Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Facing the Extreme

Facing the Extreme

One Woman's Story of True Courage and Death-Defying Survival in the Eye of Mt. McKinley's Worst Storm Ever

Ruth Anne Kocour with Michael Hodgson

St. Martin's Press



She stepped into a death zone. The climbers on Alaska's Mt. McKinley called her "the woman." Ruth Anne Kocour, a world-class mountaineer, wasn't bothered. It was part of the challenge she faced as she joined an all-male team to conquer North America's highest peak...the mountain the Indians called Denali, or God.

Faced the extreme. But nine days into this ascent, a forty-fifth birthday present to herself, the most violent weather on record slammed into the mountain. Ruth Anne and her group would be trapped on an ice shelf at 14,000 feet for the deadliest two weeks in Denali history. Pinned down by blinding snows, unable to help other teams dying around her, and her own feet freezing solid, Ruth Anne tells of a wind chill of minus 150 degrees, deadly hidden crevasses, and being trapped in a place so violent and unforgiving that it threatened to push her over the edge and into a place of no return. And yet, in prose as crystalline as the ice around her, she tells, too, of beauty, courage, and the spirit that drives true mountaineers higher, as she risks all to go for the summit...and perhaps, for a transcendent moment, touch heaven.

And lived to tell about it ... in Facing the Extreme.


Praise for Facing the Extreme

“Kocour passionately recounts how all ten members of her team survived the storm that took the lives of eleven other climbers.” —Library Journal

Facing the Extreme is not just another heroic climbing tale, rather a metaphor for anyone who has faced 'impossible' odds-- and prevailed.” —John Long, noted climber and author of Rock Jocks, Wall Rats, and Hang Dogs

“I could not put her book down; it kept me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew she made it back. I learned so much about courage and inner peace from Ruth Anne's accounts. A must read for all who want to grow.” —Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Associate Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

About the author

Ruth Anne Kocour with Michael Hodgson

Ruth Anne Kocour is a veteran mountaineer with nine international summits under her belt (including Mt. McKinley, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Nevado Illimani, and Mt. Elbrus). She is an artist by avocation and lives in Galena, Nevada.

Michael Hodgson, a former mountain guide, is an editor for Outdoor Retailer magazine and also writes for Men's Health and Outside, to name a few. Like Ruth Anne, he continues to seek the wilder side of any mountain. Facing The Extreme is his sixteenth book.

Ruth Anne Kocour

Ruth Anne Kocour

Michael Hodgson

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

Latest on Facebook