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Though not as tall as Everest, the "Savage Mountain" is far more dangerous. Located on the border of China and Pakistan, K2 has some of the harshest climbing conditions in the world. Ninety women have scaled Everest but of the six women who reached the summit of K2, three lost their lives on the way back down the mountain and two have since died on other climbs.

In Savage Summit, Jennifer Jordan shares the tragic, compelling, inspiring, and extraordinary true stories of a handful of courageous women -- mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, poets and engineers -- who defeated this formidable mountain yet ultimately perished in pursuit of their dreams.

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061753527
List price: $7.99
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This is a very interesting book, both about the K2 and also the background/profile of the few women who climbed.Perhaps a lot people do not know that being the second tallest mountain in the world, K2 is a much harder climb than Everest and contrarily to it, here alpine style is the rule.To be honest I found the book a bit depressive and sad and it put me a bit off of ice climbing for the foreseen future; I'm sure there must be something interesting and fascinating about climbing K2 (and big ice mountains in general)...? if there is, I did not see it in this book; I only saw lots of masochistic pain and suffering all the way... Very easy read, though (don't read it, if you re into 8000 meters mountains!)read more
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This is an interesting, and sadly rare, book about the women who climb mountains, in this case the first five women to stand on the summit of K2. Although not the deadliest mountain to climb, that honour is held by Annapurna, this is a much harder mountain to scale than Everest and for every four people who reach the summit, once dies on the descent and of the first five women to scale the mountain three died on the way down, leading to an accusation of a Ks having a curse on women - this curse has now been broken as since completion of the book five women have successfully summated and descended from the mountain, although not without personal cost.What is interesting about this book is how different in personality and approach the five women were - two were married with children and their husbands stayed home to care for the children whilst their wives climbed (its interesting to note that these were the two British women, Alison Hargreaves and Julie Tulles), one, Liliane Barrard climbed, and perished, alongside her husband. Hargreaves was posthumously demonised for abandoning her children, but from the book I sense that both spiritually and financially she had little choice. All the women were suffered at the hands of other, male, climbers, Rutkiewicz was demonised for her seemingly selfish determination, Barrard seems to have lived, willingly, in her husband's shadow, Tullis and Mauduit were sexually harassed and all seem to have suffered allegations from other, male, mountaineers, that they hadn't actually summited mountains that they had climbed. This is an interesting read which balances out the testosterone fuelled world of mountaineering books.read more
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This is an interesting look at K2, the world's 2nd highest mountain, and a mountain that is considered by many to be considerably more difficult to climb than Everest. K2 is also deadlier than Everest, with roughly 1 out of 4 people who summit dying in the attempt. When this book was written, only 5 women had summitted the mountain, and three had died during their descent. The other 2 died on other mountains following their descent. Besides providing information on K2 and climbing, this book looks at the difficulties faced by women climbers, who are often judged by very different standards than men in the male dominated world of climbing. The main flaw in this book is that, with the exception of the Wanda Rutkiewicz, the first woman to summit K2, the author never really gets into the heads and motivations of these extraordinary women.read more
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This is a very interesting book, both about the K2 and also the background/profile of the few women who climbed.Perhaps a lot people do not know that being the second tallest mountain in the world, K2 is a much harder climb than Everest and contrarily to it, here alpine style is the rule.To be honest I found the book a bit depressive and sad and it put me a bit off of ice climbing for the foreseen future; I'm sure there must be something interesting and fascinating about climbing K2 (and big ice mountains in general)...? if there is, I did not see it in this book; I only saw lots of masochistic pain and suffering all the way... Very easy read, though (don't read it, if you re into 8000 meters mountains!)