Fast-paced and well-researched, Buried in the Sky tells the story of the tragic events of August 2008 on K2, “the world’s most dangerous mountain,” from the point of view of the Sherpa porters. Eleven people, both Sherpa and Western climbers, perished after an ice fall took out the ropes that help guide climbers through K2’s notorious “bottleneck” section. Balancing differing versions of what went wrong, authors Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan have come up with a terrifying account of the tragedy.

Sherpa climbers face a double bind: Hired to help others reach the summit, Sherpa sometimes have to go against their better judgment if their clients insist. By focusing on the stories of two Sherpa climbers in particular, Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, Zuckerman and Padoan draw the risks and rewards of this career into knife-sharp focus.

Traveling to remote villages in Nepal and Pakistan, the writers offer the often anonymous Sherpa a chance to voice their own stories. Their narrative is a must-read for anyone fascinated by the people and politics of high-altitude mountaineering.

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