When Alan Bean retired from NASA and decided to become a full-time professional fine-art artist, he had to shed his aeronautical engineering and astronaut self to allow his inner artistic vision come through to the canvas. Not an easy task for the former Apollo 12 astronaut, one of only 12 men to have walked on the surface of the moon, a person who spent his entire adult life in the very un-artistic no-BS world of naval aviation and astronaut training, where attention to detail and doing things "by the book" was essential.
Last May, SM did a blog post on a team of mountain climbers from Poland who were going to attempt a winter ascent on K2, little did anyone know that those same climbers would end up being heroes.
You'd think that if finding out the first person to do something was relatively easy, then finding the second person to do something would be just as easy, right? SilverMedals finds that this is not the case in many cases, and annoyingly so. For instance who was the second person to circumnavigate the globe? Most of us American kids learned in school that the first person to lead a round-the-world expedition, or circumnavigation, was the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, or rather Fernão de Magalhães1 as it should be written in the proper Portuguese.
Attempts to summit K2 begin in Islamabad. From there you will spend a day driving in a rickety bus toward the town of Skardu on the dangerous Karakoram Highway (and they’re using the term “highway” VERY loosely here). You’ll probably have an armed guard wth your party because aside from the road itself being dangerous, there are people on it who want to rob you. If the weather is good, instead of ground transport to Skardu, you can take a one-hour plane flight through the mountains.