Annapurna: A Woman's Place

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9780871568069: Annapurna: A Woman's Place

In August 1978, thirteen women left San Francisco for the Nepal Himalaya to make history as the first Americans—and the first women—to scale the treacherous slopes of Annapurna I, the world’s tenth highest peak. Expedition leader Arlene Blum here tells their dramatic story: the logistical problems, storms, and hazardous ice climbing; the conflicts and reconciliations within the team; the terror of avalanches that threatened to sweep away camps and climbers.
On October 15, two women and two Sherpas at last stood on the summit—but the celebration was cut short, for two days later, the two women of the second summit team fell to their deaths.
Never before has such an account of mountaineering triumph and tragedy been told from a woman’s point of view. By proving that women had the skill, strength, and courage necessary to make this difficult and dangerous climb, the 1978 Women's Himalayan Expedition’s accomplishment had a positive impact around the world, changing perceptions about women’s abilities in sports and other arenas. And Annapurna: A Woman’s Place has become an acknowledged classic in the annals of women’s achievements—a story of challenge and commitment told with passion, humor, and unflinching honesty.

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Review:

In 1978, 13 women set out to climb Annapurna I in the Nepal Himalaya, achieving the first ascent of the world's 10th highest mountain by an American and by a woman. By proving that women had the skill, strength, and courage necessary to make this difficult and dangerous climb, the 1978 Women's Himalayan Expedition's accomplishment had a positive impact around the world, changing perceptions about women's abilities in sports and other arenas. Twenty years later, Arlene Blum has republished her account, offering her story to a new generation. Blum writes in the introduction,

Annapurna has become for me a metaphor for difficult and important goals. Striving to achieve such objectives draws on all of our abilities and brings out the best in us. There are still many 'Annapurnas' to be climbed in the world--such as protecting our natural environment; decreasing the gap between rich and poor; providing basic necessities for everyone on this planet; and raising our children to live with love and good values.
Impressive black-and-white photos record the women's journey from Katmandu to the summit and back again. This book documents the personal triumphs and tragedies of these women with insights that only a firsthand account can offer. --Kathryn True

About the Author:

Arlene Blum is a biochemist with a doctorate in physical chemistry. In her twenty years of climbing, she has taken part in more than fifteen expeditions, including the first all-woman climb of Mount McKinley and the 1976 American Bicentennial Expedition to Mount Everest. Ms. Blum also led the 1983 Great Himalayan Traverse, a 2,000-mile trek from Bhutan to Ladakh. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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