Chip Smith, American from Colorado
Jennifer Chantdeloup, his French red haired girl friend
Manfreid Guttenstein Austrian.
Maria Garibaldi, from Argentina
Dr. David Blake Canadian reseach into Cordyceps and Friiillana thunbergli
Siegfried Hass the climb leader
Zachery Taylor Spoonworthy, the millionaire oil man from Texas
Rose Chinese Interpreter
Lu Gardener, weather witch
OK, there is a mountain in Yunnan province of China that has never been climbed. All of the tallest mountains have been climbed, so mountain climbers are looking for impossible mountains. It is also located in an area that many consider to be the inspiration for Shangri La. So we have an expedition of men and women who have been gathered by a rich Texas oil man, in order to get big face for him and for China. He wants glory, and oil deals from the Chinese who are running out of oil.
Our protagonist, is a reporter from Louisiana who is researching a novel on the Flying tiger WWI mercenary unit that flew in Yunnan. He takes off time from his job to go to Kunming, the capitol of Yunnan, to do research. By chance he runs into the leader of the expedition. He gets "roped in" to writing about the adventure. Instead of writing about old history, he gets the chance to cover it live.
See the character list for more details about people. Most of the romantic conflict centers around Gary, the Louisiana reporter, and Lilly, who is the expedition guide and interpreter. She ends up on the mountain. He must save her. A classic romantic story. Except she is the strong one, he is the weak one. How does he resolve this?
Greed shows its face in Zacharias, the Texan. He hovers above it all, the puppet master. He knows things others don't and he can pull strings to make things happen.
In the climbing group there are personal conflicts as well. People who like or hate each other, their weaknesses and strengths are shown during the climb. Who is good, who is bad?
Ancillary character are Scott the Climbing magazine reporter. The Llama, Lilly's father, the gardener/weather man, Mike the lawyer. The Chinese soldiers.
The back story.
Lilly and her father; both are botanists, both know the mountains. Both went to England, to study, she learned perfect English. He was tortured by the Red Guards. Both have secrets.
Zacharias; Oil man, rich, unscrupulous, driven, charming and dictatorial. The wild card.
Sigfriend, the leader of the climb. German, mercurial. Good or bad? Mountain climber.
The team. Jason is the closet friend to Gary, Australian, with a salacious manner, but who also has a secret.
The team all have secrets. We will discover them during the climb.