Facing The Extreme: One Woman's Tale of True Courage, Death-Defying Survival and Her Quest For The Summit

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9780312179427: Facing The Extreme: One Woman's Tale of True Courage, Death-Defying Survival and Her Quest For The Summit

She stepped into a death zone. The climbers on Alaska's Mt. McKinley called her "the woman." Ruth Anne Kocour, a world-class mountaineer, wasn't bothered. It was part of the challenge she faced as she joined an all-male team to conquer North America's highest peak...the mountain the Indians called Denali, or God.

Faced the extreme. But nine days into this ascent, a forty-fifth birthday present to herself, the most violent weather on record slammed into the mountain. Ruth Anne and her group would be trapped on an ice shelf at 14,000 feet for the deadliest two weeks in Denali history. Pinned down by blinding snows, unable to help other teams dying around her, and her own feet freezing solid, Ruth Anne tells of a wind chill of minus 150 degrees, deadly hidden crevasses, and being trapped in a place so violent and unforgiving that it threatened to push her over the edge and into a place of no return. And yet, in prose as crystalline as the ice around her, she tells, too, of beauty, courage, and the spirit that drives true mountainers higher, as she risks all to go for the summit...and perhaps, for a transcendant moment, touch heaven.

And lived to tell about it.

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Review:

Ruth Anne Kocour found herself in the middle of a brutal storm with 100-mph wind blasts and plummeting mercury. Problem was, she happened to be bivouacked halfway up North America's highest mountain, Alaska's 20,320-foot Mt. Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley). Facing the Extreme is her story of survival against the elements, a struggle that required every last bit of physical and mental endurance--not to mention alpine skills, resourcefulness, and luck. By the end of the storm, 11 climbers were dead. Kocour's gripping tale is one of the few of its kind written by a woman, a refreshing change of voice that reflects a changing demographic in the outdoors community.

From the Publisher:

"Facing the Extreme deserves a place high on the list of books about mountaineering." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Kocour passionately recounts how all ten members of her team survived the storm that took the lives of eleven other climbers." --Library Journal

"Facing the Extreme is not just another heroic climbing tale, rather a metaphor for anyone who has faced 'impossible' odds--and prevailed." --John Long, noted climber and author of Rock Jocks, Wall Rats, and Hang Dogs.

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Kocour, Ruth Anne; Hodgson, Michael
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