End of the Rope

Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood

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9781640091962 | Paperback 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | 344 pages Buy it Now

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9781640090316 | Ebook | 344 pages Buy it Now

Book Description

“Jan Redford is a bad–ass. She is also a born storyteller.” —John Vaillant, author of The Tiger

In this funny and gritty debut memoir, praised by Outside, Sierra, Alpinist, and more, Jan Redford grows from a reckless rock climber to a mother who fights to win back her future.

As a teenager, she sets her sights on the improbable dream of climbing mountains. By age twenty, she’s a climber with a magnetic attraction to misadventures and the wrong men.

Redford finally finds the love of her life, an affable Rockies climber. When he is killed in an avalanche in Alaska, a grieving Redford finds comfort in the arms of another extreme alpinist. Before long, they are married, with a baby on the way. While her husband works as a logger, Redford tackles the traditional role of wife and mother. But soon, she pursues her own dream, one that pits her against her husband.

End of the Rope is Redford’s telling of heart–stopping adventures, from being rescued off El Capitan to leading a group of bumbling cadets across a glacier. It is her laughter–filled memoir of friendships with women in that masculine world. Most moving, this is the story of her struggle to make her own way in the mountains and in life. To lead, not follow.

About the Author

Praise For This Book

Praise for End of the Rope1 of 5 Best Summer Books (Outside)
1 of 4 Books about Grief, Forgiveness, Love, and Friendship (Bustle)
1 of 8 Books to Read for Mother's Day (Book Riot)
1 of 19 Books Feminists Should Read in May (Bitch)
1 of 9 New Books About Nature & Hiking That You Should Add to Your Summer Reading List (Bustle)
1 of 14 Books We Can't Wait to Read in May (PureWow)
1 of 3 Heartwarming Books About Extraordinary and Unconventional Moms (Brit + Co)
1 of 14 Ways to Say “I Love You, Mom—And Mother Earth, Too” (Sierra)
1 of 9 Nonfiction Books to Read While You're Logged Off (Bustle)

"The book is a welcome addition to mountain literature, where women’s voices . . . are still noticeably rare . . . It will resonate with anyone trying to find her path in a confusing world that still sends women far too many mixed signals about who or what we should be." —Outside

"The wall scenes made my palms sweat. The funerals of loved ones lost to the mountains made me cry." —Outside, 1 of 5 Best Summer Books

"Redford is a masterful writer, about rock climbing, the outdoors, romantic love, and motherhood." —Jaime Herndon, Book Riot

"Charming and spirited . . . A moving story about learning how to make it in the wilderness, and how to survive in life, End of the Rope is a must–read for any hiker looking to forge their own path."—Bustle, 1 of 9 New Books About Nature & Hiking That You Should Add to Your Summer Reading List

"For fans of Cheryl Strayed, a debut memoir by a Canadian alpinist about learning to rock climb, and figuring out along the way that marriage and motherhood take as much, if not more, bravery than reaching literal peaks." —PureWow, 1 of 14 Books We Can't Wait to Read in May

"Jan mixes heart–pounding descriptions of her most exciting climbs with essential reflections and shows that a family can be a child, a mother, a father, and a mountain." —Brit + Co, 1 of 3 Heartwarming Books About Extraordinary and Unconventional Moms

"If you read Wild, then you know the bestselling memoir was about so much more than hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. So, too, is Jan Redford's End of the Rope about so much more than rock climbing. An incredible memoir about adventure, motherhood, friendship, and identity, this is a must–read for Strayed fans." —Bustle, 1 of 4 Books About Grief, Forgiveness, Love, and Friendship

"Your mountain–loving mother will welcome this hearty, harrowing, and funny new voice." —Sierra, 1 of 14 Ways to Say “I Love You, Mom—And Mother Earth, Too”

"It’s refreshing to read about a strong woman’s experiences in the climbing world, with topics like why men fight over leads, how climbing with men and women is different, and the difficulties of climbing with loved ones." —Climbing

