6-Bushes Jeff extends his arm toward where they know the face must be. They can’t see through the trees to it. “What if we descend here and bushwhack across that way?” He wonders. “Let’s go up the road further. I don’t want to bushwhack for hours,” Dave replies. They try to see across the valley to orient themselves and have no success looking through the trees. Finally, they come to an old fire road leading down and to their left, generally in the direction of the face. “Here we go,” Dave says. “Great! Gee, this might take us right to it,” Jeff declares. Truette follows them down the old snow-covered fire road which ends after fifty feet, plunging them into a thicket of rhododendron. They crawl, climb, crash, drag themselves down the steep slope through the snow and brush. Now they see an even shorter distance through the trees. “At least we know there is a six hundred foot ice fall in here somewhere!” shouts Dave. “You couldn’t prove it by me.” replies Jeff. “Keep moving to the right.” Truette suggests.

They do keep moving to the right. It gets worse, thicker, steeper, and impossible to stand. They are reduced to continuously crawling. Truette sits in the snow, and points his camera at Dave and Jeff who are ahead of him. They smile through the bushes. “This is ridiculous!” laughs Jeff, amused at their plight. There is no thought of turning back or that they won’t find the bottom of the ice flow.

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 787-798). Truette T. Stubbs. Kindle Edition.