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The Bark of the Cony

Devoted father, expert mountain climber and nature lover George Nash Smith shares the challenges and experiences that shaped his unique life philosophy:

Not if, but how.

Net proceeds of the print edition
will be donated to charity.

The Book

In 1932, just before turning 4, I experienced a traumatic childhood injury that strongly affected my outlook on life. My Family provided emotional support as I adapted to having only partial use of my right arm and hand. 

A good friend, Warren Pulis, and I discovered mountain climbing while in college, and for me, it was like I found religion. 

This book, The Bark of the Cony, emphasizes a major life philosophy of mine, “Not If, But How.” It tells of life experiences in my formative years and adventures that my four sons and I experienced while climbing mountains together. 

— George Nash Smith

The Inspiration
The Author
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George Nash Smith was born in Denver in 1928 and is a third-generation Coloradoan. Due to an accident George’s right arm and hand were severely injured before he was four years old. This event was life-changing, but because he grew up in an emotionally supportive environment, he learned not to use his injury as an excuse. Instead, he developed his philosophy of “Not if, but how,” and had an attitude of challenging himself.

George joined the Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout at age 14. He further developed his life philosophy and love for nature through mountain climbing, which began when he and his good friend, Warren Pulis, first climbed Longs Peak while attending college at Colorado A & M in Fort Collins.

George married Marilou Milano in 1951 and they raised four sons, Flint, Quade, Cody, and Tyle. George became a square dance caller in 1948 while in college, and in 1961 built a dance hall called The Outpost where he continued to teach dancing and hold private parties up until the week before his death on October 24, 2020.

The Family

By 1969 the “Climbing Smiths” had climbed all 67 peaks over 14,000 feet in the contiguous 48 states. Their experiences helped the family forge strong bonds, learn important values and set records along the way.

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