“This forms the nub of a dilemma that every Everest climber eventually comes up against: in order to succeed you must be exceedingly driven, but if you’re too driven you’re likely to die.” – Jon Krakauer
In this truly remarkable life story, Saray Khumalo shares her epic journey to the top of the world: Mount Everest. From her childhood in Zambia and Zaire, to a corporate career in South Africa, through marriage and motherhood, Saray harboured one overriding ambition: to reach the summits of the world’s highest mountains. She first summited Mount Kilimanjaro, and then others, but her ultimate goal was to summit Everest. After three unsuccessful attempts, Saray became the first black African woman to summit the world’s highest peak. Her success was hard won, though – along the way, she suffered severe personal setbacks, serious health issues and life-threatening injuries.
But her perseverance finally paid off, and Saray’s success at high altitude has helped change the narrative about who belongs on the mountains and whose stories are told. Saray’s story, which redefines common perceptions about what women are capable of doing and achieving, will inspire girls and women from all walks of life. In this fascinating memoir, she shares not only her incredible mountaineering feats, but also the lessons she learnt about life, perseverance and failing forward.