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Le regioni del cuore

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Amava la montagna più di ogni altra cosa e voleva il riconoscimento delle sue capacità alpinistiche a ogni costo. Amava i suoi due figli più di tutto e voleva il loro bene a qualunque prezzo. L'apparente contraddizione nei sentimenti di Alison Hargreaves è il naturale travaglio di un essere umano, alpinista, donna. Alison è morta scendendo dalla vetta del K2, dove era arri Amava la montagna più di ogni altra cosa e voleva il riconoscimento delle sue capacità alpinistiche a ogni costo. Amava i suoi due figli più di tutto e voleva il loro bene a qualunque prezzo. L'apparente contraddizione nei sentimenti di Alison Hargreaves è il naturale travaglio di un essere umano, alpinista, donna. Alison è morta scendendo dalla vetta del K2, dove era arrivata in solitaria. Poche settimane prima aveva raggiunto la cima dell'Everest, ma non le era bastato. L'ansia di dover dimostrare al mondo il suo valore la tormentava ed era convinta che l'alpinismo fosse l'unico mezzo a sua disposizione per assicurare un futuro a Tom e Kate. Prima e dopo la sua tragica scomparsa pochissimi l'hanno compresa, pochi hanno rispettato le sue travagliate scelte, molti hanno criticato la sua ostinazione anche e soprattutto in presenza di due bambini, gli stessi per i quali Alison, forse, si è immortalata.


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Amava la montagna più di ogni altra cosa e voleva il riconoscimento delle sue capacità alpinistiche a ogni costo. Amava i suoi due figli più di tutto e voleva il loro bene a qualunque prezzo. L'apparente contraddizione nei sentimenti di Alison Hargreaves è il naturale travaglio di un essere umano, alpinista, donna. Alison è morta scendendo dalla vetta del K2, dove era arri Amava la montagna più di ogni altra cosa e voleva il riconoscimento delle sue capacità alpinistiche a ogni costo. Amava i suoi due figli più di tutto e voleva il loro bene a qualunque prezzo. L'apparente contraddizione nei sentimenti di Alison Hargreaves è il naturale travaglio di un essere umano, alpinista, donna. Alison è morta scendendo dalla vetta del K2, dove era arrivata in solitaria. Poche settimane prima aveva raggiunto la cima dell'Everest, ma non le era bastato. L'ansia di dover dimostrare al mondo il suo valore la tormentava ed era convinta che l'alpinismo fosse l'unico mezzo a sua disposizione per assicurare un futuro a Tom e Kate. Prima e dopo la sua tragica scomparsa pochissimi l'hanno compresa, pochi hanno rispettato le sue travagliate scelte, molti hanno criticato la sua ostinazione anche e soprattutto in presenza di due bambini, gli stessi per i quali Alison, forse, si è immortalata.

30 review for Le regioni del cuore

  1. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Scrittura lenta, pesante e ripetitiva. Peccato perché la vita dell'alpinista Alison Hargreaves è stata straordinariamente interessante e fuori dalle righe, di sicuro appassionante se raccontata in modo diverso. Scrittura lenta, pesante e ripetitiva. Peccato perché la vita dell'alpinista Alison Hargreaves è stata straordinariamente interessante e fuori dalle righe, di sicuro appassionante se raccontata in modo diverso.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clara Mazzi

