By Meg Olson
Kit DesLauriers has climbed the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents. Then skied from the summit. That’s just nuts.
In “Higher Love: Climbing and Skiing the Seven Summits,” DesLauriers takes readers along for the ride as she moves from a successful career as a free skiing champion to her quest to become the first person to ski from the seven summits: Denali in North America, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, Vinson Massif in Antarctica, Aconcagua in South America, Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Everest in Asia.
Each summit comes with a different support crew, a different culture and a different set of surprises, from guides sneaking her skis up Kilimanjaro in the cook’s tent to shots of walnut cognac from driver Uncle Nik’s secret recipe at the base of Elbrus.
DesLauriers’ description of each summit challenge is filled with the perils and euphoria of the accomplishment, but she writes about relationships and personal growth as much as about alpine adventure. Her relationship with her wolf dog Alta weaves through the narrative, speaking to the fine line we walk between honoring our own nature and the nature of another.
“Challenge your perceptions of your limitations” is the message DesLauriers sends readers away with.
Meg is the co-owner, with husband Brad, of the Kingfisher Bookstore in Coupeville, which has a bit of everything but specializes in the natural and human history of the Pacific Northwest. She likes to explore, in person or on pages. x