By Mark Obmascik
Fats, forty-four, father of 3 sons, and dealing with a vasectomy, Mark Obmascik might by no means have guessed that his subsequent flow will be up a 14,000-foot mountain. but if his twelve-year-old son will get bitten through the hiking computer virus at summer season camp, Obmascik can’t face up to the chance for a few high-altitude father-son bonding via mountaineering a height jointly. After their first joint climb, Obmascik, addled by way of 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, often called the Fourteeners—and to do it in under 12 months. 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 extensive 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 chortle so challenging he "blew beer out of [his] nostril" (Colorado Daily). just like the author’s significantly acclaimed debut, The colossal yr, 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
Not anything to do with fish. It’s simply his name—Shad. I supply Shad the opportunity to reciprocate via making enjoyable of my final identify. not more tit for tat, he says. He’s been operating not easy to recover from that. In his senior 12 months of highschool, Shad misplaced all his neighbors while his mom and dad moved from Nebraska to fortress Collins, Colorado. although he used to be proficient adequate in Nebraska to begin as a sophomore on his varsity soccer group, Shad used to be kept away from by way of his new teammates in Colorado. He hand over soccer. He took jobs at Kmart and Pizza Hut to assist pay the debts, yet fell in with an older crowd that valued ingesting greater than operating. For Shad, a twelve-pack of Keystone or Black Label used to be just the beginning of an evening. Shad’s mom and dad divorced the 12 months after he all started collage. He took up together with his top friend’s female friend, and he married and have become a father sooner than he received his degree. the wedding busted up while his son was once 5, and the boy took it tough. Shad was once depressing too. He had no university measure. He had few acquaintances. He was once six toes tall, 230 kilos, and respiring heavy whilst he walked from the couch to the fridge. He accomplished off a tin of Copenhagen chewing tobacco on a daily basis. whilst Shad’s distress spiraled into anger—arguing at paintings, snapping at relatives—an uncle challenged him to run a five-kilometer race. Shad survived. His uncle was once extremely joyful. an analogous compulsive force that had compelled him to complete each twelve-pack and each tobacco tin was once now grew to become towards workout. It wasn’t effortless. Shad knew those that may well drink, now not run. He joined an internet singles team for a hike up 14,271-foot problem top. whilst he stood atop the summit, he couldn’t think his view or his accomplishment. He realized that Colorado used to be domestic to fifty-four Fourteeners. He can make an inventory. He may possibly commence mountain climbing them. He might end them off. “The mountains,” Shad tells me, “became my position for anger administration. ” this day Shad is all the way down to one hundred sixty five kilos, a lack of forty percentage of his bodyweight in 4 years. He asks me approximately my spouse, and my young children, and our puppy, and my existence, and my paintings. And as he kicks my butt up the Missouri Mountain path, I’m pondering, this is often going pretty much for my first man-date. I’ve had dates with ladies with much much less shared info. basically, anything is happening right here. males don’t speak like this whilst they’re sober. Is altitude an intoxicant? the entire speak has made the time cross fast, and earlier than we all know it, we’ve climbed to timberline. The sight is either brilliant and daunting. wonderful simply because we’re flanked by way of titanic ridges, one with bighorn sheep atop it, and daunting simply because every little thing so far as we will see is roofed with snow. it can be Memorial Day weekend, yet at 12,000 toes within the Rockies it nonetheless seems like the lifeless of iciness. We’re in for a snow climb. I double-check with Shad to ensure that he fairly, actually had summited Longs height in winter—he had—and he assures me we’ll flip again if avalanche stipulations are too dicey. simply as I start thinking about the possibility of being pitched 2,000 toes down a chute through an avalanche in might, up struggles KirkT.