K2 2006: Return of the Irishmen
(K2Climb.net) “I am now on my way to Skardu, the starting point of K2’s BC approaching trek,” Irish Banjo Bannon wrote to ExplorersWeb yesterday. “I’ve joined an international team. I am currently traveling with Polish climber Jacek Teler. Once on the Baltoro I’ll meet up with my Irish team mates: Mick Murphy and Ger Mc Donald, who have just arrived at Broad Peak Base camp.”
Three Everest veterans
Banjo, Mick and Gerard summited Everest in 2003, although from different sides and in different teams: Mick and Ger were part of an Irish team led by Pat Falvey on the South side, whilst Banjo climbed from the North with Jamie McGuinness, Richard Dougan, Stephen Synnott - and a British guy who would become sadly famous this year: David Sharp.
The three Irishmen won’t share the entire climb this time either: Mick and Ger are attempting Broad Peak before heading for K2. “I also thought of acclimatizing on Broad Peak, but that mountain simply doesn’t appeal to me," Banjo previously told ExplorersWeb.
Moreover, if he had considered a second 8000+ meters climb this year, he would have attempted Nanga Parbat’s Rupal face. "Sadly, I have no time enough for both peaks,” Banjo said.
With or without double-headers, this year one of the three Everest veterans could well become the first Irish K2 summiteer.
Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon hopes to become the first Irishman to summit K2. This summer he is giving the Abruzzi Spur route a second try, after a previous attempt in 2005. Banjo has been climbing for 20 years - he summited Everest in 2003.