By Mark Obmascik
Fats, forty-four, father of 3 sons, and dealing with a vasectomy, Mark Obmascik could by no means have guessed that his subsequent movement 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 season camp, Obmascik can’t withstand the chance for a few high-altitude father-son bonding by means of mountain climbing a top jointly. After their first joint climb, Obmascik, addled by means of the skinny air, comes to a decision to maintain his head within the clouds and check out to scale all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains, often called the Fourteeners—and to do it in lower than twelve months. The result's Halfway to Heaven, a rollicking, witty, occasionally harrowing chronicle of an outrageous experience that's no simple task. This "hilarious midlife picaresque" (Publishers Weekly) has garnered huge severe acclaim, used to be named an "Editor’s choose" through Parade, won the 2009 nationwide outdoors booklet Award for out of doors Literature, and made one reviewer giggle so challenging he "blew beer out of [his] nostril" (Colorado Daily). just like the author’s severely acclaimed debut, The giant 12 months, it brings a willing eye and sharp humor to an obsessive tradition: climbers who proportion the author’s crazed ardour of scaling all fifty-four of the famed and feared Fourteeners.
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I virtually begged him to affix us. those mountains have been imagined to be tricky, and I’d be thankful to hike them with somebody with loads adventure. Walt stated he’d like to, yet there have been a couple of catches: For starters, all of his largest mountaineering accomplishments got here years in the past. Now he was once fifty-three. His days of hundred-pull-up exercises have been over. No challenge, I informed him. I can’t do pull-ups both. And one other factor? He wasn’t an early-morning individual. He couldn’t promise he’d make our deliberate predawn serious warning call. I instructed him i used to be prepared to take an opportunity. We’d nonetheless like to have him alongside. And another factor? Walt were out of labor for the earlier 4 years due to an incredible damage to his back—three ruptured disks—that had led to an extended and intricate felony case along with his service provider. The legal professionals again domestic in la have been understanding a few payment now, yet Walt wasn’t convinced how, or no matter if, his again may possibly stand up to one Fourteener, less 3 challenging ones. In different phrases, at the mountain he’d depend upon us up to we trusted him. reasonable deal, I informed him, although I questioned secretly how the hell he may well ranking a lawyer-size cost whereas backpacking fourteen miles round-trip with plans to climb those 3 Rocky Mountains. And so we sat round on our rocks at camp and swapped tales, a few of them precise, and dug into our freeze-dried dinners with spoons and advised extra tales and watched because the ladies from the educate suffered previous us with heavy backpacks muttering how lengthy hikes and Bloody Marys have been a truly, relatively awful combine. As nightfall approached we inspiration the clouds have been billowing up for a chic sundown, yet as an alternative they pounded us with a drenching downpour. The Prince and that i jumped into our slumbering luggage, however the rain drummed so loudly at the roof of our tent that speak used to be difficult. whilst lightning flashed, repeatedly and back, i may see his eyes. They have been vast. I informed him he’d do fantastic at the climb within the morning. I was hoping i used to be correct. The rain stopped approximately an hour earlier than our four a. m. alarm. I knew simply because i used to be already unsleeping. in reality, i used to be wide awake many of the evening puzzling over if the typhoon might cross, or if i used to be loopy to convey the Prince up the following, or even if he was once having enjoyable, or if I had the ability and patience to wake up those 3 peaks, or how i might get aid if we bumped into hassle while city used to be an extended backpack and educate journey away. I additionally puzzled if I did such a lot of brainless issues through the day simply because my brain spent lots time spinning throughout the evening. I poked my headlamp out the tent and observed puddles at the flooring yet stars within the sky. good news; the hurricane had handed. I awakened the Prince and began my automaton morning rituals—get dressed, cram down a chewy bar for breakfast, pop involved lenses, triple-check daypack for all climbing offers, and cross. fortunately the goats weren’t wide awake, yet Walt was once, and ready to hitch us. the 1st thousand vertical ft are muddy and steep, with traverses throughout sixty-foot rock boilerplates which are tough to trace at midnight and hard to grip with the moisture.