I the corner and IT UNFOLDED with secure hooks in the thin crack.
icicle, it broke f rom the wall. The section of ice, estimated to weigh about six tons, somehow pinned the rope between Terravecchia and his partner Andy Tuthill. The weight of the ice violently stopped Terravecchia’s fall, breaking his ribs and his leg. It ripped dozens of metres of rope through Tuthill’s belay device, burning through his gloves and through the skin on the palms of his hands, but Tuthill held on. He then managed to get his battered friend down the lower gully, which is now called the Carryout Couloir. It was Terravecchia’s second trip to the Deer Lake hospital because of this climb I’m currently on.
Before Pfaff and I left for Newfoundland, I asked Terravecchia if he had any helpful information or route ideas for us. He told me the stories of his accidents, which I had heard a decade ago when they happened. His words rang in my ears as I was hanging from my tools and tried to recover. “I don’t need to warn you about the ice brows at the top,” Terravecchia said. “Remember that all of those ice roofs were once hung with icicles. Good luck.”
While the pump in my arms wore off, I was thinking about everything that had brought us there. From the idea of an adventure to attempting a route that nearly killed my heroes, more than once. I continued up the corner and it unfolded with secure hooks in the thin crack. The pods opened at small ledges and the gear went in, solid. I was under the belly of the ice-truss and reached my left tool out, over my head and backhanded a hopeful peck at the twisting mass of ice. Deep dry beats, like the sound of a kettle drum, were heard over the sound of the wind. I hooked my tool in a pocket of ice and took a swing onto it. I pulled hard and smoothly. I locked my fist, which was wrapped around the grip of my axe, deep into my armpit. My legs hugged the tip of the dagger and I tapped my right tool gently into another pocket in the ice. The vibrations from my swing reverberated through the ice and into my thighs. “If the dagger goes, I go with it,” I thought. The dagger stayed attached to the wall; I couldn’t believe it was supporting me. Delicately, I tapped up the delicate structure of ice. And, as I reached the top, my anxiety turned to excitement and I screamed out loud.