When trek leader Anne Batterson arrives in Kathmandu this time, she admits that it is not the trekking business that lures her back to Nepal again and again.
“I have come back to Kathmandu because I cannot stay away. Because somewhere in this seductive and holy maze there is something I cannot do without.”
What follows is the story of her journey through the beautiful and terrifying mandala of Nepal, its ancient culture, compelling mysteries, its breathtaking a dangerous mountains.
Embedded in this narrative is a flashback of a trek to Jalgale mountain in eastern Nepal a time when the author was plagued by personal loss, the potential loss of a client due to altitude sickness in a place where descent (the only cure) was impossible, the threat of bandits, and reports of human sacrifice to the goddess Kali on the trail ahead.
On another level, False Summits is about the extraordinary innocence of contemporary adventure travelers who take off for remote and exotic parts of the world in search of the “peak experiences” they have read about in glossy brochures—and paid a lot of money for—without any real understanding of the stakes involved. And it is about the conflicting feelings, loneliness and isolation of a leader who does know.