It stands as the ultimate challenge to human endurance, where dreams and destiny meet--and often collide. Its routes are steeper and more difficult than those of Mount Everest, and the weather is significantly colder and less predictable. Only 148 men and women have reached its summit--and 21 of them never made it back down. The mountain, of course, is K2, and Heidi Howkins didn' t want to " just climb" it. She insisted on doing it alpine style--without established camps, porters, or supplemental oxygen. "K2 is her ...
It stands as the ultimate challenge to human endurance, where dreams and destiny meet--and often collide. Its routes are steeper and more difficult than those of Mount Everest, and the weather is significantly colder and less predictable. Only 148 men and women have reached its summit--and 21 of them never made it back down. The mountain, of course, is K2, and Heidi Howkins didn' t want to " just climb" it. She insisted on doing it alpine style--without established camps, porters, or supplemental oxygen. "K2 is her riveting, stunningly photographed first-person account of her historic climb, as a member of the American K2000 expedition. Seeking to be the first American woman to accomplish this feat, Howkins, a mother of a seven-year-old, believes the rewards of living on the edge outweigh the risks whenever she sets foot on the world' s highest peaks. " Mountaineering is a life-or-death situation, " she explains. " And I have to be ready for whatever challenge I may face. I take it seriously. My daughter gives me a desperate kind of strength that helps motivate my training." "K2 is a powerful testament to this uncommon courage and determination.
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When one thinks of female athletes, female scientists, female bomber pilots such as Kelly Flinn, one thinks of them as being successful and therefore confident and independent, and vice versa. It comes as a shock and a disappointment to read that they stay in abusive relationships for more than a day. Yet such is the case with Heidi Howkins, who stayed in an abusive relationship with her husband Zee for way too long (even when he'd once tried to kill her she stayed with him because he threatened to take her daughter away to Syria). She tells that story and more in K2: A Quest For The Summit. Eventually she frees herself from Zee, she rises above the obstacles placed in her way from other climbers in this male-dominated world. She's a good writer and tells the story well.
It's not a story of one climb but of several, it's a series of memoirs, really. Why does Howkins use the hitchiker 'Hiddle' as a foil - someone to tell her stories to? Other reviewers of this book have dismissed him as a fictional character, (and a bad device at that) - yet nowhere in the book does Howkins say that he is...so why do they assume so? Because it's impossible to believe a man could sit in a car with a woman and listen to HER talk? Pay attention to HER talk? If Hiddle the hitch-hiker is a fiction, why did Howkins think it necessary to use this foil? Well, their conversations do illuminate her stories the more...for example in the beginning with his talk of 'Ananku' or trouble. She is capable of learning from her adventures, long after they have passed.
''Go ahead, I'm listening.'' she has Hiddle say. One wonders if in the real world she ever had a man who said that to her, and meant it.
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