From the dust jacket: “What are the motives that make men risk their lives in high-altitude climbing? What are the factors that make for failure and success? What happens to climbers’ minds and personalities when exposed to long periods of isolation, cold and fatigue? Why do disaster and accidents happen? These are some of the questions that Galen Rowell, a verteran climber and member of the 1975 American expedition to K2, seeks to answer.”
Skillfully, Rowell alternates chapters narrating the dramatic course of the expedition, based on diaries of the climbers themselves, with a fascinating chronicle of other assaults on the peak (the first expedition to the Karakoram in 1892 was led by the British art historian and explorer Martin Conway).
The more recent paperback edition has 48 color plates with better reproduction.