"Candid and relatable." —Rock and Ice Magazine

"Redford depicts her genuinely riveting experiences with continual honesty throughout End of the Rope . . . Redford takes us through many years, relationships and plot twists with deft clarity and lyrical language, and always with a dose of humor." —Alpinist

"It’s a story filled with grit and loss, intensity and resilience, adventure and self–discovery, profound grief and immense wonder . . . End of the Rope is a must–read for any young woman challenged with forging her way in a space that is still largely dominated by men." —Bustle

"Whether she’s clinging to a rock face or fighting with her husband, it’s not Redford’s goal to make you feel comfortable. Through raw, authentic writing, she reminds her readers that there is extraordinary in the ordinary. And, while many of us may not find ourselves drawn to the same intensity as Redford was in her outdoor pursuits, you don’t need to be a mountaineer to relate to her story. End of the Rope reminds readers of the everyday victories we must learn to celebrate on the journey to fully becoming who we are." —Korrin Bishop, The Dyrt

"Her refreshing honesty, especially about her mistakes, is a welcome respite from more self–aggrandizing memoirs, and her refusal to shy away from the more turbulent parts of her past, including a tragic loss, balances well her lighthearted reminiscences . . . Redford has made her mark through sheer willpower and muscle." —Booklist

"The book . . . makes a powerful case for motherhood in the outdoors and feeds into a growing concern about the ways we have cut women off from nature; from spidering up a granite cliff in a climbing harness, from hiking as they heal from birth. Redford's story . . . is proof that women need to be supported in getting outside." —Romper

"If Jan Redford's story of nomadic rock climbing adventures—and her years spent trying to get back to them—doesn't make you want to leave your phone home and go on a weekend hiking adventure, nothing will. This story of nature, female friendship, and freedom is just what you need during a Twitter detox." —Bustle, Taking A Social Media Hiatus? 1 of 9 Nonfiction Books to Read While You're Logged Off

"With a wonderful combination of adventure and introspection, outdoor writer Redford tells of a life lived on the fringes of society and in the heights of the Banff mountains in British Columbia . . . Redford’s is a truly inspiring and honest account of what it means to be a strong woman who can reach new heights because she isn’t afraid to fall." —Publishers Weekly

"Worth the price of admission are Redford's up–close encounters with the rock itself . . . Worthy for aspiring climbers." —Kirkus Reviews

"Even if hanging off a mountain isn't your thing, this candid debut memoir will speak to your inner 'rock warrior' . . . Redford proves that it's never too late to reach for your dreams—or dyno for a jug, in climber's speak—or pursue new ones." —Lauren Matison, Shape

"Cheryl Strayed, move over: End of the Rope is a rambunctious, funny, heartstopping memoir that carries us along on an electric current of risk and courage." —Marni Jackson, Mountain and Wilderness Writing Program, Banff Centre, and author of The Mother Zone

"Compassionate and courageous, End of the Rope shows us that there are many types of bravery required, not just in the wilderness, but in surviving day–to–day life." —Tanis Rideout, author of Above All Things

"Jan Redford is a bad–ass. She is also a born storyteller, and this one—the mountains she has climbed, the men she has loved—and survived—is gritty, funny, tragic, and ultimately victorious. Women’s voices are a conspicuous rarity in the mountaineering world, and tobacco–chewing mothers’ voices are even rarer; Redford’s is a bracing and refreshing corrective—intimate, affectionate, loud, and clear." —John Vaillant, author of The Tiger

"A hair–raising triumph—my heart raced on every page, wondering if Jan Redford would seize her lost courage or plummet to physical and psychological annihilation." —Kathleen Winter, author of Boundless

"In this scrappy memoir of love, loss, and mountaineering, Jan Redford gracefully explores a familiar midlife quandary: how to balance safety with adventure." —Ada Calhoun, author of Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give