Ten days passed with no rescue attempt, while more than half an expedition was stranded and dying at 20,000 feet during a vicious Arctic storm. The bodies were never recovered. And, for reasons that have remained cloudy, there was no proper official investigation of the catastrophe.This book begins as a classic tale of men against nature, gambling--and losing--on one of the world's starkest and stormiest peaks. Reckoning by lives lost, it was history's third-worst mountaineering disaster when it occurred--but elements of finger pointing, incompetence, and cover-up make this disaster unlike any other. James M. Tabor draws on previously untapped sources: personal interviews with survivors and those involved in the aftermath, unpublished diaries and letters, and government documents. He consults not only mountaineers but also experts in disciplines including meteorology, forensics, and psychology. What results is the first full account of the tragedy that ended a golden age in mountaineering.