Well-known for his Himalayan expeditions and first ascents on rock walls in Australia and the United States, Greg Child freely admits his mixed feelings about climbing. Overwhelming are the loss of friends, the thrill of achievement, and the soul-shattering moments of risk and survival; but it is precisely these experiences that compel him to write and to continue climbing.
In Mixed Emotions, Child remembers the mountains, the people, and the episodes that have made him feel his life acutely, including the 1986 K2 tragedy that killed 13 climbers; a near-fatal snakebite in his native Australia; and the loss of climbing partner Pete Thexton. He recalls his associations with world-renowned mountaineers Doug Scott, John Roskelley, Voytek Kurtyka, and Don Whillans. Child also narrates fascinating off-mountain journeys to a secluded Hindu shrine, and the remote, harsh landscape of the Baltoro Glacier, where progress has left its indelible mark.
Finally, Child comments on some less tangible aspects of climbing, such as the ghostly presence that accompanies climbers under duress, and the meanings of and inevitable meetings with death.