4-Jeff-Dave-Truette There is a huge log from a hundred year old oak that died twenty years ago across the trail. Dave and Jeff have a seat on it and light cigarettes. Truette kneels in the snow and peers through the lens of his camera at them and the log in the snow under the brown tree branches. It is a good picture. There is space on the log for him to sit beside Dave. He props the camera on a stump there just so it is aimed at the men on the log and space next to Dave and is focused with the shutter speed set for the aperture opening for the best depth of field in the morning light. Then he pushes down the automatic timing device and scrambles over to sit on the log and smile at the camera seated beside Dave who is next to Jeff. Dave and Jeff look up from their smoking at the camera too. Whirr-click. There is a barely perceptible movement at the camera leans. They relax from their poses and Truette retrieves his camera, satisfied that the trip back to get it was not wasted. Dave plans to wait at the log for Jeff and Truette so they can walk out together, maybe hike up from the parking lot to the summit of Whiteside together as a symbol of their end to a great few days. Truette cautions him not to get too cold, to start the walk back to keep warm and he and Jeff will catch up to him. Dave says he will, but he is sure he will be warm enough in the afternoon sunshine and they will know because if he does go on he will leave an ice screw on the log as a signal that all is well with him and he has gone on. They part.

Stubbs, Truette (2013-04-19). STARSHINE: 1978 Mountaineering History Making Ice Climb on the North Face of Whiteside Mountain in North Carolina USA (Kindle Locations 2537-2547). Truette T. Stubbs. Kindle Edition.