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 mountain climbing trojan horse at summer time camp, Obmascik can't face up to the chance for a few high-altitude father-son bonding by way of mountaineering a height jointly. After their first joint climb, addled by way of the skinny air, Obmascik makes a decision to maintain his head within the clouds and check out scaling all fifty four of Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains, referred to as the Fourteeners -- and to do them in under one year.
The result's midway to Heaven, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Obmascik's rollicking, witty, occasionally harrowing, frequently poignant chronicle of an outrageous midlife experience that's no simple task, even though occasionally it's A stroll within the Woods -- yet with extra sweat and not more oxygen. part one million humans attempt hiking a Colorado Fourteener each year, yet merely twelve hundred have mentioned summiting all of them. Can an obese, stay-at-home dad turn into No. 1,201?
With his ebullient character and glowing prose, Obmascik brings us contained in the quirky, colourful culture of hiking obsessives who summit those mountains yr after 12 months. Honoring his involved wife's orders to not climb by myself, Obmascik drags outdated associates up the slopes, a few of them lifelong flatlanders tasting skinny air for the 1st time, and lures pro Rockies junkies into taking up a huffing, puffing beginner by way of bribing them with unfastened beer, lunches, and vehicle washes. one of the new acquaintances he makes are an ex-drag racer attempting to practice a headstand on each summit, the lead oboe participant in a Hebrew salsa band, and a climber with the counterproductive pre-climb ritual of gulping down 4 beers and a burrito. alongside the best way, Obmascik reports the uncooked, rowdy, and infrequently obvious intimacy of male friendship, braced through the double intoxicants of adrenaline and altitude.
Though chance is often current -- the Colorado Fourteeners have killed extra climbers than Mount Everest -- Mark is familiar with his getting older scalp can't manage to pay for the hair-raising adventures of Jon Krakauer's Into skinny Air, and his quest turns into a narrative of family members, friendship, and fraternity. In Obmascik's summer season of hiking, he loses fifteen kilos, reveals a couple of dozen man-dates, and earnings recognize for the background of those storied mountains (home to cannibalism, gold rushes, shoot-outs, and one of many nation's most renowned non secular shrines). As a lot approximately midlife and male bonding because it is set mountains, midway to Heaven tells how weekend warriors can live on all of them as they succeed in for these so much far-off issues -- the summits of mountains and a teenage son. And as one guy exceeds the actual achievements of his early life, he discovers that age -- like summit peak -- is simply a host.