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Annapurna: A Woman's Place av Arlene Blum
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Annapurna: A Woman's Place (urspr publ 1980; utgåvan 2015)

av Arlene Blum (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1982101,028 (3.85)8
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. AndAnnapurna: 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.… (mer)
Medlem:Walnuttree
Titel:Annapurna: A Woman's Place
Författare:Arlene Blum (Författare)
Info:Counterpoint (2015), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Annapurna: A Woman's Place av Arlene Blum (1980)

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It felt quite fitting to read this book during the first substantial snowfall of the year. I could look out the window at white coldness and imagine being among the Himalayan heights. Annapurna tells of the American Women's Himalayan Expedition that in 1978 attempted the summit of Annapurna I, the world's tenth highest peak. At the time, no woman had ever climbed a 8,000 meter peak (26,200 ft. Annapurna is 26,540 ft.)

I really had no idea what mountain climbing is like before reading this book. The amount of planning, logistics, manpower and supplies was staggering. The ten-women team had to overcome male prejudice, disagreements among themselves, fatigue, frostbite, altitude sickness, and disgruntled porters. The colorful character of Nepal contrasted sharply with the austere beauty and danger up on the mountain. The last twenty pages were particularly gripping. I was frightened just reading about the dangers they faced. Why exactly do climbers put themselves at such risk? Blum makes it clear that mountain-climbing is not just about the challenge, thrills or proving that women can do it. There is a serenity and peace to be found at high altitudes- they climb because they love to do so, in spite of how difficult it is. I particularly liked this quote at the front of the book:

You never conquer a mountain.
You stand on the summit a few moments,
Then the wind blows your footprints away.

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Jul 11, 2015 |
Having read lots of the 'Boys' Own Adventures' type climbing stories, and thoroughly enjoying them, I might add, I was looking for something from the experience of my own gender. I liked the book, and there were only a few minor things that grated. The particularly 1970s type feminism, in all its naivete and idealism was amusing at times. More offensive was the at times patronising tone towards the porters and sherpas (I am looking forward to reading Sherri Ortner's book about Sherpas). The gung-ho-ness of some of the women (we don't need porters, we don't need sherpas) was interesting but a bit cringe-making.
Unfortunately, at the end we had an update on the lives of the survivng members, but nothing further about the Sherpas. This is despite Blum having half-Sherpa children and spending much of her time in the Himalayas, and mention that one had divorced the Sherpa cook. So Blum one might imagine, might have had the resources to do an update on the Sherpa people on the expedition as well. Did any of the women they mistakenly involved ever make it back on an expedition?

The quality of production is good. I particularly like that the photos are integrated into the text, so it comes together as a whole, with illustrations right at the point of narration, rather than the more usual photo prints gathered together as plates once or twice in a book . It does give a slighty peculiar "text-book" look to it, but I think it works well. "Ghosts of Everest" is another book that achieves this, with very high quality colour pics. I liked the pics recording every day things around the camps.

All in all, a good read and enlightening about an activity in which I am an armchair fellow-traveller. ( )
  saliero | Jun 25, 2007 |
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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. AndAnnapurna: 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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