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. And Annapurna: 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.