"A Window to Heaven is much more than a climbing epic—it’s equal parts Wild West gold rush extravaganza, sub-arctic exploration saga, and social justice crusade. Dean takes us along with the prickly muscular Christian missionary Hudson Stuck as he dogsleds thousands of miles through Alaska’s frozen wilderness, fighting to shield its native cultures from the greed, whisky, physical and sexual abuse, cultural imperialism, and environmental devastation riding in the vanguard of white 'civilization,' all while telling the astonishing account of Stuck’s triumphant first ascent of Denali."
– Gregory Crouch, author of The Bonanza King and Enduring Patagonia
"In A Window to Heaven, Patrick Dean brings together the story of a humble Episcopal priest with the stupendous chronicle of the improbable first ascent of North America's tallest and most magnificent mountain. A book whose scope, themes, and drama are worthy of Denali itself."
– Kevin Fedarko, author of THE EMERALD MILE
"Everyone should know about Hudson Stuck. This Englishman left for the Texas frontier in the 1880s, became a missionary in Alaska, traveled thousands of miles by dogsled, and made the first summit of Denali in 1913. He's a spectacular character who deserves to be better known today."
– Alastair Humphreys, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, author of My Midsummer Morning
“A ‘missionary first and a mountain climber afterwards,’ Hudson Stuck, at age fifty, became the first to climb to the top of Mount McKinley (Denali) and glimpse ‘a window into heaven.’ His is a remarkable story – of faith and vision and determination – extraordinarily well told by Patrick Dean.”
– John McCardell, Vice-Chancellor and President Emeritus, Professor of History at The University of the South
"In the interior of Alaska, Hudson Stuck, Walter Harper, and John Fredson are living in the memories and, even more importantly, in the horizon of Native Alaska. It was my privilege to see them reflected in joy and love of some of the elders who had known them in their youth. Like so many, I was challenged and changed by the power of their stories of these extraordinary human beings. Stuck, Harper, and Fredson, together, had a living relationship with that great land that speaks as much to the future as it adorns the past. I am so grateful for Patrick Dean’s A Window to Heaven. It gives a new generation the opportunity enter the excitement and promise of an adventure that still calls us all."
– The Most Reverend Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop of Canada
"A rich and sensitive portrait of a man, a mountain, and an era in Alaska’s history that we should know better. With grace and clarity Dean reveals Hudson Stuck as a missionary-explorer who was both fully of his time and able to recognize some of its deepest prejudices. Surrounded by the miners, gamblers, and Sourdoughs of the Last Frontier, Stuck rejected dominant cultures of consumption and extraction to become a rare advocate for Indigenous culture. In his careful exploration of Stuck’s life and his race to be the first to summit Denali, Dean offers a wonderful view onto the North at a time when its people, and its landscapes, should be more on our minds than ever."
– Neil Shea, National Geographic