In every inspiring natural creation there is a realism that speaks to you. In every moment on a mountain you find it more and more. You discover yourself in ways not possible through other means. This stays with you and guides you for the rest of your life. May everyone have this chance at least once. ~ Dave, Dave’s Travel Corner
It was late Sunday afternoon and I was driving through the faded yellow hills of Lake County, on my way south, back from Mount Shasta City. I thought back to three days ago when I had one goal for the weekend, and that was to summit the highest mountain in the north state. I thought back to my time high on the mountain.
I was perched on the edge of an icy chute, halfway way down an area known as Red Banks, at about 12,800 feet. It was early morning, the sun was barely touching the tops of the western hills. I was slowly negotiating this narrow steep passageway with my ice ax and crampons. Every step required that I jam the pick of my ax into the slippery ice.
The steepness, narrowness, and beautiful blue ice of the passageway forced me into a slow descent. Perhaps it was the effects of the altitude or a dangerous miscalculation, but about 3/4 of the way down this steep chute my right foot missed its slippery toe-hold on the blue ice, and I slipped.
Dangling from my ice ax and my precarious foothold with my left crampon, I looked down about 4,000 feet and began to pray…