Hill began climbing when she was 14, in 1970, scampering up a rock face while her companions turned away in exhaustion; by 1994, she had done something no other climber had ever done: made a free ascent of El Capitan's hideously challenging Nose. That's 3,000 feet of granite, straight up. This autobiography, written with veteran climber and author Child, is a must-read for fans of sport climbing (which is very different, Hill explains, from mountaineering). Naturally, she hits all the high spots in a career filled with them: El Capitan and Joshua Tree in Yosemite National Park, Granite Mountain in Arizona, Nevada's Heart of Darkness, the Gunks in New Jersey, and the ominously named Suicide Rocks in California. Hill has climbed them all, and plenty more. In the world of sport climbing, she's a superstar, and yet, unlike many autobiographies written by superstars, this book contains not a trace of ego or pretension. She is an ordinary person with an extraordinary gift; her story, which could have been aggressively self-promoting, is instead quietly inspiring.
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