By Mark Obmascik
Fats, forty-four, father of 3 sons, and dealing with a vasectomy, Mark Obmascik may by no means have guessed that his subsequent circulation will be up a 14,000-foot mountain. but if his twelve-year-old son will get bitten via the mountaineering trojan horse at summer time camp, Obmascik can’t withstand the chance for a few high-altitude father-son bonding by way of mountain climbing a height jointly. After their first joint climb, Obmascik, addled via the skinny air, makes a decision to maintain his head within the clouds and take a look at to scale all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains, referred to as the Fourteeners—and to do it in below three hundred and sixty five days. The result's Halfway to Heaven, a rollicking, witty, occasionally harrowing chronicle of an outrageous event that's no simple task. This "hilarious midlife picaresque" (Publishers Weekly) has garnered large severe acclaim, was once named an "Editor’s choose" by way of Parade, won the 2009 nationwide outside e-book Award for out of doors Literature, and made one reviewer giggle so tough he "blew beer out of [his] nostril" (Colorado Daily). just like the author’s seriously acclaimed debut, The substantial 12 months, it brings a willing eye and sharp humor to an obsessive tradition: climbers who percentage the author’s crazed ardour of scaling all fifty-four of the famed and feared Fourteeners.
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Extra resources for Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High
Kiener’s critical frostbite fee him all his ft, a part of a foot, and a number of other palms. Agnes Vaille used to be memorialized via her kin with building at 13,200 toes of an emergency preserve stone hut. i used to be hoping we wouldn’t desire it. In a twist of fate, one other collage buddy of ours, Moog—his actual identify used to be Erich Meihoff, yet he was once the one grownup I’d ever met whose nickname from first grade had stuck—planned to be in Colorado the weekend of our Longs top try. Moog desired to climb too. After a summer time of begging for mountain climbing companions, i used to be now awash in them. the coming of 2 pals from twenty years in the past intended something: i wanted a much bigger flask. This challenge i used to be thankful to have. simply because Goss and Moog have been coming from sea level—Goss from Seattle, Moog from Portland—they, and that i, grew serious about their skill to deal with the large altitude switch. in accordance with my success with Mike Brislin at Mount Belford and Mount Oxford, and with my brother on Mount Harvard, i made a decision evening at a excessive camp used to be so as. We determined to separate the climb of Longs height into days—the first a backpack as much as a campsite at 12,500 ft, the second one an test at the summit itself. Our trek didn't begin good. on the trailhead sign-in sheet i discovered signatures from previous that day from of my prior mountain climbing companions, Dean Toda and David simply from Mount Lindsey, who mentioned they had didn't summit. Their clarification used to be one be aware, capitalized and exclaimed: ICY! A mile or so up the path, we met Scott Scharin, my advisor from Capitol top, now descending Longs along with his spouse and partner's mother. They, too, had became again from the ultimate summit push due to ice. notwithstanding Goss and Moog expressed amazement on the small global of Fourteeners climbers, i used to be extra preoccupied with the nasty stipulations being stated excessive over our heads. How a lot ice used to be above us? wouldn't it soften out ahead of we reached it? If now not, then what? With Goss in this hike, I knew the reply to the final query will be to show again. This simply elevated my experience of desperation. It was once September 7, and the excessive kingdom had already been socked with sizeable snowstorms. My window for Fourteener mountain climbing was once remaining. Goss and Moog either did a lot to settle my nerves, typically via now not speaking approximately mountain climbing or mountain climbing. due to the fact that university, Moog had develop into a grasp of non-public reinvention. After seven years of engineering window glass for factories in Wichita Falls, Texas; Perry, Georgia; Chehalis, Washington; and Mount Zion, Illinois, Moog was once apprehensive to attempt residing somewhere with at the very least another non–gun-owning Democrat. He enrolled on the college of Washington for company college, yet obtained so bored that he spent one summer time studying eastern at Stanford college and one other summer season conversing it in Niigata, Japan. He left college with a freshly minted MBA degree and no wish to ever use it. For the subsequent yr he traveled the Southern Hemisphere with hopes of knowing what he desired to do along with his lifestyles. there has been one great detour: On a backpack of the vintage sixty-kilometer Kepler song in New Zealand, he noticed a really lovely lady mountain climbing prior to him with a mug from espresso humans, the chain from his place of origin of Portland.