K2, the Savage Mountain: The Classic True Story of Disaster and Survival on the World's Second Highest Mountain

Overview

When eleven climbers died on K2 on August 1, 2008, it was a stark reminder that the world’s second-highest mountain has, for more than a century, been regarded as the most difficult and dangerous of all—for every four people who reach the top, one dies in the attempt. K2, The Savage Mountain is the remarkable first-hand account of the 1953 American expedition, led by Dr. Charles S. Houston, when a combination of storms and illness stopped the team short of the 28,251-foot summit. On the descent, tragedy struck. ...

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Overview

When eleven climbers died on K2 on August 1, 2008, it was a stark reminder that the world’s second-highest mountain has, for more than a century, been regarded as the most difficult and dangerous of all—for every four people who reach the top, one dies in the attempt. K2, The Savage Mountain is the remarkable first-hand account of the 1953 American expedition, led by Dr. Charles S. Houston, when a combination of storms and illness stopped the team short of the 28,251-foot summit. On the descent, tragedy struck. How they made it back to safety is renowned in the annals of climbing.
 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Houston and Bates were the first Americans to climb K2, the world's second highest mountain peak. Such an endeavor is remarkably dangerous even now, but reading of the use of equipment as simple as woolen mittens, canvas and wood packs, etc., illustrates the bravery—or perhaps foolhardiness—of such an undertaking then. Five Miles High covers their first climb in 1938 (this account was published a year later), while 1954's K2 chronicles the 1953 climb, which proved far more difficult." —Library Journal
 

"Here is a great story, simply and grippingly told, which the glory of Everest should not be allowed to obscure." —New York Times
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599216089
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 12/16/2008
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 512,934
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles S. Houston, M.D. (1913–2009) and Robert H. Bates (1911–2007) organized the American expeditions to K2 in 1938 and 1953. Their other book, Five Miles High (The Lyons Press), told the account of the earlier expedition. Dr. Houston practiced internal medicine and was later a professor of medicine at the University of Vermont. Bates, a past president of the American Alpine Club, received his doctorate in English and taught at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He died on September 27, 2009.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Jim Wickwire xi

1 The Call to Climb Charles S. Houston 1

2 Historical and Geographical Robert H. Bates 3

3 Preparations Robert H. Bates 15

4 To the Mountain Robert W. Craig 24

5 To the Foot of Abruzzi Ridge Charles S. Houston 39

6 The Attack is Launched Charles S. Houston 47

7 Storm Warning Charles S. Houston 58

8 Steep Rock and Steep Ice Charles S. Houston 69

9 The Highest Men in the World Charles S. Houston 76

10 The Accident Robert H. Bates 91

11 The Bivouac Robert H. Bates 101

12 From Camp VII to Camp II Robert H. Bates 111

13 Base Camp Again Robert H. Bates 125

14 Out from the Mountain George I. Bell 130

Appendixes 141

Chronology 142

Equipment Charles S. Houston 146

Food Robert H. Bates 158

Medical Problems Charles S. Houston, M.D. 164

Finances Charles S. Houston 173

Transport Capt. H.R. Streather 176

Acknowledgments 182

Index 185

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