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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 by means of the mountaineering computer virus at summer season camp, Obmascik can’t withstand the chance for a few high-altitude father-son bonding through mountain climbing a top 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 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 sure bet. This "hilarious midlife picaresque" (Publishers Weekly) has garnered vast serious acclaim, was once named an "Editor’s choose" through Parade, won the 2009 nationwide outdoors ebook Award for outside Literature, and made one reviewer chortle so not easy 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 lifestyle: climbers who percentage the author’s crazed ardour of scaling all fifty-four of the famed and feared Fourteeners.

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In hindsight, “charged” used to be too robust a note. “Approached very rapidly” used to be most likely extra exact, notwithstanding the rate of the wild animal’s procedure used to be not anything in comparison to the haste that the Prince hired to zip up his fly and flee. That’s while whatever even stranger occurred. The mountain goat had little interest in goring a person. What it sought after was once pee. Starved for salt, the goat dug into the dust and grass and commenced feasting at the Prince’s urine. whereas we stood in ask yourself simply fifty ft away, 3 different goats hightailed in in the course of the bushes and bluffed and nudged and driven until eventually ultimately the largest goat asserted dominion over the Prince’s helpful pay airborne dirt and dust. This used to be mistaken on such a lot of various degrees. The mountain goat used to be presupposed to be the very image of high-country wasteland, a creature difficult adequate to scramble conveniently up sheer rock partitions and during a brutal Rocky Mountain wintry weather. yet right here they have been, down within the bushes, racing one another via campsites weighted down with Vibram and Gore-Tex to wrest keep an eye on of the hottest puddle of guy piss. challenge was once, I needed to pass too. I sneaked away a number of hundred yards, checked to ensure i used to be by myself, unzipped—and had one other goat emerge from the bushes like Pavlov’s puppy. Gee whiz! all of the goats—we counted dozen, sauntering round with out worry of people, anxiously eyeing our zippers—made us view our breathtaking camp with new eyes. Like tinsel on a Christmas tree, goat fur used to be draped from each low-lying tree department; in August the goats have been nonetheless molting their iciness coats. We thought of relocating, yet each surrounding campsite used to be laced with fur too. in addition to, the goats didn’t appear to pose any risk. So we simply waited and watched them come and cross as they watched and waited for us to head. After an hour or so of this we begun viewing the mountain goats a bit like Labrador retrievers, pleasant and lumbering, yet with a weight of 2 hundred kilos and eight-inch pointy horns. one other icon of untamed the United States strutting simply 40 toes from the rock the place i used to be analyzing a booklet? Ho-hum. without notice at the back of us erupted a crashing sound that looked as if it would come from a dramatically greater goat. We grew to become and observed, rising from the thicket of timber, a creature that didn't have hooves. It was once a guy with a backpack. The crotch and rear of his climbing shorts have been coated with white goat fur. We laughed. His face flushed purple. “It’s now not what you think,” he acknowledged. “Honest. ” The Prince and that i couldn't withstand. “Here comes a baaaaad guy. ” “He’s been at the lam. ” “Looks like he bought his goat. ” “Somebody pulled the wool over his eyes. ” “Poor billy. ” “Seems type of gruff. ” “Can’t make a U-turn, yet he can yes make her eyes roll again. ” an ordinary individual may need punched us in our noses. This hiker used to be now not general. He requested to camp subsequent to us. We set stipulations: (1) He needed to take off all that goat hair; (2) he couldn’t make us consider reasonable for dozing so simply with a stranger. We had a brand new camp accomplice. His identify was once Walt Johnson, and he used to be an adrenaline junkie.

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