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Edge of the Map: The Mountain Life of Christine Boskoff

Christine Boskoff was the leading American woman on  8,000 meter peaks in the 1990s and early 2000s, before her death on a mountain in China in 2006. Now, author Johanna Garton has finally told Boskoff’s full story in Edge of the Map.





Chris Boskoff was arguably America’s finest female high altitude mountain climber. She began her climbing career kind of late in life, in her mid to late 20s, in the mid 1990s. She learned how to climb in Atlanta, from her first husband. Eventually they moved out to Seattle and bought Mountain Madness—the guiding company that had been owned by Scott Fischer prior to his death on Mt. Everest in 1996.


Chris went on to summit six of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, which, at the time she completed them, was a record for American women, and that stands today, 20 years later.


An excerpt from Joanna's book "Edge of The Map":


Relative to the mountains of the Greater Himalayas or the Andes, Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New England pales at 6,289 feet. Yet its proximity to the intersection of several storm tracks makes it one of the deadliest mountains in the United States. Catching storms from every direction, the mountain faces brutal gusts that can come out of nowhere. Small outbuildings at the peak are chained to prevent destruction. In 1934, a wind speed of 231 miles an hour was clocked, a Northern Hemisphere record that still stands.

Wind blanketed Chris and Keith, as they began their attempt on Mount Washington’s northern face. “Ready, Chris?” Keith called. He stood a distance from her, on a wall of steep ice.


Unanchored but roped together, Chris looked down, double-checking the toe straps on her crampons. “Yeah, one sec. I wanna make sure I’ve got these tightened.” A blast of air trapped her words, carrying them away before reaching Keith. Leaning over, she caught a glimpse of the rope, furiously uncoiling. Reacting immediately, Chris jumped hard on her ice axes with her body to arrest Keith’s slide. In a near freefall, he had been caught by the gust, knocked off balance, and was plunging down the ice. Digging into the ice with her crampons and tools, Chris stopped his fall, hoping the axes would hold.

A sharp pain rocketed through her hand, radiating up her arm. Sensing that the axes were holding firm, she peered down and saw her husband’s face—a look of horror as he lay flat against ice. His fall had been stopped. Silently, Keith made his way back to her, relying on his crampons and pulling only gently on the rope as he heard his wife’s cries and saw it wrapped around her hand.


Johanna Garton will join us Monday August 31st at 10:15am to discuss her new book with us. We cannot wait to here all about the amazing life and career of Christine. This is one you WON'T want to miss!


View the full article here: https://rockandice.com/inside-beta/edge-of-the-map-the-mountain-life-of-christine-boskoff/

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