K2: Triumph and Tragedy

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K2, "the savage mountain", is the second-highest peak in the world - and the most difficult to climb. In 1986, it was the site of both dazzling triumph and great loss as twenty-seven men and women reached the top but thirteen died trying. To this day it remains the single greatest tragedy in the history of mountaineering. Curran was there to record it all in words and photographs: courage and obsession, luminous success and thwarted ambition.

This gripping story ...

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Overview


K2, "the savage mountain", is the second-highest peak in the world - and the most difficult to climb. In 1986, it was the site of both dazzling triumph and great loss as twenty-seven men and women reached the top but thirteen died trying. To this day it remains the single greatest tragedy in the history of mountaineering. Curran was there to record it all in words and photographs: courage and obsession, luminous success and thwarted ambition.

This gripping story belongs with the classics of mountaineering. In 1986, nine expeditions attempted to climb K-2. Twenty-seven climbers reached the summit. Thirteen people died that summer. Two 8-page inserts, one in color. Maps.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the summer of 1986, nine expeditions representing 10 nationalities converged in Pakistan at Base Camp (``the Strip'') on K-2, the world's second-highest mountain. Twenty-seven people reached the summit; 13 perished. Climber-photographer Curran accompanied the British expedition to film a pioneer route on the Northwest Ridge. When that attempt failed, he stayed on to support his friend Al Rouse, who joined forces with Mrufhastet sp Wolf for a summit try via the Abruzzi Ridge. Curran was among the first to arrive, last to depart and the only English-speaking person at the site for the entire series of events. The easy camaraderie at Base Camp was first shaken by the deaths of two Americans in an avalanche June 21. Four climbers reached the summit on the 24th; two disappeared on the way down and a third was talked down by radio contact with another expedition. K-2 claimed two more climbers in July. On August 3, 10 South Koreans reached the top and three started back down, leaving the others poised for the summit attempt. Five made it, but then all were trapped at the highest camp in a severe storm. Curran rescued one of the two survivors. He has told a gripping story that belongs with the classics of mountaineering. Photos. (February 1)
Library Journal
``In the summer of 1986 nine expeditions converged on K2, the world's second highest mountain, and twenty-seven people climbed it. Thirteen were killed, seven of them after reaching the summit.'' This is an unbelievably high fatality rate, even for such a dangerous sport. One of those killed was Al Rouse of the British expedition. Curran explains that summer's unusual events from his perspective as official photographer. He accompanied the British group to base camp and waited anxiously while not only British, but also Koreans, Poles, and Austrians tried for the summit. Engagingly written and beautifully illustrated with color photos, this is highly recommended.Thomas K. Fry, UCLA Libs.
From the Publisher

"A monument not only to human will and endurance but to the inscrutable vastness of the great white mountain itself." —The New York Times

"A gripping story that belongs with the classics of mountaineering." —Publishers Weekly

"Engagingly written and beautifully illustrated." —Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898861471
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
  • Publication date: 2/1/1988
  • Pages: 236

Meet the Author


Jim Curran, a climber and photographer, has recorded expeditions in South America, India, China, and the Karakoram Range. He lives in Sheffield, England.
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