Sherpa legend told of an enchanted valley with an invisible village, Shangri-La, that was said to be a place of great beauty.
The valley became the nemesis of legendary mountaineer Edmund Hillary, who travelled there to climb 7,129m Baruntse, but succumbed to the irresistible draw of Makalu, the great black mountain which towered over the valley. Makalu vanquished him, and he was never the same climber again.
Fifty years later, Mark Horrell embarked on a trek up the Barun Valley to follow in Hillary's footsteps - at least some of the way. He hoped to climb Baruntse, but when he arrived, he learned of a terrible accident that had shaken the climbing community and would threaten his plans.
Yet one of the virtues of climbing in the Himalayas is that just reaching a mountain can be a great adventure. Join Mark on an entertaining journey across jungle, moorland, hill and valley to the frozen heights of the Barun Plateau.
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About the Author
For nearly 20 years he has been exploring the world's greater mountain ranges and keeping a diary of his travels. As a writer he strives to do for mountain history what Bill Bryson did for long-distance hiking.
His favourite mountaineering book is The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman.