Breaking Trail (Paperback)

A Climbing Life

By Arlene Blum

Mariner Books, 9780156031165, 400pp.

Publication Date: March 5, 2007

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (11/16/2019)
Hardcover (10/4/2005)

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A legendary trailblazer, Arlene Blum defied the climbing establishment of the 1970s by leading the first all-female teams on successful ascents of Mount McKinley and Annapurna and by being the first American woman to attempt Mount Everest. At the same time, her groundbreaking scientific work challenged gender stereotypes in the academic community and led to important legislation banning carcinogens in children’s sleepwear. With candor and humor, Breaking Trail recounts Blum’s journey from an overprotected childhood in Chicago to the tops of some of the highest peaks on earth, and to a life lived on her own terms. Now with an index, additional photos, and a new afterword, this book is a moving testament to the power of taking risks and pursuing dreams.

About the Author

ARLENE BLUM has a doctorate in biophysical chemistry and has taught at Stanford, Wellesley College, and the University of California, Berkeley. Her bestselling book Annapurna: A Woman’s Place was named one of the one hundred best adventure books of all time by National Geographic. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Praise For Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life


"Personal and disarmingly honest . . . [Blum] simply tells her nourishing and deserving story, quietly reminding us that a woman’s place is indeed on top."

"A book too engrossing to put down." — THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER