All But One: One Woman's Quest to Climb the 52 Highest Mountains in the Alps (BOK)
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The Alpine Fourthousanders are 52 magnificent mountains that make up one of the mountaineering world's major tick-list challenges. Barbara Swindin describes, with verve and honesty, her attempts to reach the summits, her triumphs and shortfalls, and her slowly dawning awareness that she just might become the first British woman to climb them all. But, although the goal was a heady one, still more important is her enduring delight in the mountain environment. Alongside Barbara's own exploits on foot and ski are insights into the 'petticoat pioneers', women who dared to tackle alpine routes at a time when alpinism was strictly the preserve of men. She also looks at the progress that has been made by women since. Barbara grew up in 1950s Gloucestershire (where, as she points out, nothing exceeds 350m above sea-level) and has never regarded herself as a natural sportswoman. Nevertheless, she is a member of the Alpine Club who succeeded in climbing the Alpine Fourthousanders - all but one.