The Ghosts of K2
The extraordinary tale of the first ascent of the world's hardest mountain

A classic mountaineering story, the epic saga of the first ascent of K2.


The Ghosts of K2

At 28,251 ft, K2 might be almost 800 ft shorter than Everest, but it’s a far harder climb. It will kill you on the way up and the way down. In this definitive account, Mick Conefrey grippingly describes the early attempts to conquer this iconic mountain, and explores the complicated legacy of the first ascent. Beginning with the ill-fated efforts of drug-addicted occultist Aleister Crowley, The Ghosts of K2 charts how a slew of great men became fixated by this legendary mountain: the wealthy Italian Duke of Abruzzi; Fritz Wiessner, the man who revolutionised climbing in the USA; the brilliant but tortured expedition leader Charlie Houston; and Achille Compagnoni and Lindo Lacedelli, the Italian duo who finally became the first to reach the summit. For each of them, K2 became an obsession, but it brought happiness to none.

Through exclusive interviews with surviving team members and their families, and unrivalled access to diaries and letters that have been archived around the world, Conefrey evokes the true atmosphere of the ‘Savage Mountain’ and explores why it remains the ‘mountaineer’s mountain’, despite a history steeped in controversy and death. Wrought with tension, and populated by tragic heroes and eccentric dreamers, The Ghosts of K2 is a masterpiece of mountaineering literature.

Great Lives- Ed Hillary

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