Tuesday, 20th November, 2018
Searching for a Summit but finding Pakistan – A talk by Vanessa O’Brien, the first British/American woman to conquer K2
Time: 6.00 for 6.30pm
Venue: High Commission for Pakistan, 36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 8JN.
Admission: This event is open to Members of The Pakistan Society and their guests.
RSVP: Please ensure that you register your attendance via the website for security and catering purposes. REGISTER HERE
Please note: You may book only for yourself, your spouse and two further guests or yourself and three guests (maximum of four in total). You will be asked to fill in the name of the person each place is for, including your own. You will receive an email confirmation of your places but no physical tickets will be issued.
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Vanessa O’Brien finally conquered K2 last year, 2017 – it was her third attempt, but it made her the first British or American successfully to summit K2. While there have been 150 female astronauts to outer space, only 50 women have ever made it to the top of K2. She is calling her talk Searching for a Summit, but Finding Pakistan because, she says, having been to Pakistan over three consecutive years, she ‘discovered’ the country, and the more time she spent with the people of Pakistan, the more important they became to her. She carried flags from Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States to the summit as a sign of friendship and solidarity, and she now acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan.
Vanessa is a remarkable woman. After 20 years working in London the banking world, she decided to take up the challenge of becoming a climber in 2010. She has been extraordinarily successful and progressed from being a novice to a record-holder in a very short space of time. She climbed Everest in 2012 and in 2013 became a Guiness World Record holder as the fastest woman to climb the notorious ‘Seven Summits’. (These are the seven highest mountains in seven different continents.) She has also been to both the North and the South Poles, and has climbed five of the world’s peaks that are over 8,000 meters. Although K2 is only marginally lower than Everest, it is notoriously more dangerous — one in four people who climb it don’t survive the experience — and it is technically more difficult to climb. The New York Times described it as ‘the most hostile tip of the planet … mythical, moody and deadly’. And indeed, during her ascent Vanessa experienced the sight of dead bodies, winds of more than 30 mph and temperatures below minus 40 degrees Celsius. But as she said, ‘although you need to train hard for all that physical work, more important is the mental determination you need to succeed’.