• Buried in the Sky

  • The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day
  • By: Amanda Padoan, Peter Zuckerman
  • Narrated by: David Doersch
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,068 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Edmund Hillary first conquered Mt. Everest, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was at his side. Indeed, for as long as Westerners have been climbing the Himalaya, Sherpas have been the unsung heroes in the background. In August 2008, when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2, the world’s most dangerous peak, two Sherpas survived. They had emerged from poverty and political turmoil to become two of the most skillful mountaineers on earth. Based on unprecedented access and interviews, Buried in the Sky reveals their astonishing story for the first time.

Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan explore the intersecting lives of Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, following them from their villages high in the Himalaya to the slums of Kathmandu, across the glaciers of Pakistan to K2 Base Camp. When disaster strikes in the Death Zone, Chhiring finds Pasang stranded on an ice wall, without an axe, waiting to die. The rescue that follows has become the stuff of mountaineering legend.

At once a gripping, white-knuckled adventure and a rich exploration of Sherpa customs and culture, Buried in the Sky re-creates one of the most dramatic catastrophes in alpine history from a fascinating new perspective.

©2012 Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

" Buried in the Sky is a compelling account of the men who have literally shouldered the rest of the world’s mountaineers up K2." (Norman Ollestad, best-selling author of Crazy for the Storm )

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What listeners say about Buried in the Sky

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great perspective & a total page turner

I listened to this book over the course of two days, that's really fast for me and a testament to what a fast read 'Buried in the Sky' is. I love books about mountaineering and extreme sports and I now consider 'Buried in the Sky' among my favorites. The 2008 season on K2 was a tragedy and listening to the telling of it is extremely addictive, but the perspective of the Sherpa climbers, Pemba and Chhiring, was what made this book stand out. How and why the people native to the Himalaya region make the difficult choices (and sometimes they have little choice) to become porters/guides/climbing team members is such a silent voice in the world of mountaineering novels. Exploring the spiritual beliefs of the region was an eye-opening glimpse into the local relationship with the landscape and the prevailing views on mountaineering. I definitely recommend this book - really interesting read.

11 people found this helpful

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Great Storytelling/ Story

What does David Doersch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

As a narrator, David Doersch makes great effort to bring this book to life. Especially noteworthy in this performance are his attempts to articulate accents, and onomatopoeia.

Any additional comments?

"Buried in the Sky" examines the business of high altitude climbing from a vastly different perspective than many accounts penned by other authors on the topic. From the Rowaling Valley in Nepal (altitude 12,000 feet above sea level) up the soaring slopes of the world's tallest peaks, the authors follow key points in the life of Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and his own personal journey out of poverty and up the mountains, first as a porter, and then as a mountaineer. The story finds it's apex on K2 in 2008 when 11 climbers perished on the slopes. The book is well written and trimmed with rich cultural detail, bridging a crevasse sometimes left untraversed by other authors on the subject. Noteworthy about the book is the authors' attention to rich folklore, adding a new dimension to those 8,000 meter giants.

9 people found this helpful

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Amazing Story

This was my first audio book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The background and detail were magnificently done. The narrator was excellent, using (but not over using) dialects. I had previously read (in book form) "Into Thin Air", but I thought this book even better. The authors truly made me feel like I knew each of the main characters, with my heart stopping many times, and breaking into smiles at other times. The descriptive writing was "spot-on"! I was disappointed when the book ended!

7 people found this helpful

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Sherpa's are the true mountainieers

Where does Buried in the Sky rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top 10

Who was your favorite character and why?

all Sherpa's

Have you listened to any of David Doersch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes
More respect for the Sherpa's
and less respect for the so called mountaineers
Sherpa's did all the hard tasks with very little appreciation
and pay. No such thing as insurance for the Sherpa's that
did not make it. The Sherpa's undertook the climbing as a honor.
They worshiped each mountain.

Any additional comments?

Read most climbing books thinking the mountaineers did so much more.
They did very little in setting routes, camps, & equipment. There's no way they could even reach the base camps without the Sherpa's help. Many Sherpa's per climber.

5 people found this helpful

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Awesome account

K2 has always held more mystery and beauty than Everest for me. This account of a tragic day on this mountain told from the perspective of the sherpas is powerful and heartbreaking. A story needed to be told.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written and narrator better than you think.

What made the experience of listening to Buried in the Sky the most enjoyable?

In spite of the first couple of minutes sounding like a computerized reader, the narrator does a very good job.

What did you like best about this story?

It seems to be well researched with a great deal of background on the attempts to climb K2.

Which scene was your favorite?

No favorite. There were several good descriptions of climbing difficulties.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No strong reaction, except that it was a very involving and easy to listen to book.

Any additional comments?

More than one reviewer has remarked about the narration sounding mechanical. Fortunately, that only lasts for the first minute or two of the recording. After the first couple of minutes, the narrator does a fine job, including pronunciations of difficult names and believable accents and voices.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great Narrator but boring story

It was really the narrator's voice that kept me hanging on to the end of this book, as much a struggle as it was. He has a great voice to listen to but as much as I was interested to hear the story, It was more like listening to someone read an encyclopedia. Way too much history on things that were irrelevant. Unless you want to know the details about the history of various parts of the country and culture, like a history buff, you might pass on this. The book covers way too much ground. Half the time I didn't know if i was in the present or the past of the story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Interesting enough

I have many mixed feeing about this audiobook, the story is interesting and I enjoy how the authors go into detail in some sections, but the whole storyline seems disjointed and like it’s trying too hard to tie in the histories of the mountain and some key players. My biggest grievance with this book though is the narrator - it’s painful to hear him mispronounce simple mountaineering terms. I wish they would have recruited someone familiar with the sport and the terminology frequently used.

Like my title suggests, it is interesting enough, but I don’t think I’ll listen to it twice.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book, easy listen and great adventure

Its so sad when the Sherpa and Hi altatude Porters are blamed or left out of offical accounts. What I love about this story is that it shows the courage, honor and determination on the worlds highest mt's. of these Sherpas and Hi Altatude Porters without whom a good number of Western Climbers would never make it above basecamp. What happened on K2 in 2008 was so poorly reported that this book gives you a good look inside the tragedy that was taking place. It also talks of history and educates you on the cultural differences between villages.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes mountaineering books and adventure books

2 people found this helpful

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Great, great book!

One of the very best books I've ever read. Gives the story of mountain climbing from the perspective of the Sherpa, without whom Westerners would never have climbed the highest peaks in the world but who are mostly unsung heroes. Excellent performance by narrator as well.

2 people found this helpful