Two Shadows - the inspirational story of one man's triumph over adversity

by Charlie Winger
From the darkness of a six foot by eight foot cell in solitary confinement to the top of the highest peak in the Western  Hemisphere, this is the captivating, true story of one man's struggle to recover from a troubled past.
This autobiographical book is filled with Winger's adventures during 35 years of mountaineering, climbing rock & ice, and world travel. People who have met Charlie, attended one of his slideshows, or read his guidebooks will recognize his knack for telling stories. Some are hair-raising, some are a little crazy, and some will have you laughing out loud.
Two Shadows is about more than climbing. It is the story of a boy who grew up in an atmosphere of neglect and abuse. He made numerous bad choices in life which resulted in his being sentenced to prison at age eighteen. While incarcerated, Winger turned his life around. He obtained his high school diploma, began taking college courses, and learned computer programming. Upon his release, he began a successful career in information technology.
After moving to Colorado in the early 1970s, Winger began hiking and climbing in the Rocky Mountains. He discovered a passion for the mountains, and went on to climb peaks all around the world, as well as literally hundreds of summits within the United States.
Quoting from the book's introduction by guidebook author and Denver Post columnist Dave Cooper:
"Although this is an autobiography, the story Charlie tells in this book could be considered as an allegory for whatever personal summits we are attempting to scale. The mental fortitude, perseverance, and bonds of friendship needed to scale the peaks described here are no different than the qualities needed to excel in life in general. It is on the mountain that a person's true nature is laid bare. It has been said that character is revealed not by one's successes, but by how one responds to failure. Charlie shares with us both his successes and failures, and it is apparent that neither has done anything to diminish his indomitable spirit. It is this same spirit that has allowed him to 'bounce back' (sorry Charlie) from the illness and fall that would have ended most other climbers' careers."
Cooper's mention of a "fall" refers to Winger's ice climbing accident in Ouray, Colorado in December 2009, where he suffered six fractures and was raised out of the canyon in a litter by Ouray Mountain Rescue Team members. Winger, 74, has resumed hiking, rock climbing, and ice climbing. In this memoir, he also describes his recovery from prostate cancer and surgery, also in 2009.
The book is available in paperback or eBook (Kindle) format from and other online booksellers (ISBN 978-1453786789).