Snowshoes and Shipton: Climbing Muztag Ata in the Chinese Pamirs

Snowshoes and Shipton: Climbing Muztag Ata in the Chinese Pamirs

ISBN: 9781301949557 | ASIN: B0069UU2I0

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About this book

“The dazzling-white dome … crowned with a shimmering field of eternal snow,” was how the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin described the Father of the Ice Mountains. The 20th century explorer and mountaineer Eric Shipton was unimpressed, describing Muztag Ata much more soberly as, “an isolated peak somewhat resembling a volcanic cone in appearance.”

Yet Shipton failed to reach the summit after walking for several hours in thick snow trying to find it. He vomited from exhaustion on the way down, and returned to his tent with frostbite which left him unable to walk for several weeks afterwards. The man famous for his many expeditions to Everest later said he’d never felt so cold on a mountain in his life.

Undeterred by Shipton’s failure, I thought I’d have a go at the mountain myself. Despite its gentle appearance, Muztag Ata reaches an impressive height of 7546m. It presents no particular technical challenges, but the steep slog through snow for several days is a true test of physical endurance at such an extreme altitude.

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Praise from readers

“I have read 6 of Mark’s stories from the ‘Footsteps on the Mountain’ series and this was my favourite. Once again it’s superbly written, with great detail, photos and description.”

“This is another good read for those interested in the Himalayas and high altitude adventure. I like Mark’s writing as it gives good accounts of the day to day life while on extended treks.”

“Mark Horrell specialises in short travelogues about his, normally guided, climbing exploits … He tells it like it is, obviously taking the prose from the notes he makes in his daily diary – a style that I like.”

“A quick trip to China … it’s always fun to tag along on one of Mark’s trips even if only on the internet.”

“A great book, easy to read and plenty happening to keep you interested. A perfect read on the plane or while you are travelling, but best of all gives you inspiration to get out there and live.”

“Superb. You can’t go wrong with Mark’s work. I would say buy all his titles and book your trip!”