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Surviving K2 by [van Rooijen, Wilco]
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Surviving K2 Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Length: 175 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Here's the trailer of the new movie 'The Summit' about what happened on the K2 in 2008. This movie will premiere in London on October 12th, 2012.
(patfalvey.com/viewvideo/70/tv-video-a-film/the-summit)

Product Details

  • File Size: 6353 KB
  • Print Length: 175 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007TKATSM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,243 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
On K2 in 2008, Wilco was one of the best-equipped and best-trained mountaineers, and he knew what he was up against. But the other climbers relied on his preparation and his gear, and they slowed the ascent, setting the stage for a disaster. After Wilco and others tagged the summit much later in the day than they had intended, falling ice shredded the fixed lines that the climbers were depending on to get down. Darkness and changes to the made navigation difficult. As Wilco, oxygen deprived and lost, clawed his way down, he encountered gruesome scenes and had to make horrendously difficult decisions about what to do. He spent three days out in the open in or near the Death Zone -- a miraculously and terrifying feat -- and survived to tell the tale.

What makes SURVIVING K2 stand out is that Wilco truly knows climbing and truly know K2. He had been to the mountain before. He was there when everything happened. This background allows him to provide the reader with a precision of detail (altitudes, times, locations) that you don't get in other accounts. SURVIVING K2 is a mountaineer's account by someone who lived through it, making it one of the most informative and accurate stories of the disaster and a wonderful primary source. I admire Wilco as a climber, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his book.

Peter Zuckerman
Author of BURIED IN THE SKY: The extraordinary story of the Sherpa climbers on K2's deadliest day
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I read this hoping for an overview of the 2008 tragedy, but there was not much information about those events.

Chapter 2 Deals extensively with the logistics of his teams approach to setting up for summit day of 2008. It is very dry. We brought this up here, then these guys brought this, etc, for far too long.

Then chapter 3 and 4 take an aside to his previous, failed attempts at k2. Chapter 3 even details a climb which is not on k2 but does at least highlight his relationship with a key character of the main plot.

Finally chapter 5 begins and it is without question the highlight of the book. It gives a very detailed and excruciating account of his narrow survival. Then there is a rather cursory account of what else happened in the mountain.

It is not a bad book, just too much information that is not very relevant.
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This account of a mountaineering disaster on K2 should have made me sympathetic...instead, I found myself repelled by the author's continual introspection and self-evaluation. Instead of marveling at his near-miraculous escape, I was left wondering if he learned anything at all...in spite of the deaths of close friends and companions. He seems to have an overwhelming compulsion that is unwavering even in the face of disaster and personal loss, and I just can't connect with that. A far better example of a book in this genre, which does, in fact, engage the reader is Joe Simpson's 'Touching the Void'
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This book is written by the leader of one of several teams who climbed K2 in the summer of 2008. He gives a fairly captivating account of the series of disasters that took a total of 11 lives, the worst year on K2 since the disastrous 1986 season (That disaster was chronicled in Jim Curran's 'K2: Triumph and Tragedy, a book I highly recommend). Wilco, the Dutch author of this book, is a remarkable man in many ways, very level-headed, and generous in spirit toward his climbing mates. A slight drawback to the book for me is that the bulk of it was actually focused on his two previous unsuccessful attempts at K2, along with other climbs. However, these climbs were eventful enough to make gripping reading, even if they weren't the main reason I read the book. His adventure on the N. face of the Eiger was particularly interesting. Throughout the book, even though I have read several on climbing and disasters, I was very frequently amazed at the great risks extreme climbers take. Even those who are extremely experienced and cautious are at risk from unpredictable events like falling rocks, sudden unpredictable winds, avalanches, serac falls, etc. The sense of near chaos and grave risk throughout the book is striking even before the main disaster is reached. The whole book is given from the author's POV, so some impact is lost as you do not read of some events as they happened, but only as the author heard about them afterward. One cannot help read w/ a sense of amazement and wonder at the rationalizations and optimistic viewpoints that these climbers make to perservere in their chosen activity. Also remarkable was the heartiness and determination of the author and others, many of whom survive situations that seem all but unsurvivable.Read more ›
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I know that Mr. Van Rooijen is a world-class mountaineer, and his story is compelling, but I think he might have done well to work with someone who is a better writer, as I think some of what he was trying to say got "lost in translation" (or perhaps it was the translation into English that's the problem). Anyone who makes it onto (and down from) K-2 is remarkable, in my view, so I really don't want to nitpick here.
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