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

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

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"Alpine Rising is a fascinating history of the crucial and frequently tragic role of local Nepalis, Tibetans, and Pakistanis on mountaineering expeditions to the world’s highest peaks."-- Jon Krakauer

The name of Maurice Herzog, the first man to reach the summit of Annapurna, is widely recognized, but how many know Ang Tharkay, the Sherpa who carried the seriously frostbitten Herzog on his back for miles? Although rarely mentioned in published accounts of early expeditions, local climbers have long been significant members of first ascents on the world’s tallest and most challenging peaks. In Alpine Rising, award-winning writer Bernadette McDonald sets the record straight by shining a light on these too often forgotten heroes.

Now, in the 21st century, it is often local climbers who are setting records. A Nepali team was the first to climb K2 in winter; they reached the summit while singing their national anthem. Pakistani climbers like Little Karim and Ali Sadpara devoted their lives to helping others survive and succeed on and off the mountains and their stories deserve to be more widely known. Not only a timely reminder of the need to recognize the contributions of local climbers and the importance of correcting the historical record, Alpine Rising is a celebration of a region’s local heroes.

Sales benefit the Khumbu Climbing Center (Nepal) and the ASCEND climbing program for girls (Pakistan)


  • Language: English
  • Publication Year: Feb 20, 2024
  • Edition: 1st
  • Author(s): Bernadette McDonald
  • Number of Pages: 272
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 978-1-68051-578-7

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