Buried in the Sky

The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

Zuckerman, Peter

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Buried in the Sky
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.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393079883
Branch Call Number: 796.522 ZUCKERMA
Characteristics: xvi, 285 p., [16] p. of plates : col. ill., maps ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Padoan, Amanda


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Sep 02, 2014
  • McBainF1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

fantastic book. Highly recommended.
You can sense easily the cold of the mountain and the strength of the Sherpas. Loved this book

Jul 30, 2013
  • fuchsiagal rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book-a highly recommended read. The writing is well researched and full of heart and concern for the sherpas.

Mar 11, 2013

Amazing story. Clearly the truth is stranger than fiction. It somehow still surprises me what people will do for money. In particular that the sherpas, the experts of the region, seem to have minimal say in what they do once on a trek, or even what basic safety equipment is mandatory, even if it means leaving behind someone's generator or Ikea inflatable couch. God God, don't get em started. To press on when they could see that not everyone was up to the task, to press on when one thing after another seemed to be telling them to turn back because the climbers paid for it. I figure that increased tourism increases prices for the sherpas and creates an endless cycle of perceived need.

I very much enjoyed the gripping tale, but came away thinking that the average person who wants to climb Everest, much less K2 is an idiot, and the sherpas are misguided in helping them.

The mountain is littered with all the things that the climbers can't be bothered to carry back with them (the dead are the least of it). People sleep in sewage at the higher camps, what, to say they have been there? Idiotic in my view.

Aug 23, 2012
  • Rock_Shadow rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Hard to put down read not only for mountaineers, but also for anyone who might care about people from other parts of the world struggling for their livelihood and dignity, in face of great obstacles. Sherpas understanding of their mountains in the light of legends and religious taboos were fascinating, and they put mountaineering workers and the big mountains into a different light: for some more romantic and for others more tragic.
The book, though focused on the 20008 K2 tragedy, was a lot more than a climber's book. It gave a political and tribal history of the mountain people, and included touching personal stories of several Nepali, Tibetan, and Pakistani high altitude
workers that took part in the ill-fated K2 climb. Since the authors explored ethical concerns of mountaineering, and also of treatment of the Sherpas and other high altitude workers, they included relevant stories from climbing Mt. Everest and other world's highest peaks. Unforgettable tribute to the high altitude mountain workers.


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