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K2: TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY Jim Curran 1987 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Fine 4 Copies Available
By Curran, Jim
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Seattle, The Mountaineers, 1987, 1st edition. 219 pp, color photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine. 

The story of the expeditions and tragedies on K2 in 1986, when Alan Rouse, Julie Tullis and many others died. 

It is summer...1986. Twenty-seven climbers triumph at the K2 summit. Thirteen climbers die in their quest to conquer K2. Therein lies the tale.

The author, a photographer who calls himself a climber, though that is debatable, attempts to make sense of the events which unfolded on the mountain that summer. Relying upon the anecdotes and narratives of others, as well as his own personal observations, he tries to put the events into perspective, even though he has no firsthand knowledge of what transpired up on the mountain, for the most part. Although he was there, he rarely ventured past base camp.

The book does make for an interesting read, as we look at events as they unfold before the author. It is amazing that with all the tragedies which seemed to occur at almost every turn, the climbers still kept climbing, never losing sight of their quest. At times this singlemindedness on the part of the climbers comes across as somewhat megalomanaical.

The author is very candid in his commentary throughout the book and, surprisingly, he does not hesitate to speak ill of the dead. His candor, while somewhat disturbing, is refreshing, and it is interesting to discover that the gods do, indeed, have clay feet.


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