K2, The Savage Mountain:

K2, The Savage Mountain: The Classic True Story of Disaster and Survival on the World’s Second Highest Mountain

by Charles S. HoustonRobert H. BatesJim Wickwire

This is a captivating read about the 1953 American expedition to K2. The mountain had yet to be conquered despite numerous attempts, and the Americans hoped this would finally be their year. The team was made up of experienced climbers, including two who were part of the 1938 K2 expedition, but it was their camaraderie and strong belief in teamwork and brotherhood that pulled the climbers together when injuries and extreme weather forced them to retreat 1000′ below the summit. Written in a straightforward, unromantic manner by members of the 1953 expedition, K2, The Savage Mountain tells the story from its humble beginning to the desperate descent in hellish conditions.

Paperback, 336 pages

Published May 1st 2000 by Lyons Press (first published 1954)

ISBN 1585740136 (ISBN13: 9781585740130)


Boardman Tasker Prize – The most prestigious prize for Mountain Literature

The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature is a UK based annual prize awarded by the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust to an author or authors for ‘an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature.’

It was established in memory of British climbers Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, both of whom wrote books about their mountaineering expeditions, and died on the north-east ridge of Mount Everest in 1982.

The Prize is considered as the highest award a Mountaineering book can get, although there are other prizes given by Book Festivals such as the Banff Book Festival.

It can be awarded for a piece of fiction or non-fiction, poetry or drama, although the work must have been written in (or translated into) English.The prize is announced at the annual Kendal Mountain Festival.

The list of winners so far is:-

  • 2016 Simon McCartney, The Bond: Two Epic Climbs in Alaska and a Lifetime’s Connection Between Climbers
  • 2015 Barry Blanchard, The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains
  • 2014 Jules Lines, Tears of the Dawn
  • 2013 Harriet Tuckey, Everest – The First Ascent: The Untold Story of Griffith Pugh, the Man Who Made It Possible
  • 2012 Andy Kirkpatrick, Cold Wars: Climbing the Fine Line between Risk and Reality
  • 2011 Bernadette McDonald, Freedom Climbers
  • 2010 Ron Fawcett with Ed Douglas, Ron Fawcett, Rock Athlete
  • 2009 Steve House, Beyond the Mountain
  • 2008 Andy Kirkpatrick, Psychovertical
  • 2007 Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places
  • 2006 Charles Lind, An Afterclap of Fate: Mallory on Everest
  • 2005 Andy Cave, Learning to Breathe
  • 2005 Jim Perrin, The Villain: The Life of Don Whillans
  • 2004 Trevor Braham, When the Alps Cast Their Spell
  • 2003 Simon Mawer, The Fall
  • 2002 Robert Roper, Fatal Mountaineer
  • 2001 Roger Hubank, Hazard’s Way
  • 2000 Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman, The Wildest Dream: Mallory – His Life and Conflicting Passions
  • 1999 Paul Pritchard, The Totem Pole: And a Whole New Adventure
  • 1998 Peter Steele, Eric Shipton: Everest and Beyond
  • 1997 Paul Pritchard, Deep Play: A Climber’s Odyssey from Llanberis to the Big Walls
  • 1996 Audrey Salkeld, A Portrait of Leni Riefenstahl
  • 1995 Alan Hankinson, Geoffrey Winthrop Young: Poet, Mountaineer, Educator
  • 1994 Dermot Somers, At the Rising of the Moon
  • 1993 Jeff Long, The Ascent
  • 1992 Will McLewin, In Monte Viso’s Horizon: Climbing All the Alpine 4000m Peaks
  • 1991 Alison Fell, Mer de Glace
  • 1991 Dave Brown and Ian Mitchell, A View from the Ridge
  • 1990 Victor Saunders, Elusive Summits
  • 1989  John Harrison, Climbers
  • 1988 Joe Simpson, Touching the Void
  • 1987 Roger Mear and Robert Swan, In the Footsteps of Scott
  • 1986 Stephen Venables, Painted Mountains: Two Expeditions to Kashmir
  • 1985 Jim Perrin, Menlove: The Life of John Menlove Edwards
  • 1984 Linda Gill, Living High: A Family Trek in the Himalayas
  • 1984 Doug Scott and Alex MacIntyre, The Shishapangma Expedition



Also Check .

100 Best Mountaineering Books


100 Best Mountaineering Books


To choose books on mountains  can be hard . Here is a list of “100 Best Mountaineering Books” compiled by www.chesslerbooks.com.
The books highlighted in green bold italic are related to PakPeaks.

