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Wheat Ridge Reads to Feature Fourteener Memoir

(Wheat Ridge, CO – July 1, 2013)   The Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission invites Wheat Ridge residents to participate in Wheat Ridge Reads this summer. This annual, city-wide event will feature the book Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled — and Knuckleheaded — Quest for the Rocky Mountain High, Mark Obmascik’s rollicking, witty, sometimes harrowing, often poignant account of scaling all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains. Wheat Ridge Mayor Jerry DiTullio announced the 2013 book selection in a proclamation made at the June 10 City Council meeting.

Selected by the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission to promote literacy and a common experience among Wheat Ridge residents, Halfway to Heaven represents the work of a Colorado author with a story of accomplishment and humanity in Colorado’s famed back country. The story begins with when Obmascik’s 12-year-old son gets bitten by the climbing bug at summer camp. The elder Obmascik, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning Denver Post reporter and a stay-at-home dad, decided to try summiting all 54 peaks, despite being 44 years old and out of shape. Along the way, he tells the stories of the interesting, often eccentric, climbing partners he recruits, provides insight into the naming of the various mountains, and tells the history of numerous mountain communities.

Halfway to Heaven won the 2009 National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature, and Obmascik’s first book, The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession, received five Best of 2004 citations by major media. The Big Year movie, starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson, was released in October 2011 by 20th Century Fox.

To support community discussion, Obmascik will appear at several Wheat Ridge Reads events in September, including talks at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 and 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and at the Wheat Ridge Library at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. His book will be available at local libraries and several local bookstores, and is available in downloadable formats from online retailers.

Wheat Ridge Reads is sponsored by the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission, Jefferson County Public Library and the Wheat Ridge Library.

About Wheat Ridge Reads
Wheat Ridge Reads is a citywide book club, sponsored by the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission. Presented annually, Wheat Ridge Reads is designed to promote literacy and a shared reading experience throughout the city.

About Jefferson County Public Library
Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) is the third largest public library in the state of Colorado. Our mission is to meet the changing needs of our communities by providing information and environments that promote personal growth and community transformation. A JCPL library card is the smartest card in your wallet, giving you access to an online library that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, a network of 10 libraries, a Bookmobile, a Traveling Children's Library and an eTrain mobile computer training lab, as well as books, periodicals, CDs and DVDs, audio and eBooks, and computer and Internet resources. For more information contact your local library or visit jeffcolibrary.org.