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an interesting, and sadly rare, book about the women who climb mountains, in this case the first five women to stand on the summit of K2. Although not the deadliest mountain to climb, that honour is held by Annapurna, this is a much harder mountain to scale than Everest and for every four people who reach the summit, once dies on the descent and of the first five women to scale the mountain three died on the way down, leading to an accusation of a Ks having a curse on women - this curse has now been broken as since completion of the book five women have successfully summated and descended from the mountain, although not without personal cost.What is interesting about this book is how different in personality and approach the five women were - two were married with children and their husbands stayed home to care for the children whilst their wives climbed (its interesting to note that these were the two British women, Alison Hargreaves and Julie Tulles), one, Liliane Barrard climbed, and perished, alongside her husband. Hargreaves was posthumously demonised for abandoning her children, but from the book I sense that both spiritually and financially she had little choice. All the women were suffered at the hands of other, male, climbers, Rutkiewicz was demonised for her seemingly selfish determination, Barrard seems to have lived, willingly, in her husband's shadow, Tullis and Mauduit were sexually harassed and all seem to have suffered allegations from other, male, mountaineers, that they hadn't actually summited mountains that they had climbed. This is an interesting read which balances out the testosterone fuelled world of mountaineering books.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an interesting look at K2, the world's 2nd highest mountain, and a mountain that is considered by many to be considerably more difficult to climb than Everest. K2 is also deadlier than Everest, with roughly 1 out of 4 people who summit dying in the attempt. When this book was written, only 5 women had summitted the mountain, and three had died during their descent. The other 2 died on other mountains following their descent. Besides providing information on K2 and climbing, this book looks at the difficulties faced by women climbers, who are often judged by very different standards than men in the male dominated world of climbing. The main flaw in this book is that, with the exception of the Wanda Rutkiewicz, the first woman to summit K2, the author never really gets into the heads and motivations of these extraordinary women.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
While I was very excited to read about the women to climb K2, I just couldn't finish this book because I couldn't take any more of Jennifer Jordan's writing. I'm as feminist as the next girl, but her overarching theme that mountaineers are all sexist and offended by the very thought of women climbers is a bit much.For example, I've read several books about the 1975 American expedition of K2... and all agree the expedition was a disaster because of the strained relationships between all of the climbers (all of whom wanted to be on the summit "A" team and refused to do any carrying for anything else if they were on the "B" team.) Was Dianne Roberts a point of contention on that expedition? Absolutely. Was she the reason is fell apart? Absolutely not... those climbers had problems with nearly everyone, including the men. They were angry because the expedition leader, Dianne's husband, was picking members of the "A" team and had family relationships with two crew members. And the 1978 expedition had problems with Cherie Bech not because she was female, but because she was having an affair with another climber while her husband was also on the expedition. While her husband was okay with this situation, the other climbers felt uncomfortable watching her share a tent with another man... wouldn't you be find this uncomfortable? It's telling that the men were also uncomfortable with the male expedition member involved in this whole situation too, not just Cherie.Jordan's zeal to point out every instance of possible sexism amongst climbers got so irritating, that I ended up putting the book aside early on. I would have enjoyed reading about these female climbers if the book was written by an author with less of an agenda.
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I'm not a writer, but I feel this is an obvious enough piece of advice to aspiring writers that I'm not unqualified to give it: 'I wanted to write a book but I didn't know what to write about' is not an impressive framing device for a book, and 'I finally had my book' is a fantastically inelegant closing line. You will sound like a raging narcissist, and it doesn't bode well for your ability to tell an interesting story in an interesting way.So it is with Savage Summit. It’s not least among the author’s sins that she talks about herself and her own feelings too much. If you’re Jon Krakauer and you in fact climbed Mount Everest on the expedition you are writing a book about, you’ve earned the right to focus on your own feelings and experiences in your book, but Jennifer Judson is not a mountain climber at all (nor should she be given her laughably hysterical reaction to falling, uninjured, into a crevasse) and has never been above base camp at K2. What’s interesting here is the women who climbed that mountain, not their biographer—and their stories are interesting, and the unique problems they face as women in a very male-dominated sport are interesting, but Judson just does not do this well. I think she could reasonably have expected that people reading this book might be interested in the sport of mountain climbing itself, but she glosses over this—there are baby pictures of the women in this book, but there are no pictures (nor even a map) of K2. The overemphasis on biography at the expense of the story of the sport and the mountain that links all the biographies together serves to make the book, to someone interested in mountain climbing, considerably less interesting.
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This book is in some ways depressing as all the main characters die and you know that in the beginning. But you also gain great respect and insight into the lives and motivations of 5 very different women climbers. The stories are well researched and well-told. I have read other books, particularly on Wanda Rutkewicz and Alison Hargreaves that round out their stories. Those are the 2 best-known female climbers of K2 and indeed, of their generation.
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