In this his most challenging journey, Michael Palin tackles the Himalaya, the greatest mountain range on earth, a virtually unbroken wall of rock stretching 1800 miles from the borders of Afghanistan to south-west China. Penetrated but never conquered, it remains the world's most majestic natural barrier, a magnificent wilderness that shapes the history and politics of Asia to this day. Having risen to the challenge of seas, poles, dhows and deserts, the highest mountains in the world were a natural target for Michael Palin. In a journey rarely, if ever, attempted before, in 6 months of hard travelling Palin takes on the full length of the Himalaya including the Khyber Pass, the hidden valleys of the Hindu Kush, ancient cities like Peshawar and Lahore, the mighty peaks of K2, Annapurna and Everest, the bleak and barren plateau of Tibet, the gorges of the Yangtze, the tribal lands of the Indo-Burmese border and the vast Brahmaputra delta in Bangladesh.
Facing altitudes as high as 17,500 feet as well as some of the world's deepest gorges, Palin also passed through political flashpoints like Pakistan's remote north-west frontier, terrorist-torn Kashmir and the mountains of Nagaland, only recently open to visitors. They had a brush with the Maoists while filming in Nepal and advice from the Dalai Lama before crossing into Tibet. This book, compiled from his diaries, records the pleasure and pain of an extraordinary journey. Basil Pao, the inspired photographer of SAHARA, FULL CIRCLE and POLE TO POLE, captures the sensational beauty of the finest mountain scenery in the world. This is adventure at the very highest level.