For over three decades Pat Deavoll has been climbing at the elite level of her sport, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, in the Canadian Rockies and Alaska and undertaking extreme, world-class expeditions to the great mountain ranges of Central Asia, including the Himalayas and the Karakorum. In Wind from a Distant Summit she tells of her beginnings in the mountains of New Zealand, and of how far a singular level of drive, determination and talent has taken her - there are few mountaineers in New Zealand, women or men who have managed her level of achievement, and who have climbed so hard for so long. This book however, is more than an account of her remarkable adventures, for it delves into the more personal aspects of elite mountaineering; the personal sacrifices required to lead a life lived out on the edge, the challenges of being a woman in an activity so dominated by men, and an exploration of the motivation that drives her and others to take such extreme risks. But what is perhaps most remarkable about Pat Deavoll is that she has achieved so much despite a life-long struggle with clinical depression, and about which she writes with a moving honesty.
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Wind from a Distant Summit is a rich and compelling story with enough humanity and insight to make this a wonderful read for anyone interested in the possibilities of an adventurous life.