“Sharon Wood, the first North American woman to summit Everest, reflects on her groundbreaking achievement, on the sport of mountaineering, and on the subsequent 30 years of personal and relationship development. Written lyrically about the harsh natural environment and with unflinching honesty about personal growth, Rising illustrates how social connections and support systems – essentially relationships of all kinds – can have lingering effects and shape the path to success.”
BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
In Rising, Wood reflects on the seventy days she spent on Everest and on the pivotal experiences and influences that brought her to that staggeringly beautiful and austere corner of the world. Beyond the physical hardships, she faced personal challenges as an outlier in the male bastion of Himalayan climbing. These were compounded by the vexing presence of her past mentor and lover with his new girlfriend on the American team climbing on the same side of the mountain. It didn't help that the media pitched the two women as rivals, both vying to become the first North American woman to reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world. Wood rose to all these challenges, finding camaraderie and inspiration among her teammates.
Rising is both a gripping, adrenalin-filled mountain story and a reflective memoir that reaches beyond the summit to explore a life lived in Everest's long shadow: unexpected acclaim, outrageous expectations, and personal struggles. As Wood tells her story today, her perspective is steeped in six decades of life experience rich with adventure, change, growth, and humility. It is a tale that feels poignantly relevant—a testament to the strength of the human spirit to overcome all obstacles, whether mountain peaks, social expectations, or self-imposed barriers.