KATHMANDU, July 31 (TNS): Vanessa O’Brien has set a world record by becoming the first American-British woman to summit Mt K2. On July 28, the 52-year-old scaled the highest mountain also known as the “Killer Mountain” at 8,611 m.
According to Himalayan Times, O’Brien scaled the peak along with 11 other people, including John Snorri Sigurjonsson who became the first Icelander to scale world’s second highest peak.
Three Chinese climbers Shang Liang, Jing Xue and Azong were part of the Explorers Club Members. The remaining seven climbers were Nepalese Sherpas who topped out were Mingma Gyalje, Dawa Gyalje Sherpa, Tsering Pemba Sherpa, Nima Nuru Sherpa, Lakpa Nuru Sherpa, Nima Tshering Sherpa and Ang Tsering Sherpa.
She also posted a picture of herself on Twitter where she was seen holding the national flag of Pakistan while standing on K2. “One of the most important flags I carried to the top of K2 was Pakistan, a country that has showed me so much love and support. #PakistanZindabad,” she said.
O’Brien was unsuccessful to climb Mt K2 twice in the past in 2015 and 2016, because of the harsh weather. Despite this year’s unstable weather with heavy snow fall, she still made it on the top.
O’Brien has climbed Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak in 2010. She is the Guinness World Record holder for setting up a speed record of climbing the Seven Summits, highest peak on every continent, in less than a year. According to the climbing records, only 18 women have survived the climb to the top of K2.
“It is said when you climb Everest, you are a mountaineer in the eyes of the world, but when you climb K2 you are a mountaineer in the eyes of other climbers,” said O Brien before her climb. “K2 fascinates me because while it is not quite as high as Everest, it is technically more challenging with exposed rock, steeper terrain and higher avalanche risk,” O’Brien said, in an interview with the Forbes.
O’Brien and her team were safely down at the Base Camp on July 29. In an email she wrote, “My summit day was exactly as Ed Viesturs described – too high winds and terrible accumulation of snow – but I remembered every word he said about Scott Fischer living in the present and Ed worried about the future and accumulation of snow. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.”