Effusive, charismatic, tough, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is one of the world’s most successful high-altitude mountaineers and the first woman to climb all fourteen 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen——and she also eschews high-altitude porters.
Mountains in My Heart covers her early years learning to climb in Austria, her personal life, her training as an oncology nurse, and her ever-present passion for mountains, especially the Himalaya. Her love of being in the mountains shines through in her writing: For Gerlinde the important thing was not the race to be the first woman to climb the 8,000-meter peaks, but rather to experience the mountains and climb them in her self-sufficient style. Self-sufficiency did not, however, mean climbing without her husband, Ralf Dujmovits; in 2009, Lhotse became her twelfth and his fourteenth 8,000-meter peak!
Kaltenbrunner shares the challenges, dangers, and euphoria of her high-altitude climbs, detailing medical emergencies and her own feelings about being high in the mountains. Her writing is honest, captivating, and unrestrained.