“This . . . is the Himalaya, where life unfolds in all its grace and terror, revealing as much as it withholds. This anthology attempts to capture some of its complexity and vastness, traveling through time, place, and altitude. Beauty and melancholy, courage and defeat, philosophy and poetry surprise and illuminate us in these pages.”—from the introduction by Namita Gokhale
For some, the Himalaya is a frontier against which people test themselves. Others find refuge and tranquility in the mountains, a place where they can seek their true selves, perhaps even God. Over millennia, the mountains have cradled civilization itself and nurtured teeming, irrepressible life. With over thirty essays, this exhilarating anthology offers a dazzling range of voices that reveal accounts of great ascents and descents—from reflecting on a deadly avalanche to searching for a snow leopard and enjoying the simple pleasure of riding a handcar down a railway track. These diverse writings bring to life the spirit of the Himalaya in an unparalleled panorama.