The Calling

  • by Barry Blanchard
  • Narrated by Barry Blanchard
  • 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With heart-pounding descriptions of avalanches and treacherous ascents, Barry Blanchard chronicles his transformation from a poor Native American/white kid from the wrong side of the tracks to one of the most respected alpinists in the world. At 13 he learned to rappel when he joined the 1292 Lord Strathcone's Horse Army Cadets. Soon kicked out for insubordination, he was already hooked on climbing and saw alpinism as a way to make his single mother proud and end his family's cycle of poverty. He describes early climbs attempted with nothing to guide him but written trail descriptions and the cajones of youth. He slowly acquired the skills, equipment and partners necessary to tackle more and more difficult climbs, farther and farther afield: throughout the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska and the French Alps and on to Everest, Peru, and the challenging mountains in Pakistan. From each he learned lessons that only nature and extreme endeavor can teach. This is the story of the culture of climbing in the days of punk rock, spurred on by the rhythm of adrenaline and the arrogance of youth. It is also a portrait of the power of the mountains to lift us.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I loved it.

An exciting, inspiring, vivid and honest storytelling of his life. Hilarious and emotional. Easily relatable for any climber, and probably still enjoyable for anyone who likes adventure. Being from Calgary myself and being familiar with a bunch of the mountains mentioned just added to the experience. Highly recommended!
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- Matthew

Fine Climbing Literature!

Quite simply, you must read-- or even better-- listen to Barry Blanchard read this book! Mr. Blanchard cites the immense impact that classic mountaineering literature had on his life. His very honest and very personal story deserves a place in that same classic canon--as acknowledged by his winning of the Boardman Tasker Prize in 2015. If you have the good fortune to be both an avid reader and a climber, this book will entertain and touch you personally. Thank you very much Barry Blanchard!
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- Walter Wadlow

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-07-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio