Social Climbing on Annapurna: Gender in High-Altitude Mountaineering Narratives (Critical Essay) Social Climbing on Annapurna: Gender in High-Altitude Mountaineering Narratives (Critical Essay)

Social Climbing on Annapurna: Gender in High-Altitude Mountaineering Narratives (Critical Essay‪)‬

English Studies in Canada 2007, March-June, 33, 1-2

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Descrizione dell’editore

SINCE 1950, ANNAPURNA has been known in climbing circles as one of the world's most dangerous mountains to climb. At 8091 metres in what was once a little-known part of Nepal, Annapurna is accessed from the north by a valley that was unmapped and unknown even by the villagers of Pokhara, its nearest town. It is swept constantly by avalanches in the north. Its south face has the largest and most difficult "big-wall" ice cliff in the Himalayas. Thus, although its name means "the Provider" or "Goddess of the Harvests" in Sanskrit, the hazards associated with Annapurna still make it a difficult mountain to see up close, much less climb. Although it is the tenth highest mountain in the world and the first mountain above 8000 metres to be successfully climbed, Annapurna is also not as well known to the general public as Mount Everest simply because it is not the highest mountain in the world. But to mountain climbers, Annapurna is the site of some of the greatest achievements in high-altitude mountaineering. According to Reinhold Messner in Annapurna: so Years of Expeditions in the Death Zone, Annapurna has never become a fashionable mountain to climb but it remains a credible goal for climbers who wish to push the limits of climbing (150) because it is more difficult to climb than Everest or other "easy eight-thousanders" (149). Even today, it is still considered to be too dangerous and difficult a mountain for those with minimal experience to attempt. Unlike Everest or other less technically-demanding high mountains, Annapurna is also seen by professional climbers as a "pure" mountain unsullied by alpine tourism. Perhaps for this reason, Annapurna has also been the subject of some of the best-known expedition narratives in the world which have detailed some of the turning points in the history of high-altitude mountaineering itself. Because it is not Everest, with its status as the world's highest mountain, Annapurna is an excellent site to begin an examination of the ways in which that history is informed by another narrative thread: a history of gender in high-altitude mountaineering accounts that surfaces in these narratives but is rarely discussed directly within them.

GENERE
Professionali e tecnici
PUBBLICATO
2007
1 marzo
LINGUA
EN
Inglese
PAGINE
66
EDITORE
Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English
DIMENSIONE
287,3
KB

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