MOUNT PLEASANT — America’s “hottest dad over 40” finds the idea amusing.
Harry Farthing, 48, of Mount Pleasant won the title recently with a photo taken on a mountainside in the Himalayas.
Millions of Americans will hear about it Friday morning on NBC’s “Today” show.
Farthing called it “a huge surprise” and “an unlikely title.”
“My climbing days are over,” he said with a laugh. “I have other priorities now.”
At the top of the list are his wife, Farrah, and two daughters, Isla, 1, and Eden, 3.
The photo was taken in 2004 while Farthing was scaling Shishapangma, the 14th-highest mountain in the world. He was climbing with Doug Allen, a professional Antarctica wildlife photographer. Farthing handed Allen his camera to snap a shot, and he captured a manly image in a rugged environment.
“It is quite a good photograph, definitely taken by a great photographer,” Farthing said.
They went on to make it to the summit. Farthing conquered many of the world’s great peaks between 2004 and 2010, including Kilimanjaro and Matterhorn and 300 meters shy of the summit of Everest.
Now he works at home as a writer. He just finished a novel, called “Summit,” based on his experiences. He calls it a mix of “Into Thin Air,” Indiana Jones and “The Da Vinci Code.” It will be available on Amazon in August.
“He’s a great dad,” his wife said. “He helps out at home all the time and he is a really present father figure.”
Farthing, a native of North Devon, England, met the former Farrah Follman, a Dallas native, in 2000 when they were both working for a commercial real-estate company in Italy. They were married in 2009 and moved to Mount Pleasant near her parents in 2010.
Farrah heard about a hot dads photo contest sponsored by iVillage several weeks ago. She sent in the photo of her husband on the mountainside. Online voters and a panel of judges picked him as the hottest in his age group.
The overall winner — the hottest dad out of all nine categories — will be announced on the “Today” show.
Farthing got a $100 American Express gift card for winning his category. The top winner will get a week’s vacation for two to Scrub Island resort in the Virgin Islands.
The Farthings aren’t holding their breath for the top prize, but you never know.
“It’s just something fun and entertaining, so we don’t take it too seriously,” Farrah said. “At least it’s made us laugh. All of our friends think it’s very amusing.”
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.