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Sherpa legend told of an enchanted valley with an invisible village, Shangri-La, that was said to be a place of great beauty.
The valley became the nemesis of legendary mountaineer Edmund Hillary, who travelled there to climb 7,129m Baruntse, but succumbed to the irresistible draw of Makalu, the great black mountain which towered over the valley. Makalu vanquished him, and he was never the same climber again.
Fifty years later, Mark Horrell embarked on a trek up the Barun Valley to follow in Hillary's footsteps – at least some of the way. He hoped to climb Baruntse, but when he arrived, he learned of a terrible accident that had shaken the climbing community and would threaten his plans.
Yet one of the virtues of climbing in the Himalayas is that just reaching a mountain can be a great adventure. Join Mark on an entertaining journey across jungle, moorland, hill and valley to the frozen heights of the Barun Plateau.
About this series
The Footsteps on the Mountain Diaries are Mark's expedition journals. They are edited versions of what he scribbles in his tent each evening after a day in the mountains, with a bit of history thrown in. Light-hearted and engaging, they provide a perfect introduction to life on the trail.
He has published two full-length books: Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest (2015), about his ten-year journey from hill walker to Everest climber, and Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo (2019), about an expedition to cycle and climb from sea level to the furthest point from the centre of the earth.