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Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Dayby Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan
Synopses & 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 turmoil to become two of the most skillful mountaineers on earth. Based on unprecedented access and interviews, Buried in the Sky reveals their astonishing story for the first time.
Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan explore the intersecting lives of Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, following them from their villages high in the Himalaya to the slums of Kathmandu, across the glaciers of Pakistan to K2 Base Camp. When disaster strikes in the Death Zone, Chhiring finds Pasang stranded on an ice wall, without an axe, waiting to die. The rescue that follows has become the stuff of mountaineering legend.
At once a gripping, white-knuckled adventure and a rich exploration of Sherpa customs and culture, Buried in the Sky re-creates one of the most dramatic catastrophes in alpine history from a fascinating new perspective.
“Gripping, intense....Buried in the Sky will satisfy anyone who loved [Into Thin Air].” Boston Globe
"A work of obsessive reporting. The authors (who are cousins) traveled across the world, conducting extensive interviews with nearly every person who was on the mountain in 2008 and using digital forensics to analyze the photographs taken that day. They weave a narrative that is hair-raising and moving, but also precise — crucial given the technical complexities of expeditions and the often-hazy recollections of traumatized survivors. But what makes their book an indispensable addition to the genre is the way the authors explore the “cultural crevasse” underlying the ill-fated expeditions on K2. They provide a long-overdue historical correction to the familiar mountaineering story." Wall Street Journal
"Zuckerman and Padoan have dug deeper than anyone else. Thanks to their efforts, the heroism and humanity of the Sherpa climbers who saved lives shine through the chaos and grief of that awful day on K2." Men's Journal
"Zuckerman and Padoan have dug deeper than anyone else. Thanks to their efforts, the heroism and humanity of the Sherpa climbers who saved lives shine through the chaos and grief of that awful day on K2." David Roberts, co-author of Ks: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain and author of On the Ridge Between Life and Death
"Gripping….An absorbing book that goes beyond the typical mountaineering tale.…This book is mesmerizing." Deseret News
"Pacey, compelling, and clear, this is an excellent account of what happened that fateful August day. The Himalayan-born high-altitude workers leap off the page with all their hopes and fears — and astonishing courage. Buried in the Sky is one of the very best books on the tragedy." Ed Douglas, author of Tenzing: Hero of Everest
"An informative and inspirational book....I couldn’t put it down. I am proud to know of the determination and loyalty of the Sherpa climbers and their tireless efforts to risk their lives for the other climbers." Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay, author of Touching My Father's Soul
"Although Everest is the tallest mountain on earth, K2, “the Savage Mountain,” is a more difficult — and deadly — peak, and this compelling story brought back from its slopes is a worthy tale about a little-known aspect of these high-stakes climbs." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Buried in the Sky reveals the heroic deeds of the Sherpa....[It] brings to light how immensely strong, loyal and talented the Sherpa climbers are. When most other climbers were faltering on the descent from the K-2’s summit, the Sherpa climbers not only rescued themselves, but also went back up to rescue others. Finally credit is given, where credit is due." Ed Viesturs, bestselling author of No Shortcuts to the Top and K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
"Buried in the Sky will appeal to every mountaineer (armchair or otherwise) interested in the climbing history of K2, that beautiful and deadly peak." Ed Viesturs, bestselling author of No Shortcuts to the Top and K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
"I admired Buried in the Sky and enjoyed it, too....[T]he authors did their homework and wrote their story well...credit is given at long last to those who deserve it most."Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard
"Buried in the Sky is a gripping account of that fateful day in 2008 when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2. As it unravels the series of events that resulted from the unbridled ambition set loose on a dangerous mountain, it probes deeply into the lives of those courageous and unheralded professionals — the “thin-air” workhorses from Nepal and Pakistan. Heartbreaking. Sober. Compelling." Bernadette McDonald, author of Freedom Climbers
"The book takes pains to explore their culture and the burden felt by such impoverished young men who take on dangerous work that pays well yet remains an offense to the mountains they revere. Sobering." Library Journal
"Buried in the Sky is a compelling account of the men who have literally shouldered the rest of the world’s mountaineers up K2." Norman Ollestad, bestselling author of Crazy for the Storm
"Fast-paced and well researched…a must-read for anyone fascinated by the people and politics of high-altitude mountaineering." Bookpage
"[A] page-turner addition to the library of great mountaineering books." Portland Monthly
"[A] revelatory look at Sherpa history and culture….Highly recommended." Booklist
About the Author
Peter Zuckerman is a non-fiction writer. 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 received is the National Journalism Award and the Blethan Award.
Amanda Padoan is a mountaineer and alpine historian. She studied literature at Harvard University and law at Pepperdine School of Law. Amanda writes for Explorersweb and has contributed to Rock and Ice and The Alpinist. Her friend, Karim Meherban, died in the 2008 K2 disaster.
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