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NO WAY DOWN de Graham Bowley
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NO WAY DOWN (2010 original; edició 2011)

de Graham Bowley (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4171759,402 (3.75)11
"A dramatic account of the worst disaster in the history of mountain climbing on K2, the world's second highest peak"-- Provided by publisher.
Membre:plhelmer
Títol:NO WAY DOWN
Autors:Graham Bowley (Autor)
Informació:Perennial (2011), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

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No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 de Graham Bowley (2010)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
K2 is shorter than Everest but in a class of its own for it is considered more dangerous and deadly for it is farther north, colder, steeper, and with unpredictable weather. Thousands have successfully summitted Everest but only 278 have done so on K2 with 66 dying in the attempt, 24 while on their way down after a successful summitting. This book is about a date with destiny on 5 Aug 2008 when 15 expeditions, including solo climbers, with 73 clients and guides made their attempt to summit K2. Some 24 were there for a “serious attempt” while the rest were there for practical experience; ready to turn back if weather, physical deterioration, spirit, or misadventure made it impossible to continue. Regardless of their aspirations, eleven would die on the mountain, and the rest would suffer physical and mental breakdowns. The author uses a fictional reality conversation by the climbers to others or to themselves derived from interviews with the deceased climbers’ friends. There’s a reason why K2 is nicknamed the “savage mountain.” The book was so engrossing, I had to put a limit on reading time otherwise it would have been read through the night. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Apr 25, 2023 |
EDIT: I just reread this and I thought it was way better than I gave it credit for here? Something about the writing still feels "off", but I liked it even so. I've also relied on it heavily for a book I'm myself writing about K2 (purely fiction), so I especially enjoyed the maps and all the pictures.


Idk, this book did not grip me the way I thought it would. Maybe it was the way it was written? But then again, I've been gripped by Wikipedia pages about mountaineering accidents, so that's probably not it.

I guess it's the fact that the author wasn't there. The best chapter is the last one, where HE goes to meet all the people involved and talks about his experiences doing so, that's when, idk, they come alive? We get some perspective, some feeling for them? I'm not saying you can't write a good book about an event you weren't part of (I liked Dark Summit, even though the author wasn't there), but something is definitely lost. When reading Into Thin Air we see the world through Jon Krakauer's eyes, we see the people as he saw them and that makes them real. If you weren't there, if you're trying your best not to insult someone's memory, you can't do much more than state the facts.

But I think a bigger problem, here, for me, was that the book kept skipping back and forth between perspectives and events, so it was very hard to keep up, even for someone like me who knows a lot about this disaster. It also included a bunch of people I hadn't really heard of before, and that made it even harder to keep it all straight.

It wasn't bad though, and if you knew nothing about what happened on K2 2008 it might be a good introduction. The uncertainties are mostly discussed in the epilogue, which as I said was my favourite part, but at least they were discussed and I gotta say I liked the version the book went with.

Now I'm very excited for One mountain, thousand summits. I've heard lots of good stuff about it. ( )
  upontheforemostship | Feb 22, 2023 |
This book presents an explanation of the tragedy that occurred on K2 in 2008, during which eleven people died. The author provides an unbiased account of what took place, who did what, and why. Bowley exposes the many factors involved, including lack of communication, delays in the ascent, questionable judgments, and bad luck. Once oxygen deprivation to the brain is added to the mix, it became the proverbial recipe for disaster.

The human drive to conquer conditions of extreme cold fascinates me: to explore, to test the limits of endurance, to prove it can be done. This book delivers on that score. Where it falls short is in presentation, such as numerous typos, lack of proper punctuation, and segments that appear to be poor English translations from another language. These annoyances detracted significantly from my reading experience and should have been caught before publishing.

I think any book on mountaineering benefits from the author having “been there, done that.” This is more of a factual account, which was fine, but I was expecting something akin to Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. This book suffers by comparison. Recommended to readers who want to understand why mountaineering tragedies occur in hope of preventing them in the future. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
A very good book. Well researched from first person accounts with a good narrative. The author manages to capture the beauty and terror of the experiences on k2 in 2008. I still don't understand what drives people to climb mountains and risk their lives, but I am close to appreciating it. ( )
  KatiaMDavis | Dec 19, 2017 |
Do you know those books, invariably by tabloid writers, that seem to come out within days of a massacre or the arrest of a serial killer? The ones I've seen are careless and padded with irrelevant information that serves only to up the word count. This book in the same vein, and it's maddening to read.

We learn the nickname of a climber's mother. We learn that another climber once lived in the States for a bit. We learn that the Serbian team made doughnuts with strawberry jam not plums and we learn that they were delicious anyway. We learn which DVDs people watched in base camp. We learn Nepalese for 'I'm coming' and the Irish word for a hurley. We learn who's lanky, who wears blue, who has a wonderful smile.

We don't learn enough about how much and what sort of climbing experience these people had. We don't learn why team leaders failed to call a halt to the climbs of those who were in poor health or too slow. We don't learn why the fixed ropes were in a queer position. We don't learn whether enough oxygen tanks were carried out of Camp IV, nor whether porters did as Bowley implies leave behind important gear. We don't even learn for a certainty that the calving of a serac was the only non-man-made problem thrown at the climbers.

I read the book for the story, but the writing made me so grumpy that I don't know whether a good few of the climbers were the idiots they seemed or had judgement impaired from the start by hypoxia or whether my ill-temper made me feel uncharitable to them. But many of them did go for the summit when unwell or when it was far too late in the day and, when they summitted as night neared, stayed in place making satellite phone calls, videotaping each other making satellite phone calls, or waiting for other climbers in order to have a, ugh, 'group hug'.

Near the end is something that makes me very uneasy. A bereaved fiancee who apparently didn't understand the mental effects of hypoxia decided with no evidence that an Italian climber had lied about her intended's last hours. I'm not sure, given the lack of evidence, that this should have been mentioned at all; I do feel sure that, in light of that accusation, it was just plain wrong of Bowley to strongly imply that the Italian came across as shifty and evasive when interviewed. And there's something that makes me uneasier still: Bowley offers his imagined thoughts of a real person near death. That's presumptuous and that's distasteful.

End of rant, except to say that I've read other books on climbing, some of them by climbers for whom writing a book must have been an enormous challenge, and they were all better than this one written, incredibly, by a reporter for the New York Times.
  bluepiano | Dec 30, 2016 |
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Beware of the man whose God is in the skies. - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
Take care to fly a middle course. - Daedalus' advice to Icarus, Ovid, Metamorphoses
I long for scenes where Man has never trod. - John Clare
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To my mother and father, and to Chrystia
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(Prologue) Friday, August 1, 2008, 2 a.m.
Eric Meyer uncurled his tired body from the Americans' tent into the jolt of the minus-20-degrees morning.
Walk east along dusty tracks from the village of Askole and within three days you will glimpse in the distance a wonder of the world, the rock-strewn Baltoro glacier and a giant's parade of ocher and black granite mountains, topped with snow and wreathed in clouds.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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"A dramatic account of the worst disaster in the history of mountain climbing on K2, the world's second highest peak"-- Provided by publisher.

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