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The Calling Audiobook

The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains

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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.

©2014 Barry Blanchard (P)2017 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (20 )
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  •  
    Matthew 10-03-17
    Matthew 10-03-17 Member Since 2014
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    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter Wadlow 09-19-17 Member Since 2015
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    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 07-28-17
    Matt 07-28-17 Member Since 2014
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    "what a great story"

    I really started looking into Barry after reading Mar Twights and Steve Houses books. They tell you how he is a great climber, but in this book you learn that he is a great human being and truley loves what he does. I respect him even more now having been able to glimps into the real Barry

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    A. West San Pedro 06-30-17
    A. West San Pedro 06-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Worth a listen if you're into climbing and adventures."

    Not my cup of tea but it was okay. The narration was a bit painful but there were some good parts. Hard to follow unless you're a climber. I did appreciate the good positive messages. I am sure he's lived a daring and adventurous life. I do envy that and plan on making that my own story moving forward. That was the inspirational part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harri 05-13-17
    Harri 05-13-17
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    "A really good read"

    I have listened to a lot of books on climbing but this one was definitely my favorite. Honest, good descriptions on the climbing. I felt like I was right there with Blance kicking the steps in the snow. The book is really funny too. At times I was laughing with tears in my eyes. Also I must say that the narration is spot on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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