Published titles > Photography > The Karakoram
The Karakoram cover image
UK £50.00
US $70.00
Hardback with jacket
160 pages
90 duotone and colour illustrations
34.6 x 28 cm (13.75 x 11.25 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4687-0
The Karakoram
Ice Mountains of Pakistan

Colin Prior

Essay by Mick Conefrey

The ice mountains of the Karakoram are among the world’s greatest natural treasures. K2 is the second tallest mountain on Earth, and there are three other mountains in the range that top 8000 metres (26,247 ft). With its highest peaks located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of north-eastern Pakistan, the Karakoram is part of a complex of Central Asian ranges that includes the Hindu Kush to the west and the Himalayas to the south-east. These mountains, however, are distinctive. This is the most glaciated region on the planet outside the Arctic and Antarctic. But while most of the world’s great peaks are almost blanketed in snow and ice, the Karakoram is an exception: the mountains are so vertical that they rapidly shed snow, leaving their bold, jagged outlines of granite glistening in the sun. The name of the range comes from the Altaic term for ‘black gravel’ or 'black pass'. The renowned landscape photographer Colin Prior was initially inspired to visit the Karakoram in his early twenties after picking up a book by the climber and photographer Galen Rowell and being instantly captivated by images of the sharp, fractured peaks and vast glaciers. He has been passionate about these mountains since his first trip in the mid-1990s. Prior’s new book is the result of a further five expeditions to the region. Because it is so remote, each expedition requires careful planning and miles of trekking with a team of porters and ponies. There are regular rockfalls and perilous snow-covered crevasses to contend with. The reward for Prior is what he calls the ultimate mountain landscape: ‘The scenery is graphic, with towers, minarets and cathedrals of rock.’ This elegantly produced volume showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Karakoram in some 90 duotone and colour photographs. The images are arranged to follow Prior’s progress up the glaciers, and are accompanied by well-chosen quotations from historical accounts of early expeditions. Mick Conefrey – author of The Ghosts of K2, an account of the first ascent of this iconic mountain – contributes an essay on the importance of photography to the Karakoram and to mountaineering in general, while Prior's introduction chronicles each expedition he has made, and highlights the challenges of documenting the most exceptional mountain range in the world.


The first high-quality photography book devoted to the spectacular Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan

Features 90 spellbinding duotone and colour images by the celebrated landscape photographer Colin Prior, who has spent years documenting the range

With an essay by the award-winning author and film-maker Mick Conefrey

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Author Profiles

Colin Prior is an acclaimed landscape photographer with almost four decades of experience. He seeks out patterns in the landscape and the hidden links between reality and the imagination. His images capturing sublime moments of light and land are the result of meticulous planning, and often take years to achieve. His previous books include Living Tribes (2003), The World’s Wild Places (2006) and Scotland’s Finest Landscapes (2014). Among Prior’s awards are the National Adventure Awards, Business Category Winner (2015), and the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture (2020). He has been the subject of three BBC documentaries entitled Mountain Man.

Mick Conefrey is an award-winning author and film-maker. His documentary The Ghosts of K2 won prizes at the Banff, Telluride and Trento film festivals, and the accompanying book, published in 2015, won a US National Outdoor Book Award. He has made films on Everest, the Matterhorn and Mount Denali, and has travelled all over the world. His previous books include The Adventurer’s Handbook (2010), Everest 1953 (2012) and The Last Great Mountain (2020). He lives in Oxford with his family. 

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In every critical aspect, The Karakoram is a phenomenal achievement. This book and these photographs truly are the summits of Colin Prior’s lifelong journey of the imagination… Highly recommended.

on lanscape: the online magazine for landscape photographers

A lavish book

Outdoor Photography

The definitive photographic record of the Karakoram

The Scotsman

An ideal and unreservedly recommended acquisition for any community, college, and university library Landscape Photography collection and the personal reading lists for anyone with an interest in mountaineering.

Midwest Book Review
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