Press Reviews for Breaking Trail

Washington Post Article 1/12/2006

SF Chronicle feature December 15, 2005

SF Chronicle review Sunday, November 27, 2005

Booklist Review for the American Library Association

Blum, Arlene. Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life. Oct. 2005. 336p. illus. Scribner/Lisa Drew, $26 (0-7432-5846-0). 796.52.

In hiker’s parlance, the person who “breaks trail” is one who leads others across difficult terrain, creating a path as they go. This aptly describes Blum’s role, not only in her experiences as a climber, but also as a scientist doing innovative, groundbreaking work. Blum, whose previous book recounted the first women-only climb of Annapurna, here covers a cross-section of her life as a climber, from her first experience as a college student in 1964 to 1993, when she semiretired. Through climbing, she experiences a wide range of emotions, from exhilaration at success to grief over the death of friends. Interspersed between the climbing stories are scenes from her childhood that do much to explain the person she became. This is an engaging, well-written adventure that also serves as a social history of women's roles. It should be required reading for young women of today who haven’t experienced the closed doors and closed minds that Blum conquered as a women student, scientist, and climber. —Danise Hoover

Rock and Ice Review, September 2005

…In her new memoir, Blum masterfully weaves childhood vignettes into her later mountaineering adventures and life as a biochemist…. –Lizzy Scully

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Chris Bonington's Forward
Author's Introduction
Copyright © Arlene Blum 2005 - All rights reserved