K2 : One Woman's Quest for the Summit

3.39 (79 ratings by Goodreads)
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At 28,250 feet, K2 is an enduring testimony to the strength of the human spirit, a mountain where dreams and destiny meet, and sometimes collide. It is considered one of the ultimate challenges for professional high-altitude climbers, a mountain that eschews mere luck and demands both physical and mental fortitude. As of May 2000, only 148 men and 5 woman have reached the top. Eighteen of those men and 3 of those women never returned, and for the past five years the weather conditions have been so severe that no one has successfully reached the summit from the Pakistan side. Although it is approximately 800 feet lower than Mount Everest, the established routes on K2 are far more difficult than the standard (Western Cwm/SE Ridge) route on Everest. Temperatures are on average 10 degrees colder, the climate is much more arid, and the weather windows are shorter and less predictable. K2 is also much steeper. Howkins route on the Abruzzi Ridge involves 3,500 vertical meters of climbing in a space of 3 horizontal kilometers, or an average 49-degree slope. Howkin's goal is to climb K2 in alpine style (without established camps, high-altitude porters, or supplemental oxygen.
Howkins ambition for the expedition is to do more than "just climb" K2. "We should measure our success not by numbers, but by style," she explains, "It's not what you do, it's how you do it that matters. If you can dream it, you can do it. But don't just do it. Do it with compassion and style." A single mother of a 7 year-old daughter, Howkins believes the rewards of living on the edge outweigh the risks she takes whenever she sets foot on the world's highest peaks. "Sometimes its very terrifying when I think of not seeing my daughter again. Mountaineering is a life or death situation and I have to be ready for whatever challenge I may face. I take it very seriously. My daughter gives me a desperate kind of strength that helps motivate my training."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 146.6 x 222 x 21.8mm | 417.31g
  • Washington, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • colour illustrations, portraits
  • 079226424X
  • 9780792264248

Rating details

79 ratings
3.39 out of 5 stars
5 11% (9)
4 35% (28)
3 38% (30)
2 11% (9)
1 4% (3)
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