Danvedi Garwal is the highest peak in the Toribol system; a magnificent stratocone volcano rising high above the surface of the tiny Lochlon moon, Utha. The mountain remains unconquered after repeated attempts by climbers from dozens of worlds where alpine climbing is an interplanetary obsession. Now, Alois Anwar will finally get his chance to lead a group of the finest mountaineers alive to the top. But there is more to the challenge than reaching the summit. The Amanian ascent team faces political complications from a rival nemisis Trescan team advancing on the opposite side of the mountain, along with everything else the mountain throws at them including deadly parasites, period cyclones, ice worms, pagan myths, the hopelessness of failure and the greatest obstacle of all...themselves.