Top Reads #8 Savage Summits
The second highest mountain in the world is also one with a fearsome reputation among mountaineers. While Everest can claim the title of the worlds highest, K2 is harder to climb, more difficult to access, prone to terrifying storms and with more objective danger. It is hardly surprising, then, that when compared to Everest the number of climbers to have ascended K2 is very small. Even more striking is the number of women. By the start of the 2004 climbing season only 5 had reached the summit of K2 while Everest had been climbed by ninety.
Mountaineers are often, by the nature of their passion for the remote mountains and the commitment needed to tackle them, very driven characters with fascinating back stories. The first 5 woman to have climbed K2 are all in that category - so a well written book about their lives and deaths would make a brilliant read. Add to that the tragic fact that they are now all dead (3 died in descent and the other 2 died sometime later on other Himalayan peaks).
Savage Summit (The True Stories Of The First Five Women Who Climbed K2) by Jennifer Jordan is that book - and justifiably becomes Peak Mountaineering's Top Read #8. Jordan weaves a detailed and intricately researched path through their personal and climbing lives in such a way that it is very hard to put down. If you are interested in K2, interested in women mountaineers, interested in understanding the personal cost of high altitude mountaineering or you simply want a gripping and heart rending adventure story. Whatever you angle, Savage Summit is a great book.