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Dierdre Wolownick (Honnold), The Sharp End of Life: A Mother's Story

  • Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse 1010 Foothill Boulevard La Cañada Flintridge (map)

Author Appearance by record-setting senior athlete and mother of famed Free Solo rock climber Alex Honnold


DIERDRE WOLOWNICK-HONNOLD summited Yosemite’s El Capitan when she was 66, setting a record as  the oldest woman to accomplish that treacherous climb.

In The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story, Wolownick shares her life journey from confused young wife and busy but lonely mother to confident middle-aged athlete. Dierdre brings the reader along as she finds new strength, happiness, and community in the outdoors -- and a life of learning, acceptance, and spirit.

Dierdre Wolownick’s daughter Stasia inspired her to start running at age 54. She completed several marathons, and when she was 58, her son Alex – the first and only person to free solo Yosemite’s El Capitan - led her on her first rock climb. A world of friendship and support suddenly opened up to her within the climbing “tribe,” culminating in her record-setting ascent of El Cap with her son.

Wolownick is a native New Yorker and has lived and worked in many parts of the world. Her award-winning writing has appeared in books and magazines world-wide. She appeared in the 2019 Academy Award-winning documentary “Free Solo,” about her son Alex. She recently retired from a teaching career and continues to be a motivational speaker and a performing musician.