    La tragicità della figura di Alison Hargreaves (una delle più tragiche della storia dell’alpinismo che io conosca) non è tanto nella morte sul K2 (sicuramente tragica), quanto nella sua vita – che l’ha portata infine in Himalaya. Una vita che è una summa de “La mefamorfosi” di Kafka, un percorso che l’ha fatta scivolare, passo dopo passo in un incubo, contro il quale Alison ha lottato con grande coraggio ma con altrettanta confusione proprio com’è poi successo sul K2 e che quindi inevitabilmente La tragicità della figura di Alison Hargreaves (una delle più tragiche della storia dell’alpinismo che io conosca) non è tanto nella morte sul K2 (sicuramente tragica), quanto nella sua vita – che l’ha portata infine in Himalaya. Una vita che è una summa de “La mefamorfosi” di Kafka, un percorso che l’ha fatta scivolare, passo dopo passo in un incubo, contro il quale Alison ha lottato con grande coraggio ma con altrettanta confusione proprio com’è poi successo sul K2 e che quindi inevitabilmente l’ha portata a perdere la battaglia. Ma non la guerra: vediamo perché. Vuoi per indole, per educazione, per inesperienza o per imbarazzo, la Hargreaves non ha mai voluto raccontare molto di sé e questo avrebbe aiutato moltissimo a capirla e a capire le sue scelte. Eppure qualcosa è trapelato quando ha incontrato la stampa in occasione dei suoi successi alpinistici: purtroppo, anche e soprattutto in queste situazioni, vuoi per grave inettitudine del marito (che praticamente l’ha spinta giù – involontariamente! – nel suo baratro) vuoi appunto perché incapace di gestirsi, quello che è arrivato al grande pubblico di Alison Hargreaves è arrivato “strano”, come lei del resto. “Strano” perché lei dava a pensare di essere un’”infoiata (self driven, dicevano di lei), una persona arida interiormente. E soprattutto – soprattutto! - una madre molto, molto discutibile: purtroppo quello per cui Alison Hargreaves si ricorda maggiormente non è la nord dell’Eiger al sesto mese di gravidanza (prima donna britannica a compierla), non è la prima femminile sullo sperone Croz, non è la prima donna sull’Everest senza ossigeno. No. Quello per cui la si ricorda è soprattutto per il controverso dibattito di cui lei era al centro: “Come si fa a correre quei rischi in montagna quando si è madri??” Le accuse venivano da giornalistE che scrivevano nella metà degli anni Novanta – del secolo scorso. Vale allora la pena di appoggiare la lente di ingrandimento su questo dettaglio che soprattutto oggi, nel 2019 dovrebbe fare sorridere. E invece ripenso alla presentazione del libro di Anna Torretta (prima guida donna delle storiche guide di Courmayeur! Non ci si stanca di ripetere) e alla domanda che le è stata fatta con più insistenza: come fai a fare la mamma e la guida alpina? A Hervé Barmasse qualcuno gli ha mai fatto la stessa domanda? Alison Hagreaves quindi non era “solo” una donna alpinista – che seppure restano poche, direi che oggi, fortunatamente, fa sempre meno scalpore – è che era anche una mamma - ed in effetti di queste a tutt’oggi ce ne sono pochissime. Ma non è tutto. Alison Hargreaves era una mamma alpinista che doveva provvedere con la sua carriera al mantenimento di tutta la sua famiglia, marito in primis. Ta-da! E questo lei non l’aveva mai detto a nessuno. Ingrandiamo allora ancora un po’ di più questo dettaglio della vita di Alison che è indubbiamente particolare. Non amava raccontare di sé per tanti motivi, come ho detto sopra, ma indubbiamente non è facile raccontare al grande pubblico di un marito che ti picchia, che abusa di te in tutto (la macchina è sepolta dalla neve? Alison: c’è bisogno di spalare! Tanto per fare un esempio), che ha fatto un fallimento epocale con la tua impresa di articoli sportivi (Alison era partner). I Ballard (nome da sposata di Alison) erano talmente messi male coi soldi che erano inseguiti dal fisco ovunque, che nel frattempo gli aveva confiscato tutto: telefono, macchina, casa – gli Hargreaves hanno vissuto in due tende in un campeggio a Chamonix per un annetto circa (in attesa di successi alpinistici di Alison per pareggiare i conti) perché non avevano altro posto. Con loro c’erano i loro due bambini Tom (Tom Ballard) e Kate che erano in età prescolare. Tre domande: la prima. Se le giornaliste l’avessero saputo, avrebbero chiesto al marito perché quando erano a Chamonix, non aveva preso il primo lavoro disponibile per aiutare un po’ la moglie che, senza una lira, saliva su la Montenvers a piedi perché non aveva nemmeno i soldi per il biglietto del treno, scalava tutto il giorno, poi scendeva al campeggio, cucinava e metteva a letto lei i figli? Perché in generale, con lo sconquasso economico che opprimeva la famiglia con due bambini piccoli, perché non si dava da fare a trovare qualcosa? La seconda: perché non l’ha fatto Alison? Perché nemmeno lei ha voluto lasciar perdere l’alpinismo e prendere un lavoro qualsiasi pur di mantenere i bambini? Perchè era disperata nel voler a tutti i costi compiere qualcosa di grandioso con l’alpinismo, subendo terribilmente il confronto con la Destivelle che impazzava all’epoca – fidanzata con gli uomini “giusti” che curavano il suo profilo al grande pubblico e poi donna senza essere mamma? La terza: perché Alison non è mai, mai, mai riuscita a lasciare questo uomo terribile? Tre risposte. La prima: non lo potremo sapere mai. Certo è che a posteriori, qualcuna potrebbe chiederglielo, ma è passato troppo tempo e non vale la pena di andare a rimestare. La seconda. Alison non ha mollato perché abbandonare l’alpinismo voleva dire arrendersi completamente ad una vita orribile. Darla vinta definitivamente a quell’incubo di suo marito. In questo va tutta la mia grande ammirazione per lei. E’ stata coraggiosissima perché ha affrontato oltre alle durezze concrete della vita, le montagne di pregiudizi degli “altri” e ha lasciato un vero ricordo di sé ai suoi figli, che era quanto di più ha amato al mondo. Il ricordo più importante: che non si deve vivere da morti, come zombie. La terza. Non riusciva a lasciarlo perché era terrorizzata all’idea che le togliessero i figli, data la vita che faceva che la costringeva a lunghe assenze. Ecco, Alison era pronta a tutto: persino a morire in montagna, ma non a vivere senza i suoi figli. Su questo non era disposta a fare nessuna concessione. Alison Hargreaves, 1962-1995. Alpinista britannica. Morta per non morire.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    I've read a good few climbing books over the years however reading one that was solely about female climbers a little while back I realised that I had read less about Alison Hargreaves than a number of other climbers so I bought this one to address the balance. Books about climbers often have some degree of bias in them but this one seems to strike a reasonable balance.  The authors, both successful climbers, have written well here.  The story is well laid out with not too much jargon.  Alison l I've read a good few climbing books over the years however reading one that was solely about female climbers a little while back I realised that I had read less about Alison Hargreaves than a number of other climbers so I bought this one to address the balance. Books about climbers often have some degree of bias in them but this one seems to strike a reasonable balance.  The authors, both successful climbers, have written well here.  The story is well laid out with not too much jargon.  Alison life is covered from here earliest years up to her death on K2. The story of her early years is not only evocative of a time gone by but also shows the benefit of chance, location and human interest - the school she went to actually encouraged her climbing as a normal curriculum activity. There is a reasonable degree of emphasis on her personal life and marriage and this is an important part of her character. Flawed though she probably was in her personal life she was a highly talented and driven climber. If you need proof of driven she asked an experienced climbing doctor if she could go to the Himalaya in her 2nd trimester and on being told that it might not be wise headed for the north face of the Eiger instead! Excellent book for those with an interest.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mazola1

