K2, Triumph and Tragedy

Jim Curran, Author Mountaineers Books $0 (219p) ISBN 978-0-89886-147-1
In the summer of 1986, nine expeditions representing 10 nationalities converged in Pakistan at Base Camp (""the Strip'') on K-2, the world's second-highest mountain. Twenty-seven people reached the summit; 13 perished. Climber-photographer Curran accompanied the British expedition to film a pioneer route on the Northwest Ridge. When that attempt failed, he stayed on to support his friend Al Rouse, who joined forces with Mrufhastet sp Wolf for a summit try via the Abruzzi Ridge. Curran was among the first to arrive, last to depart and the only English-speaking person at the site for the entire series of events. The easy camaraderie at Base Camp was first shaken by the deaths of two Americans in an avalanche June 21. Four climbers reached the summit on the 24th; two disappeared on the way down and a third was talked down by radio contact with another expedition. K-2 claimed two more climbers in July. On August 3, 10 South Koreans reached the top and three started back down, leaving the others poised for the summit attempt. Five made it, but then all were trapped at the highest camp in a severe storm. Curran rescued one of the two survivors. He has told a gripping story that belongs with the classics of mountaineering. Photos. (February 1)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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