A CHAT WITH JAKE MEYER
Second only to becoming an IGO ambassador, Jake Meyer achieved something truly amazing with his summit of K2. Dubbed simply as ‘Savage Mountain’, summiting K2 was a lifetime achievement and one that wasn’t free of problems for Jake.
In this short interview (Capt) Jake Mayer opens up about how he started life as an adventurer, his favourite song to summit to and what the future holds.
How would you describe yourself?
Leadership consultant; adventurer, army officer husband and father (in reverse order if my wife is reading this!)
If you had to describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
Dreamer – Lazy – Patient
Where is your favourite place to go on an adventure?
Anywhere new. I’m really not keen on going back to places – however awesome they may have been – the world is too big and too amazing to keep trying to repeat the same things. That said, I do go to Salcombe every year, and I have done 3 trips to K2, and 3 trips to the Matterhorn!
What’s your scariest adventure moment ever?
I don’t really get scared. If I were, then something is going/has gone wrong. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t had my fair share of ‘oooh, this is a bit cheeky’ or ‘oh Jake, you absolute muppet’ moments!
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of attempting an adventure?
Get a gang of friends involved. Adventure is always better when shared!
How did you start in this course of life?
Because I was terrible at sports! I was a very average child, I can‘t catch kick or throw a ball to save my life. At school, my assumption was that in order to be cool, you had to be good at sports. If I could find a sport that nobody else plays I could (by default) be cool! So while climbing became that thing, I have had a lot more success increasing my altitude rather than my coolness.
What is your biggest adventure to date?
Other than being a father, it has to be K2. Everest changed my life; K2 defined it. Having achieved my life ambition and the 7 summits at 21, I was very conscious about what comes next. Whilst I couldn’t go any higher I became determined to demonstrate that I am a climber and not just an extreme tourist, as Everest cynics might have you believe.
The summit to death ratio of K2 is 4-1, what do your friends and family think about you going up?
I think they realise that chasing after these objectively illogical and dangerous dreams is bonkers, but it is also part of who I am. I would like to think that they’re proud of what I have been fortunate enough to achieve.
How do you find the 521 bus on an idle Monday morning?
When commuting, all I can dream about is the freedom of adventure in the mountains. Yet most of the time when I am on my expeditions all I dream about is the banality and ‘comfort’ of the 521 to Waterloo!
What would you say to someone who is on the cusp of doing an adventure?
Don’t be scared of starting small.
Which IGO would most like to do?
The one that I would love to try is Montana!
What is your next project?
I am trying to set a new record for the shortest time to climb the highest points in all 50 countries in Europe. The aim is to do 50 countries in 50 days, keep checking online for updates.
Can you inspire us with some of your favourite quotes?
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood”
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination.”
USMC Gunnery Sergeant
Finally, what’s your favourite song?
The summit of Everest approach was accompanied by the great ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua.
Follow Jake Mayer’s journey online at – https://www.jakemeyer.co.uk/