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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing K2, the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the best-selling author of No Shortcuts to the Top. At 28,251 feet, the world's second-tallest mountain, K2 thrusts skyward out of the Karakoram Range of northern Pakistan. Climbers regard it as the ultimate achievement in mountaineering, with good reason. Four times as deadly as Everest, K2 has claimed the lives of 77 climbers since 1954.
In August 2008, 11 climbers died in a single 36-hour period on K2 - the worst single-event tragedy in the mountain's history and the second-worst in the long chronicle of mountaineering in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges. Yet summiting K2 remains a cherished goal for climbers from all over the globe.
Before he faced the challenge of K2 himself, Ed Viesturs, one of the world's premier high-altitude mountaineers, thought of it as "the holy grail of mountaineering". In K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain, Viesturs explores the remarkable history of the mountain and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time he probes K2's most memorable sagas in an attempt to illustrate the lessons learned by confronting the fundamental questions raised by mountaineering - questions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory.
Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and were nearly killed in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death. Fortunately, Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott's.
Focusing on seven of the mountain's most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Viesturs's personal colle...
©2009 Ed Viesturs and David Roberts (P)2009 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By JJ on 12-30-15

Almost Makes You Want to Climb K2... Almost

Would you consider the audio edition of K2 to be better than the print version?

I've never ready to print version so I can't be sure. Either way, the audio version is excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of K2?

It's hard to identify a single moment. Hearing about all the difficult circumstances while climbing the mountain is what makes the book so riveting. You learn the history of K2 and get firsthand perspective on how difficult and scary it is to actually climb it. In my opinion, better (and safer) than climbing it yourself.

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

Sander's does a solid job in narrating this book. I don't know what Ed Viesturs sounds like in person, but Sanders made me believe that Viesturs was talking to me in my car every day.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and no. The story was fascinating but the historical spread and detail had my head swirling at different points. The desire was there but the will was weak.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By TemperPolk on 03-30-15

Fascinating!

Great account of the mountain's history and awesome performance by the narrator. It's definitely a must for any mountaineering enthusiast.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Colette on 07-31-10

Superb

Loved it!! I've read a lot of books on climbing, and thought I knew quite a lot about K2, but this told me so much I didn't know, plus a re-interpretation of previous climbs from Visteurs' personal experience. Fascinating and well written. Could hardly bear to put it down/switch it off. Will get his other book now in the hope its just as good.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By D7Soay on 01-24-16

Excellent history of climbing K to

This book has brought together many other books and shown in Monbulk the total history of planning and Kate to the ups and downs and she again year of this Mt even Liberty the tenants mother few women that tempted to climb gay K2 The awful danger and reliability of the mountains and many well-known climbers the used different techniques alpine Everest hell solo without oxygen et cetera
The fact that ratio what are use this matter has highest attempt to death rate in the hole because Emily is good history good read and brings together many famous books go together into one good read. As exclaim I enjoyed it thoroughly and hope that people will take something away from it to especially the joy of climbing on the challenge you face

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Travis on 05-28-16

great

I loved the narration and the in depth descriptions used but did repeat a little

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