Lady Killer Peak: A Lone Man’s Story of Twelve Women on a Killer Mountain: Harper, Stephen
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Lady Killer Peak: A Lone Man’s Story of Twelve Women on a Killer Mountain

Author(s): Harper, Stephen

Copyright: 1965, World Dist, London
Specifications: 1st, small 8vo, pp.124, wraps
Condition: rubbed, vg

Harper tells the story of Claude Kogan’s tragic 1959 all-women’s expedition to Cho Oyu (26,750’). Kogan was an exceptional climber having set a women’s altitude record with the first ascent of Nun Kun (23,410’ 1953) and then increased that record when she reached 25,496’ on her first attempt on Cho Oyu, sixth highest mountain in the world, in 1954. It was following the latter expedition, during which expedition leader Raymond Lambert made the decision to abandon the summit attempt over Kogan’s protests, that Kogan vowed to return with an all-women’s expedition. Tragically, her impatience to reach the summit during a break of fine weather before the end of monsoon storms led to her death along with three others. The expedition was contracted to give Harper, a Daily Express reporter, full and exclusive access to their story. This is based on diaries, interviews, reminiscences, and letters and notes sent to him in Kathmandu.

This book was revised and expanded in 2007 under the title ‘A Fatal Obsession’. Curiously, this later edition made no reference to the earlier 1965 edition. When I inquired about this the publisher denied that ‘Lady Killer Peak’ existed. An important book on this early expedition and quite hard to find.

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