View from my house in BroomfieldA few years ago I read Obmascik’s first book, The Big Year. It’s about birders who spend a year and thousands of dollars trying to see every bird that visits North America. (In birding circles, that means Canada and the United States. Lots of birds that breed in Canada and the United States spend their winters south of the border, but somehow they’re still North American birds. It doesn’t really make sense to me either, and I’ve been birding for 13 years.)

Now he’s published a book about climbing all 54 of Colorado’s fourteeners, titled Halfway to Heaven.

Want to know how many I’ve climbed? In 21 years? 1. Uno.

Mount Princeton. It’s probably the easiest fourteener. I drove up to 11,000 feet and went from there, and 13,000 feet still kicked my ass. And as my twenty-something cousin observed when I finally reached the top, why shouldn’t it?

I don’t feel the need to ever climb another. The only reason I struggled up to 14,000 feet was that I knew I’d be pissed at myself if I didn’t. In fact, I was just reading about someone climbing all of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot peaks, and I thought, Yeah, that sounds about right. I’d rather go to the bottom of the ocean than the top of a mountain. And yet I live in Colorado. Oh well.

Check out the Denver Post‘s interview with Obmascik. One thing he says that struck me is that driving on I-70 scares him more than climbing these peaks.


This Saturday is the Five Points Jazz Festival. The music is free, and local restaurants will be offering boxed lunches for pretty cheap.

Leave A Comment

  1. BernardL May 15, 2009 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Great picture.

  2. Beth Partin May 15, 2009 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Thanks, Bernard. That’s the view from my house.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Cinco de Mayo in Denver

  3. BernardL May 16, 2009 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Very Nice!