On May 17, 2010, a 37-year-old Spaniard named Edurne Pasaban became the first woman to climb all fourteen peaks higher than 8,000 meters. This record-breaking accomplishment put the Basque woman on National Geographic’s 2010 “Adventurers of the Year” list. The next year, both The Alpinist and Outside magazines placed her on their “Adventurers of the Year” lists, too.
Pasaban’s accomplishment did not come without controversy: Another woman, Korean climber Oh Eun-Sun, claimed to have completed the peaks a few weeks earlier. Later inquiries revealed that Oh Eun-Sun had failed to summit Kangchenjunga in 2009 and her claim was eventually withdrawn, leaving Edurne as the clear victor. But how did she get there?
Published for the first time in English, Tilting at Mountains tells Edurne’s heartfelt and deeply personal story. She details not only how she came to climb the 8,000-meter peaks——the competitive nature of her Basque heritage played a role, as did, admittedly, an interest in handsome climbing guides——but also how her love for the mountains pulled her from a deep, soul-crushing depression. The book covers her climbs on all the 8,000-meter peaks, some of which were almost cakewalks while others were climbed at great cost, including the loss of close friends.