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Summary

On 1 August, 2008, 18 climbers from across the world reached the summit of K2, the world's second-highest and most dangerous mountain - a peak that claims the life of one in every four climbers who attempt it. Over the course of 28 hours K2 had exacted a deadly toll: 11 lives were lost in a series of catastrophic accidents.

Over the course of three days, a Nepalese Sherpa called Pemba Gyalje, along with five other Sherpas, was at the center of a series of attempts to rescue climbers who had become trapped in the Death Zone, unable to escape its clutches and debilitated by oxygen deprivation, chronic fatigue, delirium and a terrifying hopelessness.

The tragedy became a controversy as the survivors walked from the catastrophe on the mountain into an international media storm, in which countless different stories emerged, some contradictory and many simply untrue.

Based on Pemba Gyalje's eyewitness account and drawing on a series of interviews with the survivors which were conducted for the award-winning documentary The Summit.

The Summit: How Triumph Turned to Tragedy on K2's Deadliest Days is the most comprehensive interpretation of one of modern-day mountaineering's most controversial disasters.

©2014 Beyond Endurance Publishing (P)2014 Beyond Endurance Publishing

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What listeners say about The Summit

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly gripping story

The story of one of the biggest tragedies on K2 comes to life. Having watched a number of documentaries on the tragedy, this book gives first hand accounts of what happened on that fateful day when K2 claimed 11 climbers. When the tragedy first began to unfold in early August 2008 there were many false reports and rumours circulating in the media and this story seems to set the record straight in my mind on a number of those events. This story pays tribute to those who died (some in very unfortunate cirvumstances) doing what they loved the most and also to a number of hero's who helped save lives and prevent even more tragedy.

6 people found this helpful

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Rubber-necking at the serac

All disaster books have a voyeuristic element but I felt this lacked anything to lift it above that level.

Into Thin Air is brilliant in its description of a total failure in leadership. Touching the Void is about survival and extremes of bravery. Summit disects a disaster in a very comprehensive manner, but I found it offered little more than a close up view of what went wrong at the serac.

Loads of better mountaineering books available.

5 people found this helpful

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A gripping journey!

Where does The Summit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Excellent story-telling.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Summit?

It's interesting how much we learnt about the sherpas and the eye-witness account of Pemba is what makes this book - and audiobook - extra special.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's a long listen so ideal for a journey or a chapter a night.

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent story

Don't belive all the haters about the narrator, his voice takes a little getting used to granted but he still had me hooked on a enthralling story.

1 person found this helpful

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Good listen

If you have a interest in extreme sports this is a good listen
You will find yourself questioning what you would do to reach your summit
Would you could you abandon your morals for that moment of glory

It’s does get a little hard to follow and the Narrator is not the easiest of people to listen to
But overall I would recommend this book if the subject is one that your interested in

1 person found this helpful

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I love this subject but the narrator ruined it

found it hard to get into as the narrators performance was quiet poor i felt.

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Terrible reading by co author,

Pat Falvey should have given the job of narration to a professional, all too often his thick accent gets in the way of detail an his pace is appalling. A huge shame as Pemba's side of the story is so crucial.

4 people found this helpful

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really good story but......

The Summit is a really good story but the author should of given the job of narration to someone else. I found it a struggle to understand his broad accent, and the speed at which he read meant I needed to skip back on occasions to pick up what had been said.
I'm an armchair adventurer so can't criticise the climbers but there were times when I was saying 'turn back' or ' what are you thinking' !
The author showed his friend ( who died on the mountain ) real loyalty in telling the account that he did. The K2 tragedy is another incident that requires us to see all sides of a story instead of apportioning blame or telling half truths.

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Great story and easy to follow in audio

this was my first ever audio book. I loved this story and it was very easy to follow all the different characters in audio. at first I was worried I might not understand well, since I am not native English speaker, but that was not the case at all. it is very accessible. And the book itself is amazing. Great respect for Pemba!