    Regions of the Heart tells the poignant life story of British climber, Alison Hargreaves. Hargreaves, who was killed descending K2 after successfully climbing it in 1985, was probably the best female British climber of her day. Unmotivated at school, and desiring only to climb, she left home at 18 to live with an older man (who she later married) who became both her mentor and her abuser. Hargreaves was unable to break the bond which tied her to husband, despite the fact that she was fiercely in Regions of the Heart tells the poignant life story of British climber, Alison Hargreaves. Hargreaves, who was killed descending K2 after successfully climbing it in 1985, was probably the best female British climber of her day. Unmotivated at school, and desiring only to climb, she left home at 18 to live with an older man (who she later married) who became both her mentor and her abuser. Hargreaves was unable to break the bond which tied her to husband, despite the fact that she was fiercely independent and strong in the mountains. Her husband ran a store which sold climbing equipment, and Hargreaves contributed significantly to its success, designing and making supplies such as tents and climbers' chalk bags. For a while, the business and the marriage were successful, and Hargreaves had two children she adored. But eventually the business fell on hard times, and Hargreaves' husband became increasingly abusive. As times became tough, Hargreaves saw other climbers, some of whom were clearly not as talented as she was, become more famous. A particularly hard blow came when Rebecca Stephens became the first British female to climb Mount Everest, something Hargreaves had previously attempted to do, and failed due to bad weather. Stephens was basically guided up the mountain, and two years later, Hargreaves climbed Mount Everest solo, without using supplemental oxygen, an achievement which would have been significant if accomplished by a man, but which did not receive the attention that Stephens' much easier ascent had garnered. Pressed by financial difficulties, and hoping that a successful ascent of K2 would bring improve her financial condition and bring her the kind of recognition she craved and thought she deserved, she left within a few months to attempt to climb K2. Some criticized her for taking such risks when she had two small children, as they had when she climbed the Eiger when pregnant, but it is worth noting that such comments were rarely made about male climbers. For instance, little such commentary was made in 1996 when Scott Fischer, with a wife and two small children at home, and Rob Hall, with a pregnant wife, died on Mount Everest. The authors had access to Hargreaves diaries, which gave them unique insight into her thoughts about her life and climbing. They were able to write an insightful and sensitive biography of this complex and driven woman. In some senses, Hargreaves' story is a sad one, full of bad choices and adversity almost overcome. But in another sense, it is an uplifting story, full of goals met, and difficulties overcome. As the book notes, "Behind the cliche and moral censure that surrounded her death was an ordinary woman with an extraordinary talent and determination, with hopes, fears, loves, virtues and faults, who did great things and made some terrible mistakes. It is not too much to hope that in the moments before the hurricane closed around her, as she started home from the summit of K2 with the world beneath her feet, Alison was happy." If she was, she paid a high price indeed for her happiness. In the end, I was unable to decide whether Hargreaves' life was one lived triumphantly on her own terms, or one frustrated by insurmountable obstacles and tragically cut short.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Megan Kelosiwang

