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Item #: OP143E-318
KARAKORAM: THE ASCENT OF GASHERBRUM IV Fosco Maraini 1961 1st UK ed Hardcover Good
By Maraini, Fosco
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London, 1961, 1st edition. 320 pp, 108 color illustrations. Ex Lib hardcover with no dust jacket. Book has the usual library wear and marks and is stained. Good reading copy.

One of the finest depictions of the Karakoram region by a noted Italian scholar and climber. This describes the first ascent of Gasherbrum IV, which is still considered an extreme Himalayan climb. 

Gasherbrum 4 at 29,725' is the 17th highest peak in the world, the 6th highest in Pakistan. Its first ascent, described in this book, was accomplished in 1958 by Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri, and the team leader was Riccardo Cassin. At the same time they were climbing this peak, Nick Clinch, Andy Kauffman and Pete Schoening and crew were making the first ascent of Gasherbrum 1, nearby. This was the only American 1st ascent of an 8000 meter peak. Also, a Japanese expedition came later in the summer to climb Chogolisa and found the diary of Hermann Buhl, and gave it to Schoening, who gave it to Frau Buhl, Buhl's widow.
 
This book is so well written (and translated from Italian) that we feel that all people interested in the Karakoram should read it.
 
The Karakoram is a great mountain system in Northeast Pakistan and Northern India, near the Chinese border. It extends 300 miles southeastwardly from the Pamir Knot, and includes many of the world's highest peaks, and many of the world's longest glaciers. Among the high peaks is K2 (8611 m), the second highest mountain in the world. Its glaciers include, among others, the 47-mile Siachen glacier, the 36-mile Baltoro glacier, and the 76-mile combination of Hispar and Biafo, which connect at a pass.
 
The Baltoro glacier is especially significant, as ten of the world's thirty highest peaks cluster around it, including four 8,000 meter peaks (K2 and three peaks of the Gashberbrum massif) that rise very close together at the northeast head of the glacier. The Karakoram closely parallels the Himalaya, but its peaks differ from those of the Himalaya in their sharp, angular forms. Their icy peaks are often surrounded by incredible clusters of towers and spires.
 
The Karakoram also receives less monsoon activity than the Himalaya. In fact, many of the valleys deep in the range are very dry. The peaks, however, receive heavy winter precipitation, and, with or without monsoon rains, travel is made difficult by the run-off of melting snow and ice in July and August, which otherwise are the best months for mountaineering. The range is largely uninhabited, so approach to the mountains requires expedition-style planning.

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