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K2, The Savage Mountain: The Classic True Story of Disaster and Survival on the World's Second-Highest Mountain
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K2, The Savage Mountain: The Classic True Story of Disaster and Survival on the World's Second-Highest Mountain

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,281 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The 1953 American expedition to the second highest peak in the world.
Paperback, 184 pages
Published December 16th 2008 by Lyons Press (first published 1954)
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2 stars for the writing, 4 stars for the excitement, which, of course curves out to 4 stars.

As I continue with my reading through of mountaineering titles in the library, I ran across this recounting of the 1953 American attempt to reach the summit of K2, the world's second highest peak. K2 is about 900 miles from Everest in the Karakoram range In 1938, a group had made it to within about 1000 feet of the top, but were forced back by bad weather. Storms were to plague the 1953 expedition also.

At the base of K2 stands the Gilkey Memorial, a cairn with the names of those climbers who lost their lives on K2. The memorial was put up in 1953 to mark the death of Art Gilkey, a member of the 1953 American expedition to K2. K2 the Savage Mountain tells the story of that expedition, Gilkey's death, and the famous attempt to save him.

Art Gilkey was struck with thrombophlebitis high on K2, becoming so incapacitated by it that he was unable to climb. The other members of the expedition undertook
This is a captivating read about the 1953 American expedition to K2, the world's second tallest mountain. The mountain had yet to be conquered despite numerous attempts, and the Americans hoped this would finally be their year. The team was made up of experienced climbers, including two who were part of the 1938 K2 expedition, but it was their camaraderie and strong belief in teamwork and brotherhood that pulled the climbers together when injuries and extreme weather forced them to retreat 1000' ...more
A positively riveting book about the failed 1953 expedition to summit K2, the second highest peak in the world and widely considered the most dangerous. What interested me was how little they knew about the mountain prior to its attempt. Nowadays, everyone has very prescribed paths up to a summit of an 8000m peak (which are the highest peaks in the world), and even though climbing these mountains is still remarkably difficult, it's nothing like going to these mountains and not knowing the path t ...more
A little slow the first chapter of mountain history but after that I couldn't put it down. I love that the book was written as a team because of their emphasis on the necessity of a real team spirit required for this K2 attempt. Really excellent.
Jan 07, 2010 Laurel is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I made it a fair ways into this book before I got rudely denied by whatever semi-legal internet reader I was "previewing" it on. Hopefully I will actually bother to get a damn library card so I can read the rest, cause I've read other stuff about of the 1953 failed K2 climb, and am really excited about the prospect of reading a first-hand account. The first however long of the book was really interesting and made me want to read more, besides.

If there were some easy way to account for all the re
Feb 15, 2008 Brian rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jason, Joe
This was a fun read. I thought it was about the first ascent of K2, so you can imagine my surprise when they turned back. It's still a great story about a heroic rescue from near the summit. The attempt happened in the 50's, so it's written in an Olde Timey sort of style. They mention "morale" constantly which I found amusing. It wasn't the best mountaineering book I've ever read, but it was certainly worth reading.
Stoic story of heroism courage and death. Very straight forward approach to a story that could have been portrayed more dramatically. Authors are honest but show some hesitation on what they did, how they could have handled situations differently. Very...almost brutally honest story. Worth a read if you like adventure novels.
This was an amazing story and I had a hard time putting it down. More than one miracle happened to get these men safely off of the mountain. It doesn't matter that they didn't reach the summit on this attempt, it is incredible what they suffered and survived. An excellent read!
Matt Holland
Not as exciting as Annapurna in that they didn't get the first ascent, but another really good tale of mountaineering in the 50's. Climbing mountains must have been much harder when you had to haul a pair of huge brass balls with you. Jesus those guys were nuts!
Chris Gager
Bob Bates was my brother's ski coach at Exeter and a member of this doomed expedition. "Only" one person died and they didn't make the summit. Date read is a guess.
Edge of the seat, white knuckle account of one of the most daring expeditions of all time!
a classic. first person(s) account of a successful yet failed attempt on k2. loved it
Dale Hoffman
1953 expedition of disaster and survival but failure to summit.
excellent climbing book
Aug 26, 2012 Noreen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Five Miles High Going Higher: Oxygen Man and Mountains, 5th Ed Going Higher: The Story of Man and Altitude Hypoxia and the Brain: Proceedings of the 8th International Hypoxia Symposium Held at Lake Louise, Canada, February 9-13, 1993 Going High: The Story of Man and Altitude

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