I could not put this book down. I knew nothing of alpine climbing to begin with, but became engrossed by the descriptions of the mountains that inspired the lives of the first five women who climbed K2. Myself, I am inspired by the strength of these women. One reviewer commented that the author seemed to have something against male climbers. I did not get this feeling, but rather felt that she was descrbing things as they were, with men often resenting and feeling threatened by these women's accomplishments. As other reviewers have said, these women were indeed complex. I was struck by the pattern of some of their deaths: continuing on when weather was bad for example, or underestimating their need for gear in their summit bids. But then, at 8,000+ meters in freezing temperatures and with little food to eat and scarce oxygen in the air, one can understand how decisions would be difficult! I suspect that these mistakes are not unique to women, but have claimed the lives of many a climber, male and female alike.
A wonderful read, an inspiration, and a tribute to the awesome power of nature and the strength and fragility of human life.