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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 mountain climbing trojan horse at summer season camp, Obmascik can’t face up to the chance for a few high-altitude father-son bonding through mountain climbing a top jointly. After their first joint climb, Obmascik, addled through the skinny air, comes to 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 lower than three hundred and sixty five days. 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 ebook Award for outside Literature, and made one reviewer snort so tough he "blew beer out of [his] nostril" (Colorado Daily). just like the author’s severely acclaimed debut, The immense yr, it brings a prepared eye and sharp humor to an obsessive lifestyle: climbers who proportion the author’s crazed ardour of scaling all fifty-four of the famed and feared Fourteeners.

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M. , I puzzled if he used to be nonetheless coming. At 5:25 a. m. I unlaced my boots and snuggled again in my slumbering bag, confident he had made up our minds to stick domestic and dry. At 5:35 a. m. I heard sticks cracking within the woods. I poked my head out of the tent. “Hey,” Jordan stated. “Sorry I’m overdue. ” at the hike in to fulfill me, Jordan had jumped a deer in the dead of night, which proved extra startling to guy than beast, simply because Bambi might listen him coming, whereas Jordan had his ears pounding with Collective Soul from his iPod. climbing on my own via thick predawn fog after scaring up a massive wild animal used to be no longer the main stress-free solution to begin a weekend. Jordan appeared comfortable to work out me. and that i, him, notwithstanding I wasn’t definite we might do whatever with our backcountry assembly. The fog used to be so thick it dripped off bushes. used to be mountaineering blind particularly the right way to tackle a complicated, treacherous height like Maroon? Jordan’s resolution: Let’s supply it a try to see the way it is going. because the 2005 tragedy together with his father, Jordan had summited this height two times. With steep slopes, route-finding demanding situations, rock scrambling, and mind-blowing perspectives, Maroon had almost about every thing he beloved in a mountain, with the exception of the stories. At this element in the summertime, the Bell twine path up Maroon height has lengthy seeing that melted out. Our plan is to take the best way up, notwithstanding the best course for this mountain is tougher than for all yet a handful of different Fourteeners. With dawn the fog thins, yet nonetheless prevents us from seeing even more than thirty toes forward. this can be a superb factor. From Bent Tree rises the main punishing, unrelenting gully of any ordinary path on a Fourteener—2,800 toes of achieve in lower than a mile. notwithstanding the gully isn't technical, it really is brutal. Jordan is this sort of actual specimen that he can often climb an attractive 2,500 vertical toes in line with hour. I’ve warned him that my very own actual restrict is ready two-and-a-half instances slower than that. to ensure the message sinks in, I inform him to visualize that he’s mountaineering along with his mother. I intend it as a funny story, until eventually he tells me that his mom is barely 5 years older than I, and that she has climbed a host of Fourteeners. Hmmm. simply think, I inform him, that tapioca is my favourite meals, The Golden women my favourite exhibit, and that the waist of my Sansabelt rides slightly under my armpits. I’m unsure he is familiar with the Golden ladies half, yet he does get the final message. He slows to a speed that provides me adequate oxygen to either climb and converse. I ask if he ever thought of giving up mountain climbing. a bit, he acknowledged, yet then he discovered he enjoyed it an excessive amount of. He has replayed his father’s demise a couple of million instances in his brain, and nonetheless isn’t convinced precisely how or why it occurred. They either concept they'd adequate snow event to aim a climb like that. They either made the choice to show again once they did. They either idea their rope was once securely anchored. They either concept the shortcut was once the quickest and, given the stipulations, the most secure means down the mountain. I ask what he discovered from the tragedy. the most lesson, he says, is that the human physique is able to being driven via magnificent discomfort, fatigue, and worry.

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