Cover image for K2, dreams and reality
K2, dreams and reality
Haberl, Jim, 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Vancouver : Raincoast Books, [1994]

Physical Description:
110 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 26 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library GV199.44.P182 K1829 1994 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Central Library GV199.44.P182 K1829 1994 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Audubon Library GV199.44.P182 K1829 1994 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Jim Haberl's compelling and gorgeously illustrated first-person account of his successful 1993 assault on K2, the storied Himalayan mountain second only to Everest in altitude, bristles with danger and glistens with the splendor of his experience. You are at his side as he describes, step by step, the arduous ascent he and his companions forged to the top. He spares no detail of his emotions along the way -- exhilaration at his moment standing atop the world, and devastation at the death of his close friend and climbing partner, Dan Culver, on their descent from the peak.

Destined to become a classic of mountaineering lore, K2: Dreams and Reality will earn a cherished place on the bookshelves of experienced mountaineers and armchair explorers alike.

K2: Dreams and Reality is the fifth book in the Raincoast Journeys series.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Armchair alpinists will perk up for the memoir of Whittaker, America's well-known and first Everest summiteer in 1963, whereas the peril of K2 pierces Haberl's account of the first Canadian ascent of that peak in 1993. Haberl's story style--one piton after another--is unexceptional for the genre, but exceptional for the subject: K2, reputedly the most technically difficult status symbol in the mountaineering world. Only about 100 people have touched its top; one-third as many have died in the attempt--including one member of Haberl's party, part of a death toll of five in 1993. That knowledge subdues the text, but not the pictures, which are magnificently jagged panoramas under blue-black skies. The physical layout of the book is attractive as well, appealing to soft-core interests by illustrating basic gear, Pakistani porters, and the Karakoram Range, over which K2 towers. Whittaker's recollections emphasize the technicalities of mountaineering over its deadly attractions. Before he became famous, he had become reputable as a guide and rescuer on Rainier and Denali in the 1950s, lucky to return alive to the climbing equipment co-op he built up in Seattle. Thus prominent in the then tiny climbing community, he was recruited for the National Geographic Society's Everest expedition, which he chronicles matter-of-factly, its deaths and "firsts" alike. Now famous, Whittaker came to RFK's attention: JFK's avatar wished to climb the peak Canada had named in his slain brother's memory and asked Whittaker to guide him. They became friends, Whittaker stumping for RFK until the second Kennedy tragedy returned him to business, and to the Himalaya as leader of three expeditions. Two must-have titles for mavens of mountains. --Gilbert Taylor

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