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Great story terrible naration

this is a great story but the narration let's it down. very hard to listen to. hard to understand sometimes

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  • Joanne1953
  • 13-07-18

Good, unbiased account

My only hesitation in recommending this audiobook is the author/narrator’s strong Irish accent. This story needed a neutral voice. Imagine listening to a book like Kon Tiki read by a person with a deep Southern accent. It would be jarring, just as this narrator’s accent was. He also couldn’t pronounce the th sound, which, if I was simply conversing with him wouldn’t bother me at all. However, as the narrator of a story about climbing K-2 it became distracting and even annoying.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Marta Klass
  • 03-03-17

Riveting

The only thing I didn't like was the music, it disrupted the flow of the story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Laura
  • 25-01-16

Good book, narration wrecks it

The story is true and well written from a different perspective, if you read Buried in the Sky which is about the same expedition, this account gives some detail which is revealing. Overall I liked Buried in the Sky better and the author's decision to narrate this book just ruins it. He has a heavy Gaelic accent which is difficult to understand and doesn't go well with the overall feeling of the book. If you are a hardcore mountaineering book reader, this one will probably interest you, otherwise skip it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • DonnaSt
  • 26-02-16

Narrator Accent May Cause Difficulties

This is another version of the 2008 K2 climbing disaster depicted in Buried in the Sky and the documentary The Summit. Pat Falvey has an strong accent but I adjusted to it after the first couple of chapters and had no further difficulties. If the author's accent is a concern, the print version would probably be a better choice.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Carlucci
  • 25-12-20

Thick accent

I enjoyed the book, but I really struggled to maintain a presence during the story. I suffered an inability to understand a great amount of the wiring due to the thick accent. That was a bummer

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. Collins
  • 10-11-21

Incredible Story, Solid Narration (but meh music)

Have you ever been utterly obsessed with some thing that absolutely terrifies you?!? I caught the last 15 minutes of the documentary film “The Summit” and was immediately captivated by K2 and the 2008 tragedy. I was delighted to find this audiobook that involved one of the most experienced climbers and survivor of the 2008 ascent. What an incredible story of adventure and survival!

While other reviews complain that Mr. Falvey’s Irish dialect is too strong and difficult to understand, I HIGHLY disagree!! Maybe these folks have never interacted with anyone outside the United States with anything other than an American accent. (The dialogue in movie “The Full Monty” is much more difficult to comprehend.) Mr. Falvey’s narration is well paced and his pronunciation is deliberate. I found his voice soothing and worthy of such a dramatic tale. The fact that Mr. Falvey is also a highly skilled mountaineer and knew some of the climbers personally made me feel as though I was hearing the tale straight from a most reliable source. I was rapped from the start and finished the book in a little more than 24 hours.

My only word of caution is this: DO NOT listen to chapter 6 or 7 (in the app) at bedtime. I was so anxious as the teams began the climb to the summit, which is [spoiler alert] also when people start falling off the mountain. Not only could I not relax and go to sleep, when I finally dozed off, I didn’t sleep well and had anxiety-ridden dreams. Be smart and save the big finish for when you can deal with all the adrenaline rushing through your body. This is definitely NOT a relaxing bedtime story!

Lastly, while I love acoustic guitar, the mini musical interludes between sections and chapters just really felt out of place. Audible should go back and remove the music or change it to another, more appropriate sound effect.

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  • T Lou
  • 30-05-21

Excellent Book

I was a little hesitant to pick this up after reading several reviews about the author/narrator's dialect. I had no trouble understanding the author's narration at 90% speed. I always love it when an author narrates their own book, and this book was no exception.

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  • Dave
  • 06-05-21

Sad story well written and read

This was a well written and read story. It was interesting to learn about the complexities of coordinating multiple teams ascending K2, how things can go wrong, and the different reactions people have when they do.

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  • Steve Clifton
  • 06-04-20

Great Story

Really enjoyed the story, so interesting to hear from someone who was in the thick of it!

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  • JS
  • 09-11-19

Incredible story of endurance to survive!

This is an amazing story! Unbelievable what they all went through and the will to help others and to endure to save their own lives as well.