The Sky’s the Limit

The Sky's the Limit

Almost every story about accomplished hikers and mountaineers is about men. I’m sure you’ve seen the long list on my book and reviews page: from the story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates in Touching the Void to David Breashears’ High Exposure, we rarely hear about women mountaineers.

That’s why it was refreshing to read The Sky’s the Limit, the story of Vicky Jack. She was the first Scottish woman to have successfully reached the 7 Summits and the oldest British woman to climb Everest.

What is even more remarkable is that Vicky wasn’t a girl with a childhood goal to climb peaks. She enjoyed hiking (or hillwalking as they call it in Britain) as a child, and in her thirties decided to start hiking all of Scotland’s 283 Munros! The Munros are Scotland’s highest mountains, each over 3,000 feet high. Even though 3,000 feet doesn’t seem like a treacherous altitude, the Munros are rocky mountains that face severe weather conditions year round.

In the book, there are quotes from Vicky, and with an endearing humility, she says that she considered each of the Seven Summits “just another Munro”. With persistence, patience, and a cheerful attitude, Vicky accomplished her goal, all while maintained a successful consulting career.

It is remarkable and refreshing to hear such a story of a seemingly unassuming woman. The story itself is inspiring, although the writing style of the author leaves much to be desired. The quotes and snippets from Vicky’s journals are the highlights of the story, and in my view would have been even better if Vicky wrote the whole book herself.

Nevertheless, the story is well worth the quick read.

Hiking Lady’s Recommendation: 4 of 5 stars

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