Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sandro Gromen-Hayes – K2 Updates

Fresh from the summit of Everest photographer and film-maker Sandro Gromen-Hayes had her sights set on K2.

However, this one ended before it really started…

15th July

“Super duper massive thank you for all the love and comments and friendly abuse and stuff. As ever lifes lows are made easier by my amazing friends and you lovely lot. I’ll be drinking IPA in Chamonix for a few weeks, if anyone’s about holla!”

12th July

“Looks like my second K2 expedition in 6 months has come to an embarrassingly premature end. Reminds me of this night in Kathmandu but that’s a different story.

“Getting here was a huge pain in the arse, late visas, cancelled flights and 30 hour drives were all the wrong kind of adventure. But after everything we started trekking and it felt so good. Great team, lush views and lots of cool cats to catch up with at basecamp. Two days in I’m trotting along happy as Larry and everything goes to shit. I step on the fridge freezer looking dick head rock which slides, crushing my left ankle. I yank my foot out leaving my trainer wedged. I weight it and feel relief, seems OK. Then I pull my sock down and see my tendons staring up at me. Fuckkkk. The cut is maybe 5cm long and deep as shit. But I can still walk so we continue to the next camp. Here by some miracle we meet an orthopedic surgeon who agrees to sow me up. I enter his team tent and its full of cool dudes with tats and beards. I’m given a shot of whiskey and some edibles for the pain and the doc goes to town. There’s also a nice Swiss woman so I’m trying really hard not to wince. She’s well into horses. 4 stitches later and my ankle hole is no more. Then the edibles kick in and I just chat absolute shit for several hours, actually having a really good time all things considered.

“A rest day later and it’s looking a bit like a water balloon. No infection yet but continuing up seems stupid. I get on a medical evacuation pony called Mathi and descend. Ignoring the feelings of guilt, failure and disappointment the first few hours are actually quite fun. 14 hours in and things are less fun. I’m sure Mathi would agree. Apparently he can see in the dark though, we come down steep exposed twisty tracks in the black of night. I hold on for dear life and concentre hard on a podcast about an Armenian revolutionary. A 7 hour jeep ride later and finally I’m in hospital. Where they change the dressing and give me some pills. Great.

“In Summary –

– Not dead
– New friends
– Cool new horse related anecdote

– Let down Jenn
– No apples for Mathi
– Failure”

5th July

“One month on from Everest and we’re in Pakistan for K2, the world’s second highest mountain.

Super excited to get to basecamp and rejoin my little mountain family. Also apologies to my actual family who I haven’t seen since November. I’ll be home soon I promise x x x”


Sandra Gromen-Hayes Instagram