Climbing the Seven Volcanoes
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From the publisher
Everything changed for Sophie Cairns when she was thirty and a party-loving journalist in China. Her father died so suddenly that she arrived at his bedside two hours too late. In her grief, she defied her chronic asthma and climbed the world's seven highest volcanoes to raise funds for charity in his memory. This is a story of redemption through mountain climbing, from Papua New Guinea to Russia by way of Antarctica. As an amateur climber the author does not gloss over her limitations and (sometimes hilarious) mistakes. She encounters the snobbery of the professional climbing world. 'I was smothered in a purple goose down onesie as thick as a duvet. Under the plush expedition suit, I wore two pairs of climbing pants, a soft-shell jacket, a fleece top, a pair of inner gloves, a pair of outer gloves, and plastic boots. Not to mention thermal underwear. My plastic climbing boots barely closed around my ankles, which were adorned with three layers of socks.' Only to be told by those lounging around in T-shirts and shorts: 'You don't need to wear your Antarctica clothes yet. Everyone changes on the plane.' She suffers altitude sickness - so much more dangerous for an asthmatic - but she makes it. Sophie somehow finally said goodbye to her father in that enormous ring of fire.