Ghosts of K2 – Mick Conefrey

Ghosts of K2 - Mick Conefrey
Ghosts of K2 – Mick Conefrey

Another history of the 20th century’s attempts to ascend, and descend, the world’s second highest mountain – K2.

K is for Karakoram, and “The Savage Mountain” as it’s sometimes called, lies on the border between Pakistan and China, in the former’s far north west, an area I visited back in 2006, and fell in love with.

So, yes, trekking to Concordia is on my wish list.

Climbing K2 is not!

Conefrey’s 2015 book culminates with the ultimately successful 1954 attempt by the Italian team organised and run by Ardito Desio, although – in my view – not truly led by him as Professor Desio spent most of the time at Base Camp, leaving the mountaineering to the mountaineers – including Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli who made it to the top. The book also discusses the long term fall out, and falling out, that ensued.

I don’t recall Conefrey describing Desio as a Count, but that may account for his management style and insistence on hierarchy – and travelling by plane whilst leaving his lowlier mountaineering companion, Riccardo Cassin, to travel by train on their 1953 reconnaissance.

Author page: Ghosts of K2 – Mick Conefrey