The journey begins today!

It's 6:49 am in Islamabad, and the hot sun is streaming through the curtains of my hotel room window.  I can already tell that it's stifling outside, but I'm happy for the clear weather because it means that we will be able to fly this morning from Islamabad to the village of Skardu.  Flying is much preferred to a 40 hour bus ride.

So, the journey officially begins today and I want to thank everyone who loved, supported and encouraged me so far.  Your kind words, willingness to hike at 5am in the rain, smiles, and hugs mean a tremendous amount to me now, and will become even more important to me on the mountain.  Thank you.

Wifi will become less reliable after today, so this may be my last blog post for a while, but I will be posting short messages and GPS tracks here:




It's surreal that I've arrived in Islamabad - maybe it's the thirty hours of travel.  Although the city feels very foreign to me, I also feel very welcome.  Greeting me at the newly opened Islamabad airport were members of both the Madison Mountaineering team and the hotel staff, I feel very well taken care of and have barely had to worry about anything.  

The plan is to stay here for one night, and then travel by plane tomorrow morning to Skardu.  Although it's raining here now, the forecast for the next few days looks good, so we're hoping that our travel plans will proceed as planned.  

Cheers to an exciting journey!


The last rep

Here it is:  the last rep.  Training for K2 is officially complete!

Since January I've hiked or climbed 146,555 feet (44,670 meters), trained for 288 hours and 59 minutes (I'm gonna go do one more minute real quick), done countless pull-ups, lunges, squats, burpees, and spent nearly every weekend in the mountains.  And I'm ready.  Ready for the challenges of K2, whatever they might be.  Now it's up to me to stay positive, healthy, confident, and cross my fingers for good weather. 

Overcoming Disappointment


It has been a tough couple of weeks, I won't deny that it has been difficult to reconcile the loss of the opportunity to be the first American woman to summit K2.  I am sincerely (really, sincerely) proud that this boundary has been broken.  It is a win for strong women everywhere.  Do I wish that it was me.  Absolutely.

Thank you to Jon Vroman and the Front Row Factor for the opportunity to verbalize my conviction to live authentically and to realize my goal of summiting K2. 

Check out the podcast.

And, what's wrong with #2?

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I am not in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, my plans to climb K2 this summer did not come together.  While I am deeply disappointed, I believe that resilience is about being able to gracefully overcome the unexpected, which is important in the mountains and in life.  I also have to remember that I have experienced both amazingly good and disheartenly bad things in my life.  I firmly believe that all things - good and bad - happen for a reason.  Sometimes the reason isn't immediately visible to me, but it is there.

So, my plan is to continue moving forward, toward K2 in 2018.  This additional time will, no doubt, prepare me for success as I will have the opportunity to climb some exciting peaks between now and then.  Stay tuned!

I am very grateful for the loyalty of SYSTANE and their eager willingness to support my K2 2018 dream.  You guys are incredible partners!

Finally, best of luck to the teams attempting K2 this year - I am looking forward to following your safe and successful climbs.

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier is one of my favorite mountains to climb, maybe because it is usually shrouded in clouds and therefore elusive to Seattlites.  My goal today was not to reach the summit, but to hike to camp Muir at 10,000 feet with a heavy pack.  

It felt good to move on the snow and I was thankful from intermittent clouds which (almost) sheltered be from sunburn.