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Annapurna: A Woman's Place
The 1978 all-woman ascent of Annapurna I

Format Book Category Narratives
Title Annapurna: A Woman's Place  Pages 258 
Author Arlene Blum  RRP  
Publisher Granada  Reviews
Edition 1980  Ave Rating ***** (4.50 of 5)


User Comments
I've just re-read Annapurna Woman's Place - it's not just another story of a bloated expedition. This is beautifully written, exciting, and ultimately tragic: after two (Irene Miller and Vera Komarkova) of the thirteen woman team make history as the first women to reach the summit, the second summit team (Vera Watson and Alison Chadwick) fall to their deaths. There are familiar elements: crevasses, constant avalanches, personality clashes, but the dynamics of an all-woman expedition are different to the usual competitive blokey Himalayan scene. And there some interesting debates: Alison Chadwick arguing fiercely that an 'all-woman' expedition has no business using Sherpas (she loses the argument); and the attitude of the Sherpas themselves to the American memsahibs. I don't recall other expeditions where one of the members starts a relationship with the Sherpa cook ... they later get married in Wyoming. But ultimately the book stands or falls on the writing, and Arlene Blum has written a fine book. Recommended for non-climbers as well as climbers. 


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