In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods

Rowell, Galen
Year Published: 

"This is the first paperback editon of the classic eyewitness account, by photo-journalist and climber Galen Rowell, of the unsuccessful 1985 American attempt to scale K2, the world's second-highest mountain peak in the Karakoram Range between China and Kashmir. Black-and-white and color photographs.

I thoroughly enjoyed this account of the 1975 American K2 Expedition. The wonderful photos and the well-written text were some of the best I've encountered in mountaineering literature.

I liked how Galen Rowell interspersed his account of the expedition with earlier accounts of K2 attempts, some successful and some not. They gave an interesting insight into the history of this tough mountain and the people who have climbed it. The journal excerpts from various 1975 team members were insightful and intriguing. I am now going to start on ""The Last Step"" by Rick Ridgeway, about the 1978 American K2 expedition. Apparently, this team wasn't without their problems either.

I found it ironic, that after all the team discussion about the possibly negative implications of having a woman (Dianne Roberts) on the team, especially the wife of the leader, that she really figured very little in the disputes and quarrels. It was also ironic that there was still a lot of dissention and miscommunication amongst the team members on the actual expedition, even after the team expelled Alex Bertulis from the original team, due to lack of confidence in his ability to be a team player.

Read it, you won't be disappointed. I gave it a four because I found the first couple of chapters hard to get into. But once the '75 team is formed, it picks up quickly and then is quite hard to put down.

Unfortunately, Galen Rowell, the author of this book and a well-known photographer, recently was killed in a plane crash near his home in California with his wife."

4.5 of 5