Kenya, Denali, Quitaraju, Alpamayo, Pisco, Lobuche East, Island Peak, Ama Dablam
NORMAL PEOPLE HOBBIES: Bird watching, the bush, camping and above all, hanging out with my daughter. His other nhoobies of flying, skyding and base jumping don’t classisy as “normal people hobbies”
CLAIMS TO FAME: He could legally fly a plane before he was licensed to drive a car.
CATCH PHRASE / MANTRA / MOTTO: Having fun!BATTLES: Late nights. Once the clock strikes 9, Warren’s brain turns into a pumpkin.
CLIMBING K2 CAUSE: Food4Hope a non-profit charity in South Africa aiding children. https://www.food4hope.org.za/
Interesting facts about K2
Rising from the Baltoro Glacier in the heart of the Karakoram is K2, one of Earth’s most remarkable mountains. Revered in the mountaineering world, the pyramidal peak is the ultimate challenge for climbers. The summit of K2 is located on the China-Pakistan border. It has yet to be climbed by a South African
1. At 8,611m (28,251ft), K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. Only Mount Everest at 8,848m is higher – by 237m
2. K2 is one of the 14 eight-thousanders, the only mountains in the world over 8,000m
3. K2 got its name in 1856 Thomas George Montgomerie – a British officer working for the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India – climbed a small mountain in Kashmir. He spotted two prominent peaks over 200km away in the Karakoram and named them K1 and K2,. K1 was renamed Masherbrum, its local name. However, K2 appeared not to have a local name due to its remoteness.
4. K2 has been known as the Savage Mountain ever since George Bell used the term following an expedition in 1953. Having nearly slipped to his death during a failed ascent, he described it as “a savage mountain that tries to kill you”.
5. Until recently, K2 was the only eight-thousander to have never been climbed in winter. However, in January 2021, a team of 10 Nepali climbers made history with the first winter summit of K2.
6. The first serious attempt to climb K2 was undertaken in 1902 by an Anglo-Swiss expedition. They spent 68 days on K2 and reached a maximum altitude of 6,525m
7. The first summit of K2 was on 31st July 1954 by Italians Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. However, their success was shrouded in controversy as during the ensuing years and decades, the summiteers along with other team members accused each other of a number of deceptions on the mountain. These betrayals included secretly moving camps and siphoning oxygen in order to reach the summit first.
8. It was 23 years until K2 was summited for a second time.
9. Around 400 people have reached the summit of K2, compared to roughly 5 000 on Everest
10. K2 is usually climbed from the Pakistan side where its base camp is located at around 5,150m The route typically uses a series of four camps before the final ascent of the Abruzzi Ridge to the summit.
11. The first woman to summit K2 was Polish climber Wanda Rutkiewicz on 23rd June 1986.
12. The 2008 K2 disaster was the deadliest day in the history of K2 mountaineering. Eleven mountaineers died in a series of incidents following an ice avalanche that swept away fixed ropes near a feature called the Bottleneck. The most deadly climbing season on K2 was 1986. A total of 13 climbers died.
13. The last 611m stretch of the mountain is known as ‘the death zone’. Above 8,000m, the air is so thin it is insufficient to sustain human life for long without supplementary oxygen.
14. Legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner described K2 as “the mountain of mountains” after completing the fourth ascent of the peak in 1979. “It is the most beautiful of all the high peaks,” he continued. “An artist has made this mountain.”
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