Rising is a nonfiction book by Sharon Wood.

Sharon Wood

In 1986, Sharon Wood was part of a self-supported Canadian team with big ambitions: they were attempting to reach the summit of Everest via a variation on the dangerous West Ridge. And they intended that Wood would be the first North American woman to reach the summit. At the same time, however, there was an American team on the mountain with a plan to make Annie Whitehouse the first North American woman. The American climbers were attempting an easier route, but their team included, by coincidence, Wood's ex-boyfriend, acclaimed mountaineer Carlos Buhler, now dating Whitehouse — certainly the makings of an exciting adventure and high-altitude drama!

But Sharon's new memoir offers much more. Fast-paced and highly readable, Rising is a thoughtful literary story redolent with twists and turns, relatable characters and dialogue, and mental and emotional conflicts. Although Everest casts a long shadow, the mountain serves here as a stage for a more human story, not one of conquest. (From Douglas & McIntyre)

Sharon Wood is a climber and motivational speaker. Rising is her first book.

From the book

March 17, 1986

With movement comes comfort. In the dark, between Laurie and Jim, mentor and leader, I doze as my head jounces and lolls between their shoulders. We are nestled in the cab of a five-ton diesel truck climbing via sixty or more switchbacks to reach Pang La, a 5,200-metre-high pass on the Tibetan Plateau.

While the rest of our entourage overnights Shigatse, we are getting a head start with the slower-moving truck carrying our cargo. The truck heaves and sways over potholes and then races toward the next straightaway, pressing our spines into our seatbacks. At first we braced ourselves, our hands on the dashboard or the roof, careful to not touch one another in the jostle. But now we've surrendered to the movement and relax into each other. Rather than try to talk over the truck's throaty growls and sighs, I stare through the sandblasted windshield. It feels like no one else is awake in the world.

From Rising by Sharon Wood ©2019. Published by Douglas & McIntyre.

More about this book

JoAnn McCaig talks about the popular books in her Calgary, AB store Shelf Life. 2:57


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.