A Savage Mountain
By HOLLY MORRIS
Published: July 1, 2010
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[pic]The front-page story resounded across the globe: Aug. 2, 2008, was fast becoming the deadliest day ever on the world’s second-highest mountain. K2, in the Karakoram range of northern Pakistan, wasliving up to its lethal reputation. Eleven fatalities amid unthinkable, and sometimes contradictory, tales of he roics and folly. A book (or a dozen) would, of course, follow.
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[pic]From “No Way Down”
NO WAY DOWN
Life and Death on K2
By Graham Bowley
Illustrated. 253 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $25.99
Excerpt: ‘No Way Down’(harpercollins.com)
• Chaos onthe ‘Mountain That Invites Death’ (August 6, 2008)
• Times Topic: K2
The Book’s Web Site
At first I was suspicious of this one. How could a nonclimber who wasn’t present chronicle this tragicevent? But in “No Way Down: Life and Death on K2,” the New York Times reporter Graham Bowley relies on a copious study of the events and interviews with survivors and families to artfully and assiduouslypiece together an account of a fractious day in brutal real time. Fatality by fatality.
A crowded field of climbers — from sponsored Koreans to an independent Basque, professional Sherpas to youngSerbs and Americans — set out for the summit on Aug. 1, working in loose coordination. On that sparkling morning they “felt a sort of inner transcendence. . . . Now at last, after weeks, months, yearsof preparation and toil, they were closing in.” Some were on supplementary oxygen, others not; many lacked equipment, and most were dependent on climbing aids. They bumped packs and egos, andlanguage barriers complicated matters. Yet the climbers sensed safety in numbers, and by early afternoon, despite some early missteps and two fatalities, 19 of them made the fateful “groupthink” decision...
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