Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day by Peter Zuckerman, Amanda Padoan |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

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by Peter Zuckerman, Amanda Padoan
     
 

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“Gripping, intense. . . . Buried in the Sky will satisfy anyone who loved [Into Thin Air].”—Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
When Edmund Hillary first conquered Mt. Everest, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was at his side. Indeed, for as long as Westerners have been climbing the Himalaya, Sherpas have been the unsung heroes in the background. In August 2008, when

Overview

“Gripping, intense. . . . Buried in the Sky will satisfy anyone who loved [Into Thin Air].”—Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
When Edmund Hillary first conquered Mt. Everest, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was at his side. Indeed, for as long as Westerners have been climbing the Himalaya, Sherpas have been the unsung heroes in the background. In August 2008, when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2, the world’s most dangerous peak, two Sherpas survived. They had emerged from poverty and political turmoil to become two of the most skillful mountaineers on earth. Based on unprecedented access and interviews, Buried in the Sky reveals their astonishing story for the first time.
Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan explore the intersecting lives of Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, following them from their villages high in the Himalaya to the slums of Kathmandu, across the glaciers of Pakistan to K2 Base Camp. When disaster strikes in the Death Zone, Chhiring finds Pasang stranded on an ice wall, without an axe, waiting to die. The rescue that follows has become the stuff of mountaineering legend.
At once a gripping, white-knuckled adventure and a rich exploration of Sherpa customs and culture, Buried in the Sky re-creates one of the most dramatic catastrophes in alpine history from a fascinating new perspective.

