Wilderness

a snowball called ANXIETY

“WELL, that didn’t work. This rock is no better than the sugary, treacherous snow I needed a break from,” I called to my climbing companions, Caro and Simon. We’d been tentatively plugging upwards, out of the dawn, towards Mt Travers’ north-east ridge. There had been no freeze overnight and, nagging at the backs of our minds, was a deteriorating weather forecast.

The snow was a problem – while the steps we kicked as we pot-holed upwards were deep, they sometimes gave way without warning. Our route took us up steep, exposed snow slopes, interspersed with stretches of shattered rock. Our ropes remained in our packs because there were no possibilities to put in solid protection. Our axes were really only

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