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Some climber he’d never know had left him a lifeline. Trying desperately to subdue his mounting panic on the deadliest mountain in the Swiss Alps, Christian was shamelessly grabbing the old rope whenever it was visible, nearly paralyzed with fear. Any slip now would send him plummeting to the bottom of the wall, eight thousand feet of free fall with no chute and no god to save him.
He went higher, foolishly holding his breath to calm an anxiety he’d never known before. He started thinking that his much vaunted confidence had put him up here. And now that the same cocksure attitude he’d always had about life was going to send him to his death. He could almost feel his confidence, long his mainstay, seeping out through his pores.
He went higher, looking for each new shred of frayed rope, literally grasping at straws.
The whole spectrum of the face was in atrocious condition, far worse than he’d expected. It was plastered with rime and loaded with unstable snow. He was shit out of luck. There was nowhere left to go—he saw the rope! He lunged for it and that’s when he made the worst mistake of his short life. He made a single misstep. Both of his two ice axes and the crampons on his boots sheared out of the rotten ice at the same moment.
He found himself airborne, the wind tearing at his clothes as he hurtled downward.
They say time slows down just before you die. That you revisit all the important scenes from your life, like a movie. It’s all bullshit. You fall off a mountain top and three seconds later you’re a bug on the windshield of life…
Meed The Author
Ted Bell, former Writer-in-Residence, Cambridge University, was Chairman of the board and World-Wide Creative Director of Young & Rubicam, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Hawke, Assasin, Pirate, Spy, Tsar, Warlord and Phantom, along with a series of YA adventure novels.