Excerpt from Starshine: Dave is burned out, but he must finish. A little way above he can rest. He aches at failure, will his muscle work more, enough, they must. He wills it so.

“Slack!” he shouts into the wind.

He jams his front points into the ice, each step higher is a victory and with his last strength, he swings his right boot over the top and places it flat footed. He makes his move off front points, stands erect, and is about to fall over backwards on the forty-five degree ice over the top. There is a moment when he could go either way. He keeps his balance by staying in forward motion through the swirling snow, he tramps ten feet up the ice to the base of the first step. The wind tears at him and he can hardly see through the snow.

There are two screws remaining on the gear sling. Not enough to lead over the steps and Dave is exhausted. He uses the two screws to quickly set a belay. They go in tightly. The ice waist high where he is standing is solid. He chokes with gratitude for that. More icicles would have been devastating.

“You could drop a truck on these anchors,” he mutters to himself. “Off belay,” he screams over the roaring wind to Truette.