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Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict

Author(s): Swenson, Steve

Copyright: 2017, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.317, photo frontis, 16 color & 13 bw photos, 6 maps, black cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

Karakoram is world-class alpinist Steve Swenson’s personal story of climbing K2 and other peaks in the Karakoram Range that straddles the borders of China, India, and Pakistan — a story told against the backdrop of extreme altitude and harsh conflict between these nations for control of Kashmir.

Love of climbing mountains has led Swenson, a veteran of 11 expeditions, to the summits of some of the highest and most dangerous peaks in the world. But over the years, he developed a deep respect for the rugged landscapes and local people of the remote Karakoram Range. Readers join him on the trail for numerous attempts on these 8000m peaks (Gasherbrum IV, K2, Everest, K7 West, Nanga Parbat, Latok I & II, Choktoi Spire, Saser Kangri II, Changi Tower, K6 Central), getting an intimate look at everything from expedition dynamics among his various climbing partners to the logistics of trip planning. Especially rewarding is the friendship that develops between Swenson and Rasool, a Balti porter.

Since 9/11 security and access have been an issue for foreigners in Pakistan. The Taliban, along with al Qaeda, migrated into the mountainous cover of the Karakoram, taking control of key transportation routes used by climbers and trekkers. Western adventurers were largely able to avoid the political violence until June 2013, when a group of terrorists hiked up to the basecamp at Nanga Parbat and murdered 11 climbers. Swenson explores the origins of this attack and its impact on his travels in the region and on his friends there who depend on income from tourism.

Karakoram is the story of high-altitude adventures within the context of a complex region, where good people bond and bad people wreak havoc. It’s the story of caring about a place, its people, and its future. Foreward by Greg Child.

Finalist 2017 Banff Mountain Book Festival Mountain Literature Award.



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