2006 murder in the Himalayas

Winner of the 2011 Banff Mountain Festival Book Award: Best Book, Mountain and Wilderness Literature.

… in 2006, an impulsive, naïve young Tibetan nun and her best friend, both yearning for religious freedom from Chinese rule, joined a group of fellow Tibetans desperate to escape to India, where the Dalai Lama has lived since the 1950 annexation of Tibet by China.

Kelsang Namtso and Dolma Palkyi embarked on the brutal journey over the Himalayas. Smuggled by illegal guides past Chinese border police, the group braved freezing temperatures and snow, the high altitude, and perilous crevasses.

Green alternates the refugees’ trek with that of Luis Benitez, an American celebrity mountain guide leading a rich group of international clients to the Himalayan peak Cho Oyu. The two groups met on the peak as Chinese guards, alerted to the refugees’ presence, chased after the escapees with machine guns ablaze, and Kelsang was killed in full view of the Westerners. …

Murder in the High Himalaya: Loyalty, Tragedy, and Escape from Tibet by Jonathan Green (2010)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The author is a good writer. But there are numerous factual errors. He needed a better editor and more expert proof readers.

Green doesn’t sound like a climbing insider to me. I suspected he’d never visited Cho Oyu nor Tibet in writing the book.

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