At K2, all our associates are dedicated to working together to reach their full potential. They continually push themselves to aid both their personal and professional development.
That’s why when three K2 employees found themselves together in Japan, they decided to achieve one goal as a team! Fernanda Pellegrini (Global Director of Talent Acquisition), Momo Yamada (Director of Learning and Development for Asia) and Jeonghui Oh (Talent Acquisition Lead) demonstrated the K2 spirit of collaboration by joining forces to be the first K2 team members to reach the summit of Mount Fuji!
They spoke to us to tell us a little more about their experience of the climb:
What motivated you to climb Mount Fuji?
I set out to undertake this climb on as I knew it was going to be challenging. I have this « why not » mindset to be open about taking on challenges and trying out new things! If you fail, you fail, but at least you tried your best. I’ve always dreamed of climbing Mount Fuji as I love being outdoors on weekends to get away from the city and enjoy nature.
I started hiking about five years ago and what started as leisurely sightseeing of coastal walks has turned into a quest for tougher terrain and summits. With the opportunity to travel to different places for work, I always try to find a trail or summit to conquer close to the places I visit. Mount Fuji was really a no brainer. It just had to be done!
This was my second time climbing Mount Fuji as I first climbed it last year. I knew how difficult the process was, but I decided to do it again because it was a rare opportunity to climb the mountain with my team. Fernanda was in Japan for a week and I know she loves hiking!
How was the climb up the Mountain?
We started the hike on Friday evening at around 8 pm and arrived at the top of the mountain at 4:30 am. We were exhausted at that time already with the altitude (headache and stomachache) and lack of sleep. The cold weather also took away our energy too!
It was long! I really did not expect it would take that long. And I honestly had no idea that so many people climb Mount Fuji at night. There was ‘traffic’ to get to the top and that was seriously annoying.
Compared to last year, it wasn’t really hard. Except for the cold and lack of sleep…
How did it feel to get to the summit?
When we were almost at the top, the climb got even harder. We had to really climb up by grabbing the rocks with our hands and there was a queue to get there. People started to rush up so that they do not miss the sunrise, so it really was hard at the end. But when we saw the sunrise, all the tiredness and exhaustion went away, it was a breathtaking view and I almost had tears in my eyes!
It honestly is a bittersweet moment. The summit is a touchpoint. Unless you’re planning to permanently relocate to the top of the mountain, the only way is to continue walking (and there is usually a long way down). It’s all in the mind at that point.
A lot of people were lining the way to the top and I was anxious to get there in time for the sunrise. But fortunately, I could see the sunrise at the top and felt that I had achieved my goal.
What did you learn from the experience?
To never give up! It was hard but the sense of accomplishment that you feel after you finish the climb is huge.
I really do believe going out in the wild and experiencing nature really helps you to get away from your busy life. You experience a different kind of mental and physical challenge and it really tests your consistency, patience and makes you remember the importance of finding the energy to continue taking one step at a time! My next challenge is to run a full marathon in Hawaii in December this year.
Mountains are about patience and persistence. Focusing on each step, being in the present, is what gets you to walk for 10 hours straight. It’s really a good reminder that being present in the moment is the way to get things done in life.
I realised that no matter how hard a challenge is if you repeat it over and over again, it starts to not feel difficult any more. There have been times in my career when I’ve encountered obstacles and difficult tasks, but tackling them has helped me learn and get better.
Momo, Fernanda and Jeonghui’s conquering of Mount Fuji is a true demonstration of K2’s belief in teamwork, dedication and persistence. These are traits that our team employs on a daily basis to help us succeed in our fast-paced industry.
To find out more about what it’s like working for K2 and our latest opportunities, visit our website or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.