  1. The Last Blue Mountain (Barker)
  2. Seven Summits (Bass)
  3. Five Miles High (Bates)
  4. Challenge of the North Cascades (Beckey)
  5. No Picnic on Mount Kenya (Benuzzi)
  6. Annapurna: A Woman’s Place (Blum)
  7. Sacred Summits (Boardman)
  8. The Shining Mountain (Boardman)
  9. On The Heights (Bonatti)
  10. Annapurna South Face (Bonington)
  11. The Ascent of Rum Doodle (Bowman)
  12. The Hard Years (Brown)
  13. Twenty Years in the Himalaya (Bruce)
  14. Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage (Buhl)
  15. Men Against The Clouds (Burdsall)
  16. Climbing Ice (Chouinard)
  17. A Walk in the Sky (Clinch) [Gasherbrum I]
  18. Canadian Rockies, New and Old Trails (Coleman)
  19. Climbing on the Himalaya (Collie)
  20. The Pioneers of the Alps (Cunningham & Abney)
  21. Minus 148 (Davidson)
  22. Summits and Secrets (Diemberger)
  23. The Conquest of Mount Cook (Du Faur)
  24. The Shameless Diary of an Explorer [Denali] (Dunn).
  25. Karakoram and Kashmir (Eckenstein)
  26. Aconcagua South Face (Ferle)
  27. The Ascent of Mount St Elias (Filippi)
  28. Karakoram and Western Himalaya (Filippi)
  29. Ruwenzori (Filippi)
  30. The Highest Andes (Fitzgerald)
  31. Travels Through the Alps of Savoy (Forbes)
  32. The Exploration of the Caucasus (Freshfield)
  33. Everest 80 Years of Triumph and Tragedy (Gillman)
  34. Eiger Direct or Direttissima (Gillman)
  35. Summit Fever (Greig)
  36. Downward Bound (Harding)
  37. Pioneer Work in the Alps of New Zealand (Harper)
  38. The White Spider (Harrer)
  39. Seven Years in Tibet (Harrer) [best selling book in 1950s]
  40. I Come From The Stone Age (Harrer) [Carstenz]
  41. White Mountain and Tawny Plain (Hauser) [Andes]
  42. The Throne of the Gods (Heim & Gansser)
  43. Annapurna (Herzog) [best selling Mountaineering book of all time]
  44. View From The Summit  (Hillary)
  45. Everest The West Ridge (Hornbein) [also a photo book]
  46. K2 The Savage Mountain (Houston & Bates)
  47. Climbing in North America (Jones)
  48. Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada (King)
  49. Cordillera Huayhuash (Kinzl & Schneider)  [also a photo book]
  50. Cordillera Blanca (Kinzl & Schneider) [also a photo book]
  51. Into Thin Air (Krakauer) [1997 Everest best seller]
  52. Alpine Pilgrimage (Kugy)
  53. To Kiss High Heaven (Languepin) [Nanda Devi]
  54. The Alps and Alpinism Lukan [also a photo book]
  55. Climb to the Lost World (MacInnes)
  56. Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills (Manning) [best selling technique book]
  57. Karakoram (Maraini)
  58. Where Four Worlds Meet (Maraini)  [Hindu Kush]
  59. In Monte Viso’s Horizon (McLewin) [Alps]
  60. All Fourteen Eight-Thousanders (Messner) [also photo book]
  61. Everest Expedition To The Ultimate (Messner)
  62. Solo Nanga Parbat (Messner)
  63. The Mountains of California (Muir)
  64. My First Summer in the Sierra (Muir)
  65. My Climbs in the Alps and Caucasus (Mummery)
  66. Mountaineering in Scotland (Murray)
  67. The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (Murray)
  68. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (Newby)
  69. The Climbs of Norman-Neruda (Norman-Neruda)
  70. The Fight For Everest 1924 (Norton) [Mallory story]
  71. South Col [Everest] (Noyce)
  72. One Man’s Mountains (Patey)
  73. Extreme Alpine Rock (Pause) [best Alpine climbs, also a guidebook]
  74. Climbing Days  (Pilley) [Early Women’s Climbing]
  75. Land of Mountains: New Zealand (Radcliffe) [also a photo book]
  76. Mont Blanc: The 100 Finest Routes (Rebuffat) [also a guidebook]
  77. Starlight and Storm  (Rebuffat)
  78. The Last Step [1st American ascent of K2] (Ridgeway)
  79. The Mountain of My Fear [Alaska climb] (Roberts)
  80. Fifty Classic Climbs of North America (Roper & Steck. ) [
  81. In The Throne Room of the Mountain Gods (Rowell) [K2 climb]
  82. The Vertical World of Yosemite [also a photo book] (Rowell)
  83. Solo Faces [fiction] (Salter)
  84. Four Against Everest (Sayre)
  85. Big Wall Climbing (Scott)  [also a technique book]
  86. Blank on the Map [Karakoram exploration classic] (Shipton)
  87. Nanda Devi [1930 Himalayan climbing classic] (Shipton)
  88. Touching the Void (Simpson) [Gripping 1980s best seller]
  89. Camp Six (Smythe) [Everest classic]
  90. Climbs and Ski Runs (Smythe)
  91. The Playground of Europe (Stephen) [19th century best seller]
  92. The Ascent of Denali (Stuck) [Denali 1st ascent]
  93. Everest The Cruel Way (Tasker) [Everest in Winter]
  94. The Glittering Mountains of Canada  (Thorington)
  95. The Ascent of Nanda Devi  [First Ascent]
  96. Snow on the Equator  [Kili, Kenya}
  97. Everest The Kangshung Face  [Extreme new route]  Venables.
  98. Everest Summit of Achievement Everest book] (Venables)
  99. Mountaineering Maps of the World. 2 Vols [excellent maps] Yoshizawa.
  100. Mountaincraft [1st bestselling technique book, every edition different] Young.

Any books missed out ?Tell us in comments below.

Source: Chessler Books

Also see  

K2: The Story of the Savage Mountain

SOLO- Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage By Hermann Buhl