Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
Publication Date: August 3, 2010
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A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the bestselling authors of The Mountain and No Shortcuts to the Top
Ed Viesturs, one of the world's premier high-altitude mountaineers, explores the remarkable history of K2 and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time, he probes the mountain's most memorable sagas in order to illustrate lessons about the fundamental questions mountaineering raises—questions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory. Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and got caught in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death before Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott's.
Focusing on seven of the mountain's most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Viesturs's personal collection and from historical sources, this is the definitive account of the world's ultimate mountain, and of the lessons that can be gleaned from struggling toward its elusive summit.
ED VIESTURS is the first and only American to ascend all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen and the author of The Mountain, No Shortcuts to the Top, and The Will to Climb.
In addition to his collaborations with Ed Viesturs, DAVID ROBERTS is the author of more than twenty books, including Finding Everett Ruess.
“Gripping...reveals a good deal about the rarefied noble-gonzo world of high-altitude mountaineering.”
—New York Times
“Viesturs illuminates K2's challanges, triumphs, tragedies, and follies...Riveting.”
—The Daily Beast
“Viesturs's you-are-there narration communicates effortlessly the enormous effort, and high adventure, of scaling K2.”