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Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life Paperback – Bargain Price, March 5, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
-- Steve Roper, author of Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber and other climbing books.
"Breaking Trail is an inspiring and affecting story of struggle and triumph. It is fluent and highly readable and keeps you turning the pages until the very end."
-- Peter Gillman, co-author of The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory
"A warm, sensitive account of an extraordinarily adventuresome life. Arlene Blum's life and her writing are indeed an inspiration to both men and women. This book is a must read for those who wish to reach the highest level of personal fulfillment."
-- Helen Thayer, author of Polar Dream: The Heroic Saga of the First Solo Journey by a Woman and Her Dog to the Pole
"Breaking Trail shows that Arlene Blum's persistence and determination over time have won out and opened the way to countless other women to excel at climbing around the world."
--Ann LaBastille, author and ecologist
"I stand in awe, respect and gratitude for Arlene Blum's story as recounted in Breaking Trail. Her memoir is aptly named for her pioneering adventures in the surprisingly recently male-dominated world of high altitude mountaineering. I took for granted my right to pursue my climbing dreams and passions until I read of her determination, struggles, and conquests."
-- Sharon Wood, first North American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest
"This is an extraordinary memoir. I was constantly astonished by Blum's achievements - overcoming a difficult family background to become a sane and compassionate human being; achieving academic success in the girl-unfriendly world of the hard sciences; and making an end run around mountaineering sexism by organizing (among other climbs) the successful all-women conquest of Annapurna, one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. I simply inhaled this book."
-- Sherry Ortner, anthropologist and author of Life and Death on Mt. Everest
"Arlene Blum's Breaking Trail is a magnificent and compelling story. Blum's leads the reader into beautiful, exciting, and terrifying world of mountain climbing. Her writing soars. She beautifully conveys the drama, mind set and courage that it takes to go to places where few have ventured, and where fewer have survived. Her story is inspiring. It's as much about leadership, as it is living life fully, and forging through, over, and around obstacles to reach one's goals in life. It's a great book."
--Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica
"Breaking Trail is a compelling memoir by one of mountaineering's most remarkable pioneers. Arlene Blum offers a poignant and riveting personal account of a life of adventure and companionship in exploring and summiting many of the great peaks of the world."
-- Michael Useem, Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton Business School, author of The Leadership Moment and Leading Up
"Good climbers are rare; good climbing stories are even more rare. So this book is a gem: a pioneering climber tells her story with grace and courage and in it she emerges heroic and utterly human. Gripping and heartbreaking, this is a story that will galvanize every reader. "
--Susan Fox Rogers, author of Solo: On Her Own Adventure
"Breaking Trail follows Arlene's route from her childhood, to the halls of academia, to the roof of the world with insightful and inspirational prose. The reason why we climb is never an easy question, yet Arlene searches her soul for her own motivations and in doing so provides a picture (story) that spans her childhood and career as a physicist."
--Conrad Anker, author of The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
become a metaphor for what all women face when they aspire to dreams outside the suburban marriage with freezer, soccer kids, and SUV. Her voice is intimate, modest, and honest. By the time I finished this book, I felt like we had been hiking together for days. This is not just a running account of a life spent in the highest peaks on earth--it is also the story of an accomplished scientist and social activist who is an inspiring role model for women of any age. She has lived a creative, adventurous, and
uniquely imagined life, rich in adventure, beauty, love, and tragedy. She is the embodiment of: "If you can dream it, you can do it." After I finished the book, I was able to go to her website, where there are twelve slide shows of the climbs she writes about in the book; seeing the color photos of many places and incidents mentioned in the book took my breath away and only deepened my appreciation of this remarkable woman. She was not afraid to follow the deepest currents of her own soul into the mountains at a time when there were virtually no women participating in serious mountaineering (except to cook and make the coffee or truck loads of gear from one base camp to another while the guys made the glamouress sprints up to the summit.) Even having lived through it (being a contemporary of Ms.Read more ›
In a macho arena, where women were considered to be mere appendages to the male of the species, when considered at all, the author is surely a trailblazer. With her world famous, women only, expedition to summit Annapurna, she put women on the mountaineering map, letting the world know that a woman's place is on top. Independent and singular in her desire to make her mark, the author has written a memoir that provides insight into her desire to climb mountains, as well as her development as both a person and a woman.
Set across the backdrop of women's changing roles in the social fabric, this memoir is an intimate and compelling look at a life well-lived and filled with achievement in a man's world, as the author is not only a mountaineer but a well-respected scientist known for some ground-breaking research that has had impact on the general public. Neither of these fields was initially receptive to the inclusion of woman, and the author's memoir details her travails in gaining acceptance as an equal, both as a mountaineer and a scientist.
Written with humor and insight, the author creates an intimate memoir that chronicles her development into the person that she became. This is a memoir that will keep the reader engaged and turning the pages of this wonderful book. Highly enjoyable, those who are interested in why one would climb mountains, as well as those who enjoy well-written, interesting memoirs, will love this book. Bravo!
Blum has an amazing story to tell, and she tells it like Scheherezade--every episode leaving the reader impatient for the next chapter. In the end the book is about the triumph of the human spirit, and you don't need to be a climber to appreciate it. Buy it and open it--Blum will do the rest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book in about a week. Arlene's life is fascinating and inspirational. I have recommended it to some of my friends.Published 8 months ago by Linda
Definitely a worthwhile read. I continue to be inspired by Arlene Blum's story.Published 11 months ago by Joanna Gutierrez
couldn't put this book down! Like reading a great novel for a mountaineer armchair traveler.Published 17 months ago by Berkeley CA
Great story of women challenging the "old boy's club" of climbing! Much better than others I've read on women climbing.... not focused on heroics, but on life as a climber.Published 18 months ago by S. Louda
I thought it was a terrific adventure story and personal drama all in one. I love stories about climbing and am taking the book to some friends that love to hike and travel.Published 18 months ago by Mark Kaplan
i love arlene blum. first of all, she's a great story teller. i read many women's climbing books and some are lacking in the writing style department. Read morePublished 20 months ago by JA S
This is a wonderful, honest look at the life of an exceptional woman. Arlene's many accomplishments are very inspiring. This book is a joy to read. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Steve Goobic
A great adventure, a great tale of climbing and a pathway for women created. The photographs on the authors website are spectacular! Read morePublished 23 months ago by BearintheWoods
I read the book and loved it so I ordered it for a friend who also likes to hike. The book was funny, making me laugh at times (Jewish childhood) heartwarming and very motivating. Read morePublished on April 26, 2014 by rebecca bidinotto