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Jerry Moffatt - Revelations
Beyond the Mountain
9 out 10 climbers...
Ron Fawcett - Rock Athlete
Savage Arena
“The media loves a slaughterhouse, and few could have missed the reports in the syndicated press of the carnage on K2 that year. But the reductionism of newsprint left many loose ends concerning those deaths. Circumstances were complicated, opinions varied. After all, there was not one expedition involved but many, from Austria, England, Italy, France, Poland, Korea and the U.S.A. Nor was there a single accident, but seven separate incidents on three routes. It's understandable that, in the crowded, confusing atmosphere on K2 that year, people got their wires crossed.
Most of the unanswered questions and the attendant Monday-morning-quarter backing concerned the August catastrophe. In this, five separate teams converged on the Abruzzi Spur. Some relied on the presence of abandoned camps; others, like the Diemberger/Julie Tullis team and the Al Rouse/Mrowka Wolf team, wisely climbed with all their own gear When it was discovered that an avalanche had erased vital tents and supplies from high on the mountain, those without tents sought shelter in the tents of those who came prepared. The overcrowding caused a sleepless night and exhausted all the climbers so badly that most rested a day at 8000 meters! Matters worsened during the rest day when two Poles, descending from the first ascent of the SSW Pillar, appeared unexpectedly and sought shelter. Though many summited the following day, the lost day caused seven climbers—jammed into two tents—to be detained by a multi-day, hurricane-force storm. As they ran out of fuel and food, the effects of altitude and dehydration ravaged them.
When the storm ended, Diemberger's beloved companion, Tullis, was dead; Rouse, one of Britain's best Himalayan climbers, was too weak to leave the tent where he died; Austrians Alfred Imitzer and Hannes Weiser collapsed in the snow; and the Polish girl, Mrowka, mysteriously expired lower down the mountain. Only Diemberger and Willi Bauer managed to escape, reaching basecamp more dead than alive. (…)
The Endless Knot introduces much new light on the story, and time has let Diemberger view events and analyze facts from a more philosophical vantage. He points no finger of blame. Instead we see how the victims were funneled into an unalterable fate the moment they set foot on K2. Indeed, Diemberger writes, "My hope is that, by thinking through the individual elements in this chain reaction, the lives of future mountaineers on K2 or on other mountains in the world may yet be saved.”
Greg Child, “Rock & Ice” 1991, No. 46, p. 79-80

“One of the main values of the book must be to question the contemporary state of Himalayan mountaineering. While controversy rages on the home front over the use, or misuse of bolts, hold chipping, environmental concerns and climbing competitions, me vastly experienced Kurt Diemberger poses similar hard questions about tactics and ethics in the greater ranges. Alpine style versus expedition style? Safety in numbers? Should teams use 'easy' routes for descent having completed the hard ones? What obligations do climbers from different expeditions have to each other? How can the various authorities in Pakistan, China, India and Nepal regulate the increasing masses? These are questions that need to be addressed and more conclusions drawn pretty quickly in order, as Kurt says, that climbers "can drink tea together in their overcrowded Base Camps as real companions and not as victims of an illusion'.”
Jim Curran, “High” 1991, July, No. 104, p. 62-64

“There may be those who will be able to retain a controversialist view upon reading this moving, painful, yet still dreaming and inspired book. Quite apart from its powerful illustration, useful appendices, good printing and generous format, I cannot be among them. My respect for the participants, dead and alive, and all too easy identification with their problems, and the hope that remains the essential message of this powerful account, preempts all nitpicking. These experiences were enough to drive anyone beyond the borders of sanity as well as life. If Kurt Diemberger has restored to himself a certain equilibrium in the understanding of these dire events as well as rendering them comprehensible to others, he has fulfilled more than anyone could reasonably have expected. This reader can only salute his fortitude, and be grateful.”
Paul Nunn, „Mountain”, 1991, March/April, No. 138,          p. 50-51

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