Finding Elevation: Fear and Courage on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain

Girl Friday Bks. Jan. 2023. 244p. ISBN 9781954854673. $24.95. TRAV
Thompson writes that she started climbing big mountains out of blind ambition and a lot of defiance, the quiet kind that is built on hard work, training, dedication to a goal, and lots of internal reflection and self-doubt. Each chapter starts with her elevation and a line drawing of a mountain range. This simple illustration tracks the highs and lows of Thompson’s journey. Thompson got hooked on big mountains after a first, failed attempt at Mt. Rainier, which she later summited. Amid all the highs, both literally and figuratively, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. Five months later, she was climbing Nepal’s Manaslu when conditions deteriorated, ending the expedition. Weeks prior to her 2016 Everest expedition, she had reconstructive breast surgery—and she still summited. Her decision to climb K2 in Pakistan next, the world’s deadliest mountain, was another example of her ambition and defiance, and her success reinforced her belief in herself, her body, and her strength.
VERDICT This outstanding mountaineering memoir will appeal to readers of outdoor adventure, climbers, and those who revel in successful women athletes.
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