Skiing the Seven Summits
By Kit DesLauriers
Hardcover Edition with a Foreword by Conrad Anker
Centered on her quest to climb and ski the “Seven Summits,” Higher Love is a hero’s journey, rich with personal insights, life-threatening consequences, and a thrilling crescendo. Spanning seven continents in just two years, this is Kit’s personal account of the secret journey that would change her heart and her life forever.
From braving Antarctica’s bone-chilling temperatures to trudging through an African rain forest, from corn snow on the continental slopes of Australia to blue ice on Everest, Kit leads you up each mountain and gives you a heart-racing ride back down.
This candid, fast-paced story shows how inspiration, teamwork and honoring our true nature blazes the trail to every summit, on or off the mountain.
552 pages • Archer / Rare Bird Books
Also available in ebook format
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kit DesLauriers is a sponsored team athlete for the outdoor-apparel company The North Face, as well as Dynastar, Smith Sport Optics, Dynafit, and others. But Kit’s not just a world-class athlete. She’s a wife, a mother, and a woman on a mission to serve the planet by raising awareness of climate change and working to preserve and protect the wild habitats that still exist. In her self-appointed role of “planetary park ranger,” DesLauriers devotes her time and expertise to preserving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, serves on the board for Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free and is an ambassador for 1% for the Planet and a member of Protect Our Winters Riders Alliance. Also a board member for the American Alpine Club, she lives in Jackson Hole, CO.
"Watching (and shooting) Kit ski off the summit of Everest is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and a highlight of my career. Higher Love is an incredible journey through the physical and psychological landscapes of Kit’s amazing life. You’ll get to see the mountains through Kit’s eyes (and some of my photos), feel the intensity of her focus and delve into the mind of the incredible woman that is Kit DesLauriers." —Jimmy Chin, professional climber, mountaineer, skier, director, and photographer
“When I met Kit, I knew she had what it takes to succeed at whatever she set out to accomplish. I’m honored that my Seven Summits experience prompted her to discover whether she could ski those summits. And I’m thrilled that the answer was ‘yes’! This book not only recounts Kit’s challenging climbs and ski descents, it also shares the inspirational philosophy she lives and skis by." —Dick Bass, owner of Snowbird Ski Resort, co-author of Seven Summits
“I’d been on the summit of Everest four times; I knew that it would be an extreme challenge for Kit to ski it. I had confidence in her abilities and her determination, but there are always unknowns above 8,000 meters. Ours was an autumn expedition to Everest; we were on our own, with no support from other teams. After five weeks of watching Kit and her team prevail as skilled climbers at high altitude, the day finally came to ski the Lhotse Face. When I got the call that she, Rob and Jimmy were safely across the bergschrund, I cried with relief and joy. This book is a whirlwind tour of seven intense climbs and skis and the inner workings of Kit’s mind and heart. I’m proud that Berg Adventures could support her achievement by organizing two of her summit expeditions. Serving as Kit’s guide company for two of her Seven Summits expeditions was an honor and a joy. Whether she was trudging through pouring rain or skiing on blue ice, Kit was the epitome of a seasoned pro on a mission. Her journey will lift you up, make you laugh and hold you spellbound.” —Wally Berg, owner of Berg Adventures International
"I was president of The North Face when Kit submitted her proposal for skiing Everest. From the first day we discussed Kit’s vision to climb and ski each of the Seven Summits, I was caught by her passion and commitment to achieve a milestone of such significance. This book is an exhilarating story of dreaming big, staying focused and pushing the limits of Exploration." —Steve Rendle, Senior Vice President Americas, VF Corporation
“When I spent twenty minutes on the summit of Mount Everest in 1963, my first worry was: How to get down? It never occurred to me that someone could ski it. Kit asked the question, “Can it be skied?”—and answered by doing it herself.Higher Love is about the love of life and the best of both worlds—climbing and skiing." —Jim Whittaker, first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest (1963) and author of A Life on the Edge
“Climbing to high places is about so much more than reaching the top. In Higher Love, Kit gives you an intimate perspective of the extreme joys and intense challenges that are part of every high-stakes expedition. “When you want to do something that no one has ever done before, you have to focus on finding the solution instead of reasons for why it can’t be done. That’s exactly what Kit DesLauriers demonstrates throughout her adventures on every mountain. This true story will make you laugh, cry and marvel at what people are capable of achieving.” —Lynn Hill, first person to free-climb the nose of El Capitan (the following year—1994—Lynn made an all free ascent of the Nose in one day) and author ofClimbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World
"Whether you’re a climber, a skier or both, you will enjoy every expedition in this book. In addition to taking you up and down the Seven Summits, Kit takes you to more obscure places like Mount Belukha, the highest peak in Siberia. If you admire the mountains and people who achieve big goals in them, you'll love this book."
—Phil Powers, Executive Director, The American Alpine Club
“For most Seven Summiters, the simple, tangible goal is to stand atop the highest point on each continent (and to return intact). For Kit DesLauriers, the top is where the unique challenge begins: to slide back down on a pair of skis. And she was the first person to do it! Higher Love is a gripping and reflective account of this odyssey, told by a gutsy, multi-talented ski-mountaineering mom. Set your edges and savor the ride.” —Tom Hornbein, author Everest, the West Ridge
“When Kit said she wanted to ski off the top of Everest, I didn’t think her chance for success was very high, but I changed my mind while watching her surmount every challenge on the expedition. I was amazed at her courage -and even enthusiasm- when she put skis on at the summit. I had mixed emotions belaying her around the Hillary Step: awe that she was doing it and concern that something could go dreadfully wrong. At 29,028 feet (5.5 miles above sea level), one small mistake can quickly lead to disaster. In this book, Kit tells the dramatic and sometimes-funny stories of the climbs and ski descents that led her to become the first person to ski the Seven Summits. Kit is one of the most focused and determined athletes I’ve ever met. Her strong climbing ability and extreme skiing skills, combined with Zen poise and sheer grit, gave her exactly what she needed to reach the top of the seven summits and make it safely back down. Anyone who’s thinking of attempting one of the world’s highest mountains should read this book first!” —Dave Hahn, professional mountain guide, member of Taos Ski Patrol, summited Everest fifteen times
“Higher Love is a gripping, page-turning, real-life adventure. Kit is the heroine of her story as she follows her higher calling with passion, focus, and determination. Her experience is an invitation to us all to pursue our dreams and to follow our spirits without hesitation.” —Carol Mann, Soul Reader, Personal Transformation Coach, and author of her true story, WHY WAIT~Wisdom for Life from Those Who Have Passed Over