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Ghosts of K2: The Race for the Summit of the World's Most Deadly Mountain by [Mick Conefrey]

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Ghosts of K2: The Race for the Summit of the World's Most Deadly Mountain Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 211 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"An absorbing chronicle of K2's early history that all fans of mountaineering will enjoy..... This exhilarating book traces the climbing history of K2, the world's second tallest peak at 28,251 feet, and offers a new twist to its controversial first ascent."
— Library Journal

"Conefrey ably tells the story of the many attempts by hardy souls (and outsized characters) to reach the peak of this most formidable mountain. .... [He] writes skillfully about mountaineering, and he knows its history and its many players, stars and bit actors alike. He successfully conveys the complexity and obstacles that these brave men faced.... Conefrey makes the stakes clear and reveals the many rivalries and tensions that plagued even the best-equipped teams.... Most of us will never experience K2. Conefrey leaves readers with both tremendous admiration for and an appreciation of the consequences for those who succeed in an adventure so physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing.”
— Kirkus Reviews

"Drawing from newly unearthed archival material, Conefrey fleshes out the stories of the first expeditions to K2, which have been clouded in mystery and conflicting stories, and resolves some long-standing controversies. Further, his depiction of the first successful attempt to reach the summit, which came only slightly more than a year after Everest was finally topped, is downright thrilling; he really gives us a sense of what it must have been like, battling exhaustion and frigid temperatures to get to the top of the world. The book also has a few thought-provoking surprises, like this one: Aleister Crowley, the famed British occultist, was a member of the first recorded expedition to K2, in 1902. For fans of books about climbing, this one’s a must-read."

"Conefrey brilliantly evokes the danger and strangeness of high-altitude climbing...In this fascinating and poignant book, [he] ventures into a liminal zone: of dreams, controversies and unquiet ghosts.'
—The Spectator

"‘Only unbridled ambition is going to get you up K2. And the stories of the early attempts and the eventual success illustrate the complexity of the mountain and the climbers who chose to risk it all.
GHOSTS OF K2 brings them back to life."
—Peter Edmund Hillary, mountaineer, expedition leader, philanthropist and author of In the Ghost Country

"There is a haunting tone to the very name K2, this impossible mountain upon the flanks of which so many lives have been lost. In this wonderful book Mick Conefrey manages to turn the sound of tragedy into a celebration of hope, a triumph of the spirit."
—Wade Davis, author of Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest

"Six expeditions drawn from two continents and three countries and spread out over a half century attempted to reach the summit of the world's second highest mountain. Six climbers died in those attempts. Bitter controversies arose as to who was to blame for death and failure. Even the expedition that finally pulled off the first ascent in 1954 sparked a dispute between its leading members that played out for the next half century. Mick Conefrey judiciously and lucidly unravels this tangled tale of courage and conflict. And he displays, once again as in his earlier works, a consummate ability to tell a ripping good climbing yarn."
—Maurice Isserman, co-author of Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes

"K2, as I know from personal experience of climbing it, is a seriously dangerous mountain. The second highest peak, yet perhaps the first prize to any serious mountaineer. This book engagingly portrays the grim, fascinating, tragic history of K2."
—Alan Hinkes OBE, mountaineer and author of 8000m: Climbing the World’s Highest Mountains

"Calamity, chaos, catastrophe, controversy, calumny — the history of the most difficult and dangerous of high Himalayan peaks has all these in spades. Mick Conefrey relates the often unedifying, occasionally heroic saga leading to its first ascent with great panache and lucid analysis of little-known material. A significant contribution to mountaineering historical writing."
— Jim Perrin, award-winning author of The Villain: The Life of Don Whillans and Snowdon: The Story of a Welsh Mountain

GHOSTS OF K2 has a hero, surely it is Charlie Houston, prime mover of the American 1938 and 1953 attempts, whose 'credo, lived out on his expeditions,' was that 'the way in which you make an attempt is as important as whether you get to the top'” It’s a shame that more of K2’s other protagonists weren’t able to extend the dignity of that motto to encompass their post-expedition comportment.”
—Gregory Crouch in The Wall Street Journal

"The amateur and professional climbers Conefrey chronicles are so uniformly interesting—and in some cases strange—that they each deserve a separate book, but together they suggest the obsession of the lure of mountains. In the end,
THE GHOSTS OF K2 is a history of more than a half-century of mountain climbing. Recommended."
—CHOICE Magazine --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author

Mick Conefrey is the author of Everest 1953, How to Climb Mont Blanc in a Skirt, and The Adventurer’s Handbook. An internationally recognized filmmaker, he has produced several BBC documentaries on mountaineering and exploration, including the prize-winning The Ghosts of K2. He lives in Oxford, U.K. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01EEQ9BDC
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oneworld Publications; First Trade Paper edition (May 5, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 5, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 22461 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 338 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
211 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Surfer Joe (Jnr.)
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book on the early pioneering expeditions!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 11, 2021
The Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghosts and The Glory
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 22, 2015
5 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 5, 2021
Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant biography of K2
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 6, 2022
ray armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Great accounts of incredible attempts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 7, 2018
2 people found this helpful
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