Book review: No Way Down

No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 is a recent book by Graham Bowley.  This is a non-fiction book, a work of investigative journalism, covering the 2008 K2 disaster.  Eleven people died within a couple of days in that disaster, and the author went to interview everyone he could find, putting together this narrative.
The author is a New York Times report, and his writing skills shine through.  The book is easy to read and follow, although the plot itself is complex.  The book is fascinating and I highly recommend it.

What happened that year was bound to happen statistically at some point, with the giant serac above the “The Bottleneck” collapsing.  But it seems like people really got summit fever while climbing so near the summit of this amazing mountain, K2.  Very few turned back to camp when they should have, because they had a blind desire to make the summit.

Ed Viesturs, in his various books, has a saying: “getting up is optional, but getting back down is mandatory.”  This book illustrates why he’s so right, and why it’s so much easier said than done.

I found a pretty cool video on YouTube showing the Bottleneck with the serac above it, taken in the exact place where the disaster took place, one year later.  You want to watch the whole thing.  And I kind of want to go there now 😉