No Way Down

Title: No Way Down

Recommendation: 8.4/10

Summary: 

**Spoilers: The second-highest mountain on earth, 28.2k feet, and one of the highest fatalities per summit percentages make summiting K2 an extremely daunting task. 

Some might even say reckless.

In 2008, 11 mountaineers died from an avalanche. This retelling follows multiple survivors, and the speculated experience of those who passed, from one of the deadliest days in recorded history on K2. Gathered through Graham Bowley’s thorough reporting you’re brought along on nights of fear, ruthless temperatures, and heartache.

Like most stories of misfortune, I’m grateful to be able to reflect on this tale, not to have lived it, and am awed by the grit and ability humans show when push comes to shove. 

The hour-by-hour report of this high-altitude disastrous climb is a riveting read.

Highlights:

A lack of oxygen impairs the judgment of a climber well before it is apparent to them.

To help acclimatize, or relieve symptoms, some use oxygen. But if the supply runs out a climber abruptly enters a suffocating world of oxygen deprivation.

“Death Zone” is considered anything above 8000meters. A man in this party survived 2 nights without a tent at that altitude.  

As our body cools it directs blood away from extremities to preserve inner heat. Which is why your fingers and toes are most susceptible to frostbite.

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