"No matter how many times the Denali story gets told, it never gets old. The trick, if one is to write about it, is to make it new. Outdoors writer Patrick Dean has done just that in A Window to Heaven, casting the climb in new light. The story reverberates today. And while Stuck is controversial among climbers and others, in Native communities throughout the state, he remains widely revered. Stuck provides a roadmap for religious leaders grappling with these questions.He presents Stuck as an imperfect but still commendable model for our own times. We should pay attention."
– David A. James, The Anchorage Daily News
"From the Texas frontier to North America’s tallest peak, this balanced biography of Hudson Stuck offers plenty of adventure, setbacks, and turmoil. It seeks a way to impact the world and will engage."
– Library Journal
"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 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
“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
"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