Sunday, February 27, 2011

K2 Life and Death on the Worlds Most Dangerous Mountain (Book Review)


Recently, I had purchased and read a copy of Ed Viesturs book, K2 Life and Death on the Worlds Most Dangerous Mountain. This was the first book that I had read on K2 and I found it a good read. I learned a lot about K2 that I didn't know before. The book is broken up into chapters based on different teams attempts on the mountain. The book discusses attempts from the 1930's, to the first ascent of the mountain in 1954, to the tragedy on the mountain in 2008. 

Ed Viesturs was the first American to ascend all 14 of the world's 8,000 meter plus peaks and has extensive mountaineering experience. He climbed K2 in 1992. He uses his background and knowledge to probe the mountains most memorable sagas. He uses this to discuss fundamental questions of risk, ambition, loyalty to ones teammates, self sacrifice, and the price of glory. This is a different book that most mountaineering books which discuss one particular climb on a mountain. This book discusses multiple climbs and the evolution in mountaineering that has occurred on K2.

The book is well written and offers applicable advice to any hiker/mountaineer. I enjoyed reading the book as it provided applicable tips that Ashley and I can use in our hiking/mountaineering adventures. The discussions on appropriate risk and the discussions on the costs of glory I found very interesting.

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