Halfway to Heaven: My White-Knuckled - and Knuckleheaded - Quest for the Rocky Mountain High by Mark Obmascik
What is with me and mountaineering books, when I couldn't climb a big hill, much less a mountain?? ;-)
Mark is a journalist, who, on the enthusiasm of his son, climbs a "Fourteener" in the Rocky Mountains, and finds himself drawn to the mountaineering lifestyle (Fourteeners are Rocky Mountains higher than 14,000 feet). And so, he decides he's going to climb all 54 Fourteeners, one way or another - despite having no previous experience.
He drops weight, he goes on a lot of "man dates" (his wife refuses to let him climb alone so he has to find climbing buddies along the way), he summits and summits and summits...and all along tells his story, which is filled with laugh out loud moments, history of the peaks, and even a few tragedies he is touched by. Mark's style is breezy and approachable, and you totally feel like you are along for his hikes, and feel his terror, his celebration, and his triumph as he strives for his goal.
I really loved the writing, the scenery, and the company of this novel - I'm definitely going to seek out Mark's novel The Big Year next.
What a great read! Now, if only I had a mountain to climb in Indiana....;-)