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Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  5,451 ratings  ·  457 reviews
When Edmund Hillary first conquered Mt. Everest, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was at his side. Indeed, for as long as Westerners have been climbing the Himalaya, Sherpas have been the unsung heroes in the background. In August 2008, when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2, the world’s most dangerous peak, two Sherpas survived. They had emerged from poverty and political turmo ...more
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published June 11th 2012 by W. W. Norton Company
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Bec adult. which is fairly obvious if you read the blurb or something.

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Start your review of Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day
Diane S ☔
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
I am not of the same mindset, nor do I understand the mindset of those who seek out extreme opportunities for danger. Climbing Mt. Everest or K2? Nope, not me. That's also not why I decided to read this book. It was the culture and Sherpa people, that region of the world that attracted.

The authors did a great job combination cultural characteristics, with history and regional description, and the story of how and why the Sherpas became porters for the climbers. How their names are given and why
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ever since I read Jon Krakauer's 'Into Thin Air', I thought I would never read another book on high altitude climbing that would be as evocative of the mountain, written with such lucid and terrifying intimacy. This book proves me wrong. It is just as touching and profoundly moving as Krakauer's book and brings to the fore the many issues that are not usually reported in detail while climbing a mountain like K2. At its core, the book is a tribute to the unhonored and unsung heroes of Himalayan M ...more
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read Into Thin Air and was curious how these authors would tell this mountain climbing disaster story differently and cover new ground. That they did - The cultural perspective from the indigenous people who work on the mountains and in the mountain climbing trade touched upon the livelihood/poverty, modernity, and ethical/spiritual beliefs made this book come alive for me. I'm not an adrenaline junkie so the conquest of the mountain part was never all that appealing. Putting your life literal ...more
Lisa Wolf
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rounding up from 3.5 stars.

Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day really is, well, an extraordinary story.

If you’re at all like me, the idea of climbing huge mountains seems utterly ridiculous. What drives people to need to reach the summit of these forbidding peaks, risking their lives and making enormous investment of time and money to do so?

Many mountaineering adventure books follow the climbers, their backgrounds, and their experiences. Buried
Much has been written about the tragedy on K2 in August 2008 in which eleven souls were lost. However, this book tells the story of the Sherpas on that expedition, whether they were among the dead or survived the mission. Their stories as well as their culture and beliefs are discussed in this excellent book by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan.

The book begins in the Bottleneck, which is located on the most dangerous section of the mountain known as the Death Zone. There one of the Sherpas, Chir
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The one thing that always bugged me about stories about mountain climbing was how little press the Sherpas got. True, you climbed whatever, but who did all the heavy lifting. Wouldn't true mountain climbing be doing the work of a Sherpa?

This book actually looks at a mountain tragedy with the focus on the Sherpas. Instead of the focus on white and Japanese people climbing a mountain, the reader is given information about what causes people to make a living shelpping stuff up and down mountains fo
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Granted my interest in camping, climbing, kayaking and the like far surpasses that of many of my friends. I sometimes feel like a odd duck in my suburban life as my family and I head out on our adventures. Once a friend even asked how I could possibly like camping as she could not fathom why I would "want to live like a homeless person for the weekend." The fact that she doesn't "get it" is frustrating and yet doesn't daunt me.

So that makes me a hypocrite of sorts because, for the life of me, I
David Ward
Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day by Peter Zuckerman (W.W. Norton & Co. 2012) (796.522095) (3391).

Most armchair mountaineers are familiar with the tragedy in the Himalaya in 1996 when eight climbers died on Mt. Everest when they were trapped by weather in the “Death Zone” above 26000 feet on the highest mountain on earth. However, until I picked up Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day by Pet

Allen B. Lloyd
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it

While there are many accounts of courage and superhuman endurance in Himalayan mountaineering literature, these stories all to frequently relegate the role that Sherpas play in successful summit bids to short footnotes, or, astonishingly, ignore their contributions completely. Fixed lines, which lead to many a successful mountaineering expedition, do not appear by magic, or out of a vacuum, but are generally laid by Sherpas, native climbers from Tibet, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Buried in the Sky: The
The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane)
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
When you read books about Everest or K2 you never really hear the back story about the men who carry all the equipment needed to stage a climb, Buried in the Sky introduces you to the men that make that possible.

What was interesting about this book that instead of focusing on the climbers it centered more around the porters who make it possible. Sherpa's have been assisting climbers since Hillary reached the summit of Everest in 1953. There are low altitude porters and high altitude porters, th
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you have friends who climb you will want to read this book. A friend of mine perished together with a Sherpa while climbing an 8,000 meter peak and I can better picture the setting around her desire to mountaineer.

I keep thinking about the people and cultures documented here. I marvel that people who lost parts of their bodies but seem to think that climbing K2 was worth it. The Sherpas have such different spiritual views.

This book also gave me grateful awareness of the simple things that I h
Debra Hennessey
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
An exciting story to start with that is almost upstaged by the fascinating history of the area and the sherpa climbers. Not a dull chapter in the whole book. You'll come away with a real appreciation of the men who do the heavy work on these expeditions. The author did some impressive research but it wouldn't have been so effective without his writing style. Even the gruesome details of how death took some of the climbers was presented in a respectful way--but it still left me shaken. Great read ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm not at all into climbing. But was floored by this true story.
Dan C.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
A blog reader recommended Buried in the Sky to me based on my interest in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air which I read several years back and loved. Both books are about mountain climbing which is something that I’m kind of fascinated with but really have no desire to do. My lack of desire to go mountain climbing is probably the direct result of reading books like this. It seems like people are always falling off the mountain, disappearing into crevasses or freezing to death at altitudes not that f ...more
Angela H.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, buddyread
Warning: This is a glowing review and does not contain much spoilers. Read the book for indepth spoilers. 😃

Tragic, yet a courageous story of climbers who pursue to the bigger challenge (K2). This mountain is known to be tougher than Everest, and the top tier climbers take on the challenge.