    A fantastic read about an extraordinary mountaineer. I know little about the world of mountaineering, heights being my biggest fear, but this in-depth analysis of one woman’s life delved into aspects of ambition, passion, fear and jealousy that we all live through. In the end I could feel the pull to the summit at the same time understanding the gradual, complex factors that led to her death. I’ve been quick to judge the summit industry but I completely understand Hargreaves decisions and can se A fantastic read about an extraordinary mountaineer. I know little about the world of mountaineering, heights being my biggest fear, but this in-depth analysis of one woman’s life delved into aspects of ambition, passion, fear and jealousy that we all live through. In the end I could feel the pull to the summit at the same time understanding the gradual, complex factors that led to her death. I’ve been quick to judge the summit industry but I completely understand Hargreaves decisions and can see how I have judged women and mothers differently to men. This book has given me a whole new perspective on how we all all pursue our dreams and the price we pay to feed our soul.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Madelin

    Read this book in a day it was so gripping. I’ve been fascinated by Alison for a long time and I just can’t stop thinking about this book. From her climbs in the Peak District and Wales, to her accomplishments in the Alps and Himalayas, she was certainly an amazing climber. There is a lot of talk that she was selfish for climbing whilst pregnant, then climbing Everest and K2 as a mother, but the book tells us the turmoil she went through trying to balance family life with her love of climbing. If Read this book in a day it was so gripping. I’ve been fascinated by Alison for a long time and I just can’t stop thinking about this book. From her climbs in the Peak District and Wales, to her accomplishments in the Alps and Himalayas, she was certainly an amazing climber. There is a lot of talk that she was selfish for climbing whilst pregnant, then climbing Everest and K2 as a mother, but the book tells us the turmoil she went through trying to balance family life with her love of climbing. If anything, this book made me admire Alison more, she was a remarkable, brave and talented climber.

