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Charlotte Austin

Ines Papert, Jarmila Tyrill, Jewell Lund, Pat Deavoll, Natalia Martinez, Kei Taniguchi, Silvia Vidal, Han Mi-sun (front) and Chae Mi-sun.

Freedom in the Hills

For decades, female alpinists have made extraordinary ascents from remote big walls to storm-swept peaks. In an article from Alpinist 52 (Winter 2015), Charlotte Austin explored some of the lingering barriers of the past and the growing potential for the future.

No Guarantees

At noon on April 25, 2015, I was walking with my client on a rocky trail in the valley between the Nepali villages of Chukhung and Dingboche. The air smelled of wood smoke and juniper. A handful of shaggy yaks grazed in the distance. There was no wind.
The ground shook without warning. I lurched sideways. Rocks the size of pickup trucks crashed down the valley walls to our left and right, bouncing like rubber balls before shattering into splinters.