The author shares about Sherpas' culture and how it relates as they serve as porters for climbers around the world. I found this information interesting as a lover of facts.

Author explains how the climbers re
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Zuckerman and Padoan's Buried in the Sky is an account of a K2 disaster. In the midst of the crisis, one climber sees someone in the distance wearing a yellow jacket. Hoping they're not an optical illusion, he walks towards them. The man in the jacket is real, but he is already dead and frozen. The climber waits out the night in their company as he tries not to fall asleep and freeze to death. Geez Louise... Readers who did not get enough gruesome details in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air will fin ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down - and annoyed everyone around me by telling them all about it as well. :)

Great background on life for the Sherpa and in the Himalaya villages. I found myself doing Google searches to see photos of some of the places and to get some background on some things I hadn't heard of. (Word of warning - do not Google "sky burial" and look at the images unless you're not bothered by images of bodies).

As one reviewer put it, the Sherpa are the real heroes of the climbing expe
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Have you ever asked yourself, "WHY do people climb tall mountains"? Of course, we have all asked that question. I must confess that I always came to the conclusion that "those people" must be self absorbed, egotistical, thrill seekers who leave their loved ones behind to carry the really heavy consequential packs. This book does not discount that conclusion, at least with regards to commercially sponsored mountaineers.
Before reading this book, I had gotten my answer partly right given my cultur
Lee Kuiper
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A riveting story told with a refreshing perspective. The authors clearly did their homework regarding the fateful climb as well as the lives and cultures of various people groups around the Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges--some of whom work as mountain porters. There is a good amount of anthropologic context beforehand that never becomes dull or arcane as most of it is centered around the compellingly specific lives of Chhiring Dorje Sherpa, Pasang Lama and a few other porters.

It is cle
Carl Nelson
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gritty, personal account of the August 2008 accident that took the lives of 11 climbers. Buried in the Sky recounts the events from the perspective of high altitude climbing's unsung heroes, the Sherpas who risk their lives for wealthier foreigners to achieve their climbing goals. The principle narrative centers on Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, whose lives quite literally became intertwined on the world's second-highest mountain. The authors explore the history of the Himalayan region ...more
Lenny Husen
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars--rounding up because this book was so well-researched and parts were unusually extremely
I loved the focus on the Sherpa, Bhote and Shimshali (Pakistani) High Altitude Climbers and Guides.
This book belongs on the shelf next to Into Thin Air and The Climb and Left For Dead.
Who should read it: Anyone who has been to Nepal or Pakistan to do trekking or climbing, anyone interested in Mountaineering and Summit chasing for any reason.
I bought this in Kathmandu, Nepal, after
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
"In 2008, the fatality rate of those leaving Base Camp for a summit bid [on K2] was 30.5%, higher than the casualty rate at Omaha Beach on D-day" [p. 31].

that does it, I'm NOT climbing K2, ever.

But reading about it -- the technical challenges, the extreme conditions, the terrifying predicaments, effects of oxygen deprivation on decision-making [i wanted to jump across time and warn people not to ignore the deadline for turning around so they wouldn't be descending in the dark], heroism involved
Susan Liston
So the sherpas usually get short shrift in books of this ilk, and this one gives them some deserved space. Many are driven to climb by financial necessity, but you know what, they are crazy, too. Every one who goes up on those mountains for any reason is just nuts. And I get suckered in, I read about what a nice person so and so was and what great plans they had for the future and how many loved ones they leave behind etc, and then I pull myself up short and think wait a minute, they were not VI ...more
Sarah Bavaro
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
High altitude porters are vastly under-credited. Without them, almost all expedition/alpine style mountaineering would be impossible. Many high paying, thrill seeking, privileged mountaineers are egomaniacs, and disregard the lives of others to satisfy their "summit fever". It is more important for them to receive their moment in the spotlight than to help a dying individual survive. It is not heroic to put other peoples lives at risk in order to satisfy ones ego-complex. It is shameful to blame ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: outdoor
A tremendous amount of details and historical data about the sherpas involved in the tragedy on K2. Honestly it did not meet my need for an adventure book nor for a climbing book. It's more like an anthropology and history study about a couple of sherpas in Nepal, tracking down their lives to the childhood. Of course it has its dose of high altitude mountains story but about one third of the book.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched and written. After reading a few mountain-climbing books, however, I find I just don't get the attraction for doing something so likely to get you killed or maimed. Not a criticism of those that engage in it - to each his own - but I can't relate.
Angela Hattery
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fantastic! By focusing on the Sherpa and Pakistani HAP (high altitude porters) and not just White Americans and Europeans, the REAL factors that led to the tragedy on K2 are revealed. Highly recommend!!!
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
An incredible story. Definitely worth reading for those who are fascinated by the mountaineering world or just interested in reading about the decency that does still exist on some mountains.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesing story, but I found the writing style hard to follow, as it kept jumping from one story / character to another.
Hailey Van Dyk
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who loves mountaineering books... this one is fascinating!! Loved it!
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Peter Zuckerman is a journalist and author. He has received some of the most prestigious recognitions in American journalism.

At age 26, he won the Livingston Award, the largest, all-media, general reporting prize in America. His writing has also won the National Journalism Award, given by the Scripts Howard Foundation for the best newspaper writing in the United States; and the Blethan Award, giv

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