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Item #: BK22B-108
BEYOND THE LIMITS: A WOMAN'S TRIUMPH ON EVEREST Stacy Allison 1993 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Allison, Stacy with Peter Carlin
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Boston, Little, Brown, 1993, 1st edition. 256 pp, b/w photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine.

The first American woman to climb Mount Everest tells of her adventure and triumph.

From Publishers Weekly: On September 29, 1988, Allison stood atop Mt. Everest, the first American woman to reach the summit. Her achievement was doubly gratifying since it came on the heels of a failed attempt in 1987, defeated by the weather. Allison recounts her introduction to serious climbing in such places as Zion National Park, Yosemite, Mt. McKinley, Ama Dablam in Nepal.

For her, caught in an abusive marriage, climbing was more than a challenge. It was freedom. Establishing a construction business, she worked to raise money for expeditions and continued to climb. Her account of the 1988 expedition affords a glimpse into the world of big-time international climbing; her own experiences reveal admirable courage and determination. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews: Nail-biting mountaineering wins out over soap-operatics in this absorbing tale of a woman conquering internal and external mountains. On September 29, 1988, Allison became the first American woman to stand at the peak of Mt. Everest. But her training began decades earlier, when she tried rock climbing in Utah's Zion National Park ("everything I learned electrified me'') and was instantly hooked.

Here she grippingly describes her subsequent apprenticeship for Everest, with arduous stepping stones in Yosemite, Mt. McKinley, Pik Kommunizma in Russia, and Ama Dablan in the Himalayas. The terrors pile up -- blizzards, avalanches, dead companions -- but the exhilaration of the ascent never fades. ``Climbing is how I express myself,'' Allison declares, and indeed she finds meaning largely through upward movement, confessing that if forced to choose between husband and Everest, she would head for the hills.

Nonetheless, she values her love relations and relays them in school girl detail: "We lay there on our backs, talking about the stars....I was thinking: He's going to kiss me.'' The aim of this awkward dear-diary stuff seems to be to link true romance (which Allison finds with second husband David; her first turns out to be a wife-beater) and the attainment of mountain summits. No matter- -the action on the slope is what counts, and once up - especially above 19,000 feet, in the "Death Zone'' - Allison's account of mountaineering is as gritty as any. When she stands atop Everest and declares, "I was wide open now, and I was aware of everything....I was standing on the top, looking down at the world,'' readers will join in her gusto. Allison plans a summer 1993 assault on the world's most treacherous peak, K2; this memoir, despite its unnecessary soapiness, will find its own place in that small pile of really first-rate mountaineering books. 


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