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Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High
Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High by Mark Obmascik 1416566996 9781416566991
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Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High by Mark Obmascik

Fat, forty-four, father of three sons, and facing a vasectomy, Mark Obmascik would never have guessed that his next move would be up a 14,000-foot mountain. But when his twelve-year-old son gets bitten by the climbing bug at summer camp, Obmascik cant resist the opportunity for some high-altitude father-son bonding by hiking a peak together. After their first joint climb, addled by the thin air, Obmascik decides to keep his head in the clouds and try scalingall54 of Colorados 14,000-foot mountains, known as the Fourteeners -- and to do them inless than one year.The result isHalfway to Heaven, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Obmasciks rollicking, witty, sometimes harrowing, often poignant chronicle of an outrageous midlife adventure that is no walk in the park, although sometimes itsA Walk in the Woods-- but with more sweat and less oxygen. Half a million people try climbing a Colorado Fourteener every year, but only twelve hundred have reported summiting them all. Can an overweight, stay-at-home dad become No. 1,201?With his ebullient personality and sparkling prose, Obmascik brings us inside the quirky, colorful subculture of mountaineering obsessives who summit these mountains year after year. Honoring his concerned wifes orders not to climb alone, Obmascik drags old friends up the slopes, some of them lifelong flatlanders tasting thin air for the first time, and lures seasoned Rockies junkies into taking on a huffing, puffing newbie by bribing them with free beer, lunches, and car washes. Among the new friends he makes are an ex-drag racer trying to perform a headstand on every summit, the lead oboe player in a Hebrew salsa band, and a climber with the counterproductive pre-climb ritual of gulping down four beers and a burrito. Along the way, Obmascik experiences the raw, rowdy, and rarely seen intimacy of male friendship, braced by the double intoxicants of adrenaline and altitude.Though danger is always present -- the Colorado Fourteeners have killed more climbers than Mount Everest -- Mark knows his aging scalp cant afford the hair-raising adventures of Jon KrakauersInto Thin Air, and his quest becomes a story of family, friendship, and fraternity. In Obmasciks summer of climbing, he loses fifteen pounds, finds a few dozen man-dates, and gains respect for the history of these storied mountains (home to cannibalism, gold rushes, shoot-outs, and one of the nations most famed religious shrines). As much about midlife and male bonding as it is about mountains,Halfway to Heaventells how weekend warriors can survive them all as they reach for those most distant things -- the summits of mountains and a teenage son. And as one man exceeds the physical achievements of his youth, he discovers that age -- like summit height -- is just a number.

Author: Mark Obmascik

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 288

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: 2009-05-12

Our Price: $4.29

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ISBN: 1416566996


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Mark Obmascik  Hardcover


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