  7. 5 out of 5

    SnufkinReads

    A brilliant account of one of the best female climbers. Highly acclaimed by the male dominated and often petty community of Himalayan climbers, which just proves how skilled she was. You'd need to wonder, reading the book, how would Alison's life look like if she didn't get into an abusive relationship. She achieved so much despite the personal issues, with the right support system she could have been the greatest climber ever. Male or female. The book is detailed, but also descriptive in ways t A brilliant account of one of the best female climbers. Highly acclaimed by the male dominated and often petty community of Himalayan climbers, which just proves how skilled she was. You'd need to wonder, reading the book, how would Alison's life look like if she didn't get into an abusive relationship. She achieved so much despite the personal issues, with the right support system she could have been the greatest climber ever. Male or female. The book is detailed, but also descriptive in ways that paint the harsh landscapes of climbing with ease and love. Highly recommended read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve Chilton

    A really good read in a busy genre. Gives interesting insights into the forces that drove Hargreaves, and addresses the question of where the dividing line is between climbing mountains for pleasure as an extreme sport and pushing yourself in order to gain headlines in the media and to satisfy sponsors, and how a family fits into all this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Judy Gacek

    A fascinating story of Hargreaves commitment and passion for mountain climbing. The question of the morality of a mother mountain climbing is most interesting. Fathers mountain climb but there seems to be a feeling that a mother taking such risks is morally more culpable than a father doing the same Lots of food for thought and discussion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pat Jorgenson Waterchilde

    I am not much for adventure books but I found this one very intriguing and interesting. The reader view of the life, thoughts, dreams and fears of Alison Hargreaves. Through her diaries we are able to attempt to understand what drove this woman to be a mountaineers in spite of her desires to take care of her children. As you finish the book, you will not doubt form you own opinions. None the less, this was Alison's life and we are not in a position to criticize. A very good read. I am not much for adventure books but I found this one very intriguing and interesting. The reader view of the life, thoughts, dreams and fears of Alison Hargreaves. Through her diaries we are able to attempt to understand what drove this woman to be a mountaineers in spite of her desires to take care of her children. As you finish the book, you will not doubt form you own opinions. None the less, this was Alison's life and we are not in a position to criticize. A very good read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    It's not the type of book I normally pick up, but I found myself finishing it within the day! For someone who doesn't know much about climbing, it was still easy to get fantastically in love with the world she lives for. Since it's not written from her point of view, and she was quite closed off about her emotions, at times she comes off as a little detatched. In reading from the exempts of her diary, you learn of her personal struggles and the strength she pulls off in each successful climb. It's not the type of book I normally pick up, but I found myself finishing it within the day! For someone who doesn't know much about climbing, it was still easy to get fantastically in love with the world she lives for. Since it's not written from her point of view, and she was quite closed off about her emotions, at times she comes off as a little detatched. In reading from the exempts of her diary, you learn of her personal struggles and the strength she pulls off in each successful climb.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul Barton

    A below average biography of a motivated female climber. The text was highly repetitive. She seemed to be planning to leave her husband every day for several years! I was disgusted at the selfishness of this person. She climbed while 6 months pregnant. Oh and she fell off K2 to her death leaving behind 2 young children.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Chevis

    A remarkable, tragic story of one woman and her determination to reach the top, for the benefit of her family. This book is inspiring and devastating, showing the strength of mind to succeed, and the risks you may need to take to get there. See my full review. A remarkable, tragic story of one woman and her determination to reach the top, for the benefit of her family. This book is inspiring and devastating, showing the strength of mind to succeed, and the risks you may need to take to get there. See my full review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dan Beatty

    Very interesting story of a Alison Hargreaves as she readies herself to climb difficult mountains (even though her status as a divorces mother of young ones was very contraversial among climbing community). She is determined and does conquer some difficult climbs, although she finds her fate in her attempt on K-2, probably the recognized as the most difficult mountain in the world to climb.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wilde Sky

    This book details the life of a female climber who died on K2. Quite an interesting book, but the writing was plodding / repetitive. I didn't get any sense of the real person / climber. I kept asking, 'What drove her?' A simple glossary would have helped for non-climbers and some context / basic facts about the climber’s achievements would have been useful. This book details the life of a female climber who died on K2. Quite an interesting book, but the writing was plodding / repetitive. I didn't get any sense of the real person / climber. I kept asking, 'What drove her?' A simple glossary would have helped for non-climbers and some context / basic facts about the climber’s achievements would have been useful.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Certainly a fascinating read about one of the greatest female mountaineers taken before her time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Tait

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chung-yee

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda Leitchman

  20. 4 out of 5

    G

  21. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Stratton-Mackay

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ericka B

  23. 5 out of 5

    MK

  24. 5 out of 5

    La Tammina

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gabriele

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kp

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

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