Near the death zone on K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, Lisa Thompson searched for the strength to continue climbing. Her choices were clear: give in to her doubts and descend or push past her own limits and continue up the mountain’s steep face.


Defiance had provoked Lisa Thompson to enter the male-dominated world of high-altitude mountaineering, but defiance could only take her so far. After a harrowing battle with cancer, Lisa realized she needed to understand what motivated her to take greater and greater risks in the mountains. Finding Elevation chronicles Thompson’s path from novice climber to world-class mountaineer, as she becomes the second American woman to summit K2, which is considered by many to be the deadliest mountain in the world.

More than a climbing memoir, Finding Elevation is a deeply personal examination of motivation and the human spirit. It is a story of what can happen when we finally stop letting others define our limits and instead trust that we are capable of more. In this inspiring book, Thompson reaches beyond the mountain to tell a story of heartbreak, resilience, and the discovery that we are responsible for defining our own boundaries, finding our own happiness, and facing our fears head-on.


Lisa Thompson is the second American woman to summit K2, the second highest and considered the deadliest mountain in the world.

Lisa has also summitted the highest mountain on all seven continents and just returned from leading an all-women’s expedition in Nepal, which provided education for Nepalese girls and employment for women building their careers in the Himalaya.

Lisa is a breast cancer survivor and in 2018 founded Alpine Athletics where she coaches aspiring climbers to reach their mountain goals.

Finding Elevation chronicles her path from novice climber to the summit of K2.

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This outstanding mountaineering memoir will appeal to readers of outdoor adventure, climbers, and those who revel in successful women athletes.


One of the most uplifting books for cancer patients.


Beautifully written, Lisa Thompson’s Finding Elevation takes us through her story arc that anyone climbing a physical or proverbial mountain can relate to. From frustration to despondency, leading to hope, exploration, and self-discovery, Lisa inspires us not to give in to our doubts. With every step, deep breath, and occasional fall, she motivates us with the tools to push past our limits and find the courage to decide who we want to be despite the challenges and obstacles so prevalent in our lives.

Chuck Garcia, CEO of Climb Leadership International, adjunct professor at Columbia University

An honest and gripping look at the world of high-altitude mountaineering by one of America’s finest alpinists.

Johanna Garton, author of Edge of the Map

Thompson gives readers an intimate view into the world of high-altitude mountaineering. She writes honestly about struggling to balance fear while exploring her own limits.

Garrett Madison, world’s premier Everest guide and expedition leader

Superb read. Not only is Lisa Thompson an incredible Inspiration for climbers and women everywhere, she is also a wonderful writer. She overcame many challenges to complete her epic climbs on Everest and K2. Highly recommended. Five stars!

Suzi J, Reviewer

This memoir was absolutely incredible. It was informative, inspiring, and I could not put it down. …
More than a climbing memoir, Finding Elevation touches on real life, relatable experiences and is a story of what can happen when we stop letting others define our limits, but instead trust that we are capable of more.

Mary Allison P, Reviewer

Finding Elevation  is a truly riveting book. And it is not just about Thompson’s summits of various of the world’s most challenging mountains, but it is a memoir that takes an intimate evaluation of her marriage, her closeness to her sister and especially to her father, her successful battle with cancer, and her climb to conquer and summit one of the most terrifying mountains on earth, K2.

Jane A., Reviewer

Conveying heartfelt emotions, suspense, and triumphs, Finding Elevation is an upward journey of body and mind.

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