One Mountain, Thousand Summits

In last month’s MG, I reviewed Graham Bowley’s book, “No Way Down: Life and Death on K2,” about the 2008 K2 disaster in which 11 climbers died. I talked about how impressive Bowley’s reporting on the event was, especially because he wasn’t on K2, and wasn’t even a climber. Well, climber and author Freddie Wilkinson has definitely one-upped “No Way Down,” in terms of a quality book about the K2 tragedy. Wilkinson matches the quality reporting of the actual incident, and then takes it upon himself to travel across the globe and do more investigation,  resulting in a much richer account. Insight borne from Wilkinson’s experience on expeditions in the Himalayas and some of the world’s other great mountain range aid the explanation of the incident, and fuel his drive to figure out what really happened and also to explain the culture of Nepalese and Tibetan Sherpas and high-altitude crew. Later in the book, Wilkinson goes so far to reflect on and criticize his own coverage of the incident. Wilkinson’s writing has been previously published in climbing publications like Alpinist, Rock and Ice, Climbing and the American Alpine Journal, but with this book, he establishes himself as an author and a true journalist.