Wind From a Distant Summit

Deavoll, Pat

  3 Reviews

From New Zealand to North America and Asia, Pat Deavoll has encountered many distant summits in her more than thirty years climbing mountains. But it is not just high peaks that she has conquered in her adventurous life: her battle with depression has required the same perseverance and determination as her chosen sport.

This is an engaging and moving story of the highs and lows of elite mountaineering and the remarkable achievements of an inspiring New Zealander.

Comments from Groups

Quite hard to read - 'clunkily' written. Discussion however, was animated! Everything from the self-focus of elite athletes, to the ethics of attaining the goal versus saving other climbers. Very interesting for all. Auckland 343

It provoked excellent discussion as there were some serious and key issues raised in the book, especially around mental health; the suggested 'selfishness' of a lone sport like mountaineering; the ethical considerations of helping a climber in distress versus the desire to reach the top. Many of our group found Pat Deavoll's life story inspiring. Milton 002

Not our favourite book, but we enjoyed reading about historical women climbers; the ethics of climbing; and the decision of (some) women climbers not to have children, or to stop climbing when children arrive. Auckland 301

Half the group did not think they would enjoy the book because of the detailed and repetitive accounts of climbing expeditions. However, the moral and ethical dilemmas raised later in the book made it both deeper and more interesting, as well as giving a more sympathetic edge to the writer, who seemed otherwise very selfish. Martinborough 003

Mixed reviews. Some got a bit bored with the climbing descriptions; others found her focus on climbing and her determination admirable, but recognised her struggles also. Waikanae 008

The group's ranking for this book ranged between 4 and 8 out of 10. On the whole it was an enjoyable read, although it was agreed that it wasn't written very well, and was not sequential. Those in the group who had done a bit of climbing related well to the story. We felt we wanted to know more about her climbing partners/husband, and more personal details in general. Invercargill 003

A very interesting book about a New Zealander who is little known outside her field - what a pity, as this book was highly rated by our group, and resulted in a great discussion. Why hadn't we heard of Pat Deavoll? Nelson 040



One or two enjoyed - most felt it was too technical with too many descriptions of mountains. Boring if you aren't into mountaineering.
Most members enjoyed the book. It brought up discussion about depression in our society. Good discussion also on the ethics of mountaineers, and also about 'trying to save' or 'leave to die' fellow climbers on the mountain. We had never heard of Pat Deavoll before reading this book.
AKAR 002
It was a real insight into some peoples' driven personality. We all learnt about alpine climbing, and enjoyed the book as a worthwhile read.