Editorial Reviews

Peter Matthiessen
“I admired Buried in the Sky and enjoyed it, too. ...[T]he authors did their homework and wrote their story well... credit is given at long last to those who deserve it most.”
Men's Journal - Matthew Power
“A work of obsessive reporting. The authors (who are cousins) traveled across the world, conducting extensive interviews with nearly every person who was on the mountain in 2008 and using digital forensics to analyze the photographs taken that day. They weave a narrative that is hair­raising and moving, but also precise—crucial given the technical complexities of expeditions and the often-hazy recollections of traumatized survivors. But what makes their book an indispensable addition to the genre is the way the authors explore the "cultural crevasse" underlying the ill-­fated expeditions on K2. They provide a long-­overdue historical correction to the familiar mountaineering story.”
Booklist - David Pitt
“[A] revelatory look at Sherpa history and culture…. Highly recommended.”
Smithsonian Magazine
“…[T]he authors’ commendable documentary about the people who carry the gear is overtaken by the chilling adventure story of one terrible day on the mountain.”
Wall Street Journal
“Enthralling… phenomenal research and vivid writing create a memorable portrait not only of the events on the mountain but also of the people who make modern high-altitude climbing possible.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Although Everest is the tallest mountain on earth, K2, “the Savage Mountain,” is a more difficult—and deadly— peak, and this compelling story brought back from its slopes is a worthy tale about a little-known aspect of these high-stakes climbs.”
Bookpage
“Fast-paced and well researched …a must-read for anyone fascinated by the people and politics of high-altitude mountaineering.”
Deseret News
“Gripping… An absorbing book that goes beyond the typical mountaineering tale. …This book is mesmerizing.”
David Roberts
“Zuckerman and Padoan have dug deeper than anyone else. Thanks to their efforts, the heroism and humanity of the Sherpa climbers who saved lives shine through the chaos and grief of that awful day on K2.”
Maurice Isserman
“Buried in the Sky will appeal to every mountaineer (armchair or otherwise) interested in the climbing history of K2, that beautiful and deadly peak.”
Portland Monthly
“[A] page-turner addition to the library of great mountaineering books.”
David Pitt - Booklist
“[A] revelatory look at Sherpa history and culture…. Highly recommended.”
Jamling Tenzing Norgay
“An informative and inspirational book... I couldn’t put it down. I am proud to know of the determination and loyalty of the Sherpa climbers and their tireless efforts to risk their lives for the other climbers.”
Norman Ollestad
“Buried in the Sky is a compelling account of the men who have literally shouldered the rest of the world’s mountaineers up K2.”
Matthew Power - Men's Journal
“A work of obsessive reporting. The authors (who are cousins) traveled across the world, conducting extensive interviews with nearly every person who was on the mountain in 2008 and using digital forensics to analyze the photographs taken that day. They weave a narrative that is hair­raising and moving, but also precise—crucial given the technical complexities of expeditions and the often-hazy recollections of traumatized survivors. But what makes their book an indispensable addition to the genre is the way the authors explore the “cultural crevasse” underlying the ill-­fated expeditions on K2. They provide a long-­overdue historical correction to the familiar mountaineering story.”
Ed Douglas
“Pacey, compelling, and clear, this is an excellent account of what happened that fateful August day. The Himalayan-born high-altitude workers leap off the page with all their hopes and fears—and astonishing courage. Buried in the Sky is one of the very best books on the tragedy.”
Ed Viesturs
“Buried in the Sky reveals the heroic deeds of the Sherpa. . . . [It] brings to light how immensely strong, loyal and talented the Sherpa climbers are. When most other climbers were faltering on the descent from the K-2’s summit, the Sherpa climbers not only rescued themselves, but also went back up to rescue others. Finally credit is given, where credit is due.”
Bernadette McDonald
“Buried in the Sky is a gripping account of that fateful day in 2008 when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2. As it unravels the series of events that resulted from the unbridled ambition set loose on a dangerous mountain, it probes deeply into the lives of those courageous and unheralded professionals—the “thin-air” workhorses from Nepal and Pakistan. Heartbreaking. Sober. Compelling.”
Men's Journal
“A work of obsessive reporting. The authors (who are cousins) traveled across the world, conducting extensive interviews with nearly every person who was on the mountain in 2008 and using digital forensics to analyze the photographs taken that day. They weave a narrative that is hair­raising and moving, but also precise—crucial given the technical complexities of expeditions and the often-hazy recollections of traumatized survivors. But what makes their book an indispensable addition to the genre is the way the authors explore the “cultural crevasse” underlying the ill-­fated expeditions on K2. They provide a long-­overdue historical correction to the familiar mountaineering story.”— Matthew Power
Booklist
“[A] revelatory look at Sherpa history and culture…. Highly recommended.”— David Pitt
Boston Globe
“Into Thin Air... was a huge success, and Buried in the Sky will satisfy anyone who loved that book.”
Outside Magazine
“[E]asily the most riveting and important mountaineering book of the past decade.”
Michael Kodas
“Buried in the Sky isn't just the story of the worst climbing disaster in the history of the "Savage Mountain," but an important introduction to the native climbers from Pakistan, Nepal, and Tibet whose labors make most high-altitude expeditions possible, and whose heroic efforts keep the death tolls on K2, Everest, and other Himalayan peaks from rising even higher. The Sherpas climb off the page and carry a narrative that is as fast and as gripping as their superhuman ascents.”
Library Journal
Journalists Zuckerman and Padoan examine the 2008 mountaineering tragedy on K2, when 11 climbers on various expeditions died. They focus on the backgrounds and roles of survivors Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, as well as other Himalayan-born high-altitude workers. Providing historical and religious background on Nepal and the Sherpa ethnic group, and a judiciously crafted chronicle of the devastating series of incidents that left 11 dead, this narrative is well organized and chilling. Zuckerman and Padoan's extensive research, including information gathered from many translated interviews with survivors, provides clear evidence to support their version of events, and their conclusions raise hard ethical questions about often-impoverished local workers risking their lives to satisfy the ambitions of Western climbers. VERDICT Since many climbing chronicles tend to neglect the essential and expert contributions of Nepali Sherpas and Pakistani high-altitude workers, this work's alternative viewpoint is eye-opening. Best suited to mountaineering and adventure buffs who should also consider Freddie Wilkinson's One Mountain Thousand Summits: The Untold Story of Tragedy and True Heroism on K2.—Ingrid Levin, Salve Regina Univ. Lib., Newport, RI
Kirkus Reviews
A fast-paced narrative of one of the worst climbing disasters in the history of K2. Zuckerman and Padoan join forces in this harrowing account of the 2008 mountaineering tragedy on the summit of K2. Presented from the untold perspective of the sherpas, the authors give voice to the men who risk their lives so others may garner fame and fortune. With few other careers choices for these men, they turn aside their cultural differences to aid the rich and famous on their quest to reach the summit while receiving little acknowledgment for their own climbing expertise. In interviews with the sherpas and their families, Zuckerman and Padoan offer glimpses into the climbing culture that are as rare as the thin air the climbers breathe in the Death Zone. Although tradition dictates that K2 is an extremely dangerous mountain to summit, the world continues to press onto her flanks for personal glory or simply to make a statement. In 2008, when the one window of perfect climbing weather briefly opened, too many teams attempted the summit, with fatal results. The authors portray the grueling trek up as well as the gruesome, sometimes deadly ride back down the mountain as avalanches and rock slides picked some climbers off one by one. Readers will be left questioning the need to climb such mountains when many lives are frequently lost, severe frostbite and sickness are common, and the expense of engaging in one climb could be used to support families in the region for many months. A provocative perspective on one of the world's most expensive and deadly athletic adventures.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393345414
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/03/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
88,652
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Zuckerman is a non-fiction writer. He has received some of the most prestigious recognitions in American journalism. At age 26 he won the Livingston Award, the largest, all-media, general reporting prize in America. His writing has also received is the National Journalism Award and the Blethan Award.

Amanda Padoan is a mountaineer and alpine historian. She studied literature at Harvard University and law at Pepperdine School of Law. Amanda writes for Explorersweb and has contributed to Rock and Ice and The Alpinist.

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