Steve Swenson’s new memoir Karakoram is a must-read for climbers and armchair mountaineers. With over 1,200 days climbing in and around the Karakoram, Swenson has more climbing days there than most alpinists.
The description by publishers Mountaineers Books is, “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 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 8,000-metre peaks, 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.” For more and to order visit here.