On 1 August, 2008, 18 climbers from across the world reached the summit of K2, the world's second-highest and most dangerous mountain - a peak that claims the life of one in every four climbers who attempt it. Over the course of 28 hours K2 had exacted a deadly toll: 11 lives were lost in a series of catastrophic accidents.
Over the course of three days, a Nepalese Sherpa called Pemba Gyalje, along with five other Sherpas, was at the center of a series of attempts to rescue climbers who had become trapped in the Death Zone, unable to escape its clutches and debilitated by oxygen deprivation, chronic fatigue, delirium and a terrifying hopelessness.
The tragedy became a controversy as the survivors walked from the catastrophe on the mountain into an international media storm, in which countless different stories emerged, some contradictory and many simply untrue.
Based on Pemba Gyalje's eyewitness account and drawing on a series of interviews with the survivors which were conducted for the award-winning documentary The Summit.
The Summit: How Triumph Turned to Tragedy on K2's Deadliest Days is the most comprehensive interpretation of one of modern-day mountaineering's most controversial disasters.
©2014 Beyond Endurance Publishing (P)2014 Beyond Endurance Publishing
This is the second book i read about this story. It really helps to understand how the events happened as well as integrate passages from the climbers. Really makes you understand how truly difficult and unforgiving, yet rewarding the sport is.
This is another version of the 2008 K2 climbing disaster depicted in Buried in the Sky and the documentary The Summit. Pat Falvey has an strong accent but I adjusted to it after the first couple of chapters and had no further difficulties. If the author's accent is a concern, the print version would probably be a better choice.
The story is true and well written from a different perspective, if you read Buried in the Sky which is about the same expedition, this account gives some detail which is revealing. Overall I liked Buried in the Sky better and the author's decision to narrate this book just ruins it. He has a heavy Gaelic accent which is difficult to understand and doesn't go well with the overall feeling of the book. If you are a hardcore mountaineering book reader, this one will probably interest you, otherwise skip it.
"Truly gripping story"
The story of one of the biggest tragedies on K2 comes to life. Having watched a number of documentaries on the tragedy, this book gives first hand accounts of what happened on that fateful day when K2 claimed 11 climbers. When the tragedy first began to unfold in early August 2008 there were many false reports and rumours circulating in the media and this story seems to set the record straight in my mind on a number of those events. This story pays tribute to those who died (some in very unfortunate cirvumstances) doing what they loved the most and also to a number of hero's who helped save lives and prevent even more tragedy.
"Rubber-necking at the serac"
All disaster books have a voyeuristic element but I felt this lacked anything to lift it above that level.
Into Thin Air is brilliant in its description of a total failure in leadership. Touching the Void is about survival and extremes of bravery. Summit disects a disaster in a very comprehensive manner, but I found it offered little more than a close up view of what went wrong at the serac.
Loads of better mountaineering books available.
"A gripping journey!"
It's interesting how much we learnt about the sherpas and the eye-witness account of Pemba is what makes this book - and audiobook - extra special.
It's a long listen so ideal for a journey or a chapter a night.
"Terrible reading by co author,"
Pat Falvey should have given the job of narration to a professional, all too often his thick accent gets in the way of detail an his pace is appalling. A huge shame as Pemba's side of the story is so crucial.
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