Browse Our Book
About High-Altitude Woman
One of the first female extreme athletes reflects on how her feminine strengths led to her success in a male-dominated field
• Written by Jan Reynolds, medal winner in World Cup biathlon and former world record-holder for women’s high-altitude skiing
• Recounts many of Reynolds’ adventures, including her Mount Everest expeditions
• Explains how she didn’t simply emulate the men around her but embraced her feminine strengths of compassion, mediation, cooperation, and observation
• Shares insights from her immersion in several indigenous cultures, where she identified gender traits found in all cultures
World record-breaking skier and climber Jan Reynolds has sought adventure in the Himalayas, the Southern Alps, the Sahara Desert, the Canadian Arctic, and the Amazon Basin--often as the only woman in her expedition. Tasked time and again with having to prove herself in the company of men, her tireless dedication on each high-risk excursion opened the door for many of today’s female extreme athletes.
Recounting in vivid detail many of her adventures, including multiple Mount Everest expeditions, Reynolds explains that her success on each formidable journey didn’t arise simply by emulating the men around her but by embracing her feminine strengths of compassion, mediation, cooperation, and observation. As she traveled the world, she broadened her insights into the psychologies of men and women with her immersion in several indigenous cultures, such as the ancient salt traders of Tibet, where she identified gender traits and strengths found in all cultures. Providing a guide for women entering male-dominated fields, Reynolds explains how women as well as men should nurture their feminine assets for more successful relationships at work, at play, at home, and in our global relationship with the natural world.
About the Author(s) of High-Altitude Woman
Jan Reynolds is a prizewinning photojournalist whose adventures have taken her to every continent. An accomplished athlete, she is a medal-winner in World Cup biathlon and holds several high-altitude skiing and mountain climbing records. She has lectured at the National Geographic Society, IBM, the Sierra Club, and many explorers’ clubs, universities, and schools throughout the world. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic, Esquire, Vogue, People, and several ski and outdoor magazines, and she has appeared on the covers of Outside and Ultrasport. She is the author/photographer of several books, including the award-winning Vanishing Cultures series of children’s books. She lives in Stowe, Vermont.
Praise for High-Altitude Woman
“Jan Reynolds is an extraordinary athlete who distinguished herself in a high-risk, traditionally masculine subculture, refusing to let her life be constrained by gender. As she explains in High-Altitude Woman, “I felt this world belonged to me as much as any man.” Following a life-or-death predicament during a solo crossing of a Himalaya, Reynolds muses, “What was it in me that thought always about what I could do and seldom, if ever, about what I couldn’t do? Was this a good thing or twisted?” The answer is crystal clear, and it resounds from almost every page of this inspiring, unsparingly honest book.”
Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Into Thin Air
“Gripping tales of adventure and feats of endurance make this book hard to put down. Jan Reynolds reveals personal content and behind-the-scenes dynamics that rarely reach the public eye. When women read this memoir, no matter what challenges they are facing, Jan Reynolds’s bold and extraordinary experiences will serve as a beacon for looking deeper within for that extra insight and strength that it takes to endure and prevail. The gift this book offers men is an awareness and appreciation of the feminine, leading to the inclusion of the female perspective in all extreme endeavors.”
Susan Grimaldi, former vice president of the Native Cultural Alliance, shamanic healer, and Explorer Club member
“I’ve known Jan since her earliest days as an adventurer, traveling to the ends of the Earth to get her story, setting high-altitude climbing and skiing records, making the U.S. Biathlon Team, and even taking a hot air balloon over Everest . . . just to investigate the differences between men and women! Jan never made a big deal out of being the only woman on otherwise all-male teams on these expeditions, fitting in as one of the guys at altitude and an incredibly pleasant companion, friend, and mom at sea level. Fortunately we can just read about her discoveries without hanging off cliffs and falling out of the sky, although that sounds like fun, don’t you think?”
Bob Arnot, host of the Dr. Danger reality TV series and author of 14 books on nutrition and health topics
“...I loved it and couldn’t put it down. Jan Reynolds is a prize-winning photojournalist and writer, a passionate adventurer from the Amazon to the Himalayas, and an amazing athlete...her passion for life and her passionate advocacy for vanishing cultures and the natural world are truly inspiring.”
Miriam Knight, New Consciousness Review, September 2013
“[Jan Reynolds] explores how embracing the feminine nature can enhance relationships, careers and global interactions. Perhaps the Divine Feminine, now being activated in new incarnations, will bring about greater understanding of feminine energy and how both males and females can embrace and balance both energies living inside each person.”
Kala Ambrose, September 2013