2FrontGraphic“We are getting close aren’t we?” and saying this, he steps in front of Dave and takes the lead. He sets a fast pace. The going is difficult along the steep side of the mountain with fallen trees repeatedly in their way and tangles of brush and vines ensnaring them. The snow covers years of fallen dead leaves that slide and sink away under their boots. Thrashing his way forward, he is determined to find the bottom of the ice flow. It is clear they are getting close. They begin to pass the north wall on their right and catch glimpses of it through the trees, steep dark rock, laced with ice falls. It dwarfs them. Truette is twenty feet in front of Dave. He shouts over his shoulder, “DAVE! DAVE! I CAN SEE IT UP AHEAD. GOD! DAVE, it is going to be worth all this,” his voice softens toward the end as if he were reverent. He sees it already through the tree trunks, a background of gray, blue, white ice. Not more forest. Dave watches him crash forward, stumbling toward the edge of the trees. He sees him step out on the snow slope bordering the lower section of the immense ice flow. Truette is shocked by its sudden nearness upon his exit from the trees. He cries out surprised, “Dave! My God! It is here.”

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 911-920). Truette T. Stubbs. Kindle Edition.