Surrounded by 20,000 foot peaks which effectively seal off the mountain at their center, the Nanda Devi Sanctuary was virtually impenetrable. But in 1934 Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman made the first of their great Himalayan expeditions by forcing a way up the river gorge. In 2000, the Sanctuary was entered for one single visit. Hugh Thomson was offered a place on this unique expedition led by Eric Shipton's son, John Shipton and the great Indian mountaineer, Colonel Kumar. This journey forms the basis of the book. Woven through it are all the amazing stories that surround the mountain—a powerful blend of myths and politics.