End of the Rope (Hardcover)

Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood

By Jan Redford

Counterpoint LLC, 9781640090309, 344pp.

Publication Date: May 8, 2018

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Jan Redford is a bad-ass. She is also a born storyteller." --John Vaillant, author of The Tiger

In this funny and gritty debut memoir, praised by Outside, Sierra, Alpinist, and more, Jan Redford grows from a reckless rock climber to a mother who fights to win back her future.

As a teenager, she sets her sights on the improbable dream of climbing mountains. By age twenty, she's a climber with a magnetic attraction to misadventures and the wrong men.

Redford finally finds the love of her life, an affable Rockies climber. When he is killed in an avalanche in Alaska, a grieving Redford finds comfort in the arms of another extreme alpinist. Before long, they are married, with a baby on the way. While her husband works as a logger, Redford tackles the traditional role of wife and mother. But soon, she pursues her own dream, one that pits her against her husband.

End of the Rope is Redford's telling of heart-stopping adventures, from being rescued off El Capitan to leading a group of bumbling cadets across a glacier. It is her laughter-filled memoir of friendships with women in that masculine world. Most moving, this is the story of her struggle to make her own way in the mountains and in life. To lead, not follow.

About the Author

JAN REDFORD lives with her family in Squamish, British Columbia, where she mountain bikes, trail runs, climbs, and skis. Her writing has been published in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Mountain Life, Explore, and various anthologies. Find out more at janredford.com

Praise For End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood

Praise for End of the Rope

"With a wonderful combination of adventure and introspection, outdoor writer Redford tells of a life lived on the fringes of society and in the heights of the Banff mountains in British Columbia . . . Redford’s is a truly inspiring and honest account of what it means to be a strong woman who can reach new heights because she isn’t afraid to fall." —Publishers Weekly

"Worth the price of admission are Redford's up-close encounters with the rock itself . . . Worthy for aspiring climbers." —Kirkus Reviews

"Her refreshing honesty, especially about her mistakes, is a welcome respite from more self-aggrandizing memoirs, and her refusal to shy away from the more turbulent parts of her past, including a tragic loss, balances well her lighthearted reminiscences . . . Redford has made her mark through sheer willpower and muscle." —Booklist

"Cheryl Strayed, move over: End of the Rope is a rambunctious, funny, heartstopping memoir that carries us along on an electric current of risk and courage." —Marni Jackson, Mountain and Wilderness Writing Program, Banff Centre, and author of The Mother Zone

"Compassionate and courageous, End of the Rope shows us that there are many types of bravery required, not just in the wilderness, but in surviving day-to-day life." —Tanis Rideout, author of Above All Things

"Jan Redford is a bad-ass. She is also a born storyteller, and this one—the mountains she has climbed, the men she has loved—and survived—is gritty, funny, tragic, and ultimately victorious. Women’s voices are a conspicuous rarity in the mountaineering world, and tobacco-chewing mothers’ voices are even rarer; Redford’s is a bracing and refreshing corrective—intimate, affectionate, loud, and clear." —John Vaillant, author of The Tiger

"A hair-raising triumph—my heart raced on every page, wondering if Jan Redford would seize her lost courage or plummet to physical and psychological annihilation." —Kathleen Winter, author of Boundless

"In this scrappy memoir of love, loss, and mountaineering, Jan Redford gracefully explores a familiar midlife quandary: how to balance safety with adventure." —Ada Calhoun, author of Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give

Praise for Jan Redford's essays

“Some highlights of the book are…. the brutally honest story, 'End of the Rope', by Jan Redford. Redford’s stark account of a young climber’s mistakes on the walls of Yosemite, and similarly in life, recount youth’s delusion of infallibility and what it means to learn the hard way.” —Joanna Croston, Highline Magazine, review of the anthology Rock, Paper, Fire: The Best of Mountain and Wilderness Writing

"This precisely observed piece about faltering faith and the confusion that goes along with growing up has stayed with me. The odd logic of the adolescent explorer and the secret yearnings of the not-so-grown up were rendered in a voice that was deceptively simple and completely captivating.” —Susan Juby, author of Nice Recovery