Con­tin­ued up

I the cor­ner and IT UN­FOLDED with se­cure hooks in the thin crack.

Gripped - - FEATURE - Will Mayo is one of the most ac­com­plished mixed climbers in the U.S.

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.

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