Alpine Rising: Sherpas, Baltis, and the Triumph of Local Climbers in Greater Ranges: McDonald, Bernadette
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Alpine Rising: Sherpas, Baltis, and the Triumph of Local Climbers in Greater Ranges

Author(s): McDonald, Bernadette

Copyright: 2024, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.269, 14 color & 3 bw photos, black cloth
Condition: signed, dj & cloth new

Maurice Herzog is well known in mountaineering circles and beyond as the first man to reach the summit of Annapurna, but how many people know about Ang Tharkay, the Sherpa who carried the severely frostbitten Herzog for miles on that 1950 French expedition? Although rarely mentioned in published accounts, local climbers from the Himalaya and Karakoram, such as Tharkay, have long been significant members of expeditions and first ascents across the world’s tallest and most challenging peaks.

McDonald sets the record straight by presenting a compelling account of achievements by Sherpa, Balti, Ladakhi, Hunza, Astori, Magar, Bhotia, Rai, and Gurung alpinists. From the survivors of disastrous early attempts on Nanga Parbat to Tenzing Norgay’s first ascent of Everest in 1953 to the feats of countless lesser-known climbers, Alpine Rising gives recognition where recognition is due, both historically and in the present day.

In the twenty-first century, local climbers are stepping onto center stage. A team of Nepali alpinists recently became the first to summit K2 in winter—and they sang their national anthem as they took the final few steps to the summit together. All of Pakistan united to mourn the death of beloved climber Little Karim, an accomplished mountaineer best known for his high-altitude rescues of foreign climbers and his generosity to his community. Yet the journey has not been easy: decades of tradition have established a dynamic that favors foreign climbers over locals, and emerging from the shadow of this systemic colonialism takes time and enormous effort.

With unprecedented access to climbers and their families, and assisted by researchers on the ground in Pakistan and Nepal, McDonald has crafted a groundbreaking book that will fundamentally change how readers understand the history and legacy of mountaineering in the Greater Ranges.


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