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Item #: OP124B-686
A HARD DAY'S SUMMER: SIX CLASSIC NORTH FACES SOLO. Alison Hargreaves 1994 1st UK edition DJ
By Hargreaves, Alison.
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London, 1994, 1st UK edition. 158 pp, color photos. Hargreaves was the first woman to climb the 6 great North Faces of the Alps in a single season. She died after climbing Everest and K2. DJ, Near Fine. 

Alison Hargreaves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alison Hargreaves (February 17, 1963 – August 13, 1995) was an English (from Derbyshire) female mountain climber who was considered by some in the early 1990s to be one of the best in the world. She was educated in Derbyshire at Belper School. Her accomplishments included being the first woman to scale Mount Everest unassisted in 1995, and soloing all the great north faces of the Alps in a single season—a first for any climber. This feat included climbing the famously difficult north face of the Eiger in the Alps in 1993. Hargreaves also climbed Ama Dablam (6812m) in Nepal. Her book about that season is called A Hard Day's Summer.

In 1995 Alison Hargreaves intended to climb the three highest mountains in the world—Mount Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga—unaided. On 13 May 1995 she reached the summit of Everest without the aid of Sherpas or bottled oxygen.

K2 Climb

After a brief return to the United Kingdom and her family, she left in June 1995 to join an American team who had gained a permit to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, located in Pakistan. K2 is regarded as a significantly more difficult and dangerous climb than Everest. By August 13, 1995, the remnants of the US team and Hargreaves had joined forces with a New Zealand and Canadian team at Camp 4, around 7600m above sea level, and at least 12 hours from the summit.

Later that day, having joined with a Spanish team above Camp 4, New Zealander Peter Hillary (son of Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary) decided to turn back, noting that the weather that had been fine for the previous four days appeared to be changing. At 6:45pm, in fine conditions, Hargreaves and Javier Olivar (Spain) reached the summit, followed by Rob Slater (US), Javier Escartín (Spain), Lorenzo Ortíz (Spain) and Bruce Grant (NZ).

All, however, died in a violent storm while returning from the summit. Canadian Jeff Lakes, who had turned back below the summit earlier, managed to reach one of the lower camps, but died from the effects of exposure.  Hargreaves's body was never found.

The climbing community and press had questioned the ethics of amother engaging in such a dangerous sport. Hargreaves responded 'that she had thought about taking her husband and children with her to basecamp, but she feels it’s rather 'inhospitable' there. Besides, none ofher male climbing partners had brought their young families along forthe climb.'

To commemorate the life of his wife, Alison's husband James Ballard took their two children to K2 to stand in the shadow of the mountain that claimed the life of their mother. His book about that journey is called One and Two Halves to K2.
 

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