Top critical review
Battling the snow on Baruntse
on 20 May 2015
The two Marks embark on a very wet trek where trying to find a way to get their clothes dry for the next day is the biggest challenge. The trek takes them to the Makalu base camp despite issues with striking porters, ready to climb the snowy peak of Baruntse. The weather however is not helping them or their fellow teams with snow, high winds and dangerous conditions.
The story that dominates the book is the tragic death of Chewang Nima, who had climbed to the top of Everest 19 times, and was killed on Baruntse days earlier while fixing ropes near the summit for a rich client. Morals, ethics and rescue are all discussed by the team and their upset sherpas. Other disasters loom with climbers getting frostbite or getting 'lost' in bad weather as the snow continues and frustrations grow at Base Camp.
This book clearly shows the amount of waiting that a climber might have to do to get that elusive attempt at a summit. It shows that you need the weather to cooperate and that bit of luck, which poor Chewang Nima did not have in his freak accident. However good a climber you are, you are still at the mercy of the mountain and when luck is not with you, it can result in death.
Despite the gloomy climbing conditions and bad news, I still enjoy being there on an expedition with the guys. Mark's writing style is uncomplicated and raw which is perfect for the armchair fan to enjoy.
I rate this book 3 out of 5 on my star rating which is different to this site.