Maurice Herzog and his team certainly made history with their climb of Annapurna, but I wanted to comment on the more understated heroes in the story: the Sherpas, and the mountain climbers’ relationships with the natives of Nepal. Herzog’s attitude towards the Nepalese varies throughout the novel. Sometimes he greatly appreciates what they do for him and his team, but at other times they seem to be no more than just a standard piece of equipment used in early mountain climbing. Although Herzog continually states that the French were the first to conquer Annapurna, without the Sherpas this would not have been possible. The Sherpas are treated as lesser beings because of their nationality and their mercenary motivation, because unlike the Frenchmen they aren’t climbing for the glory. On page 94, Lachenal says “We’re not Sherpas!” to which Rebuffat adds, “We didn’t come to the Himalaya to be beasts of burden.” This mindset extends even further than the Sherpas because Herzog demonstrates this mentality of superiority when coming across other native Nepalese. For example, when the natives come to Oudot for medical help, Herzog patronizingly describes the “touching simplicity of these creatures” because they view the doctor as “a sort of god” (201). On the next page, he goes onto describe the system of “voluntary recruitment” where they forced the “coolies” to carry their loads (203). While I enjoyed parts of this novel, I kept coming back to the idea that for these men, the people they encounter are merely tools to help them achieve their grand goal: an ascent of Annapurna.