Chapter 16 Excerpt: A Box of Clues
     Side by side, they forced themselves to forge on. Chipping away slowly, they moved up the face of the steep icy slope. Estimates are that they were being slammed by wind gusts up to fifty miles per hour, resulting in sub-zero-degree temperatures. The temperatures were making it almost impossible to use their ice tools. Their hands were stiffening up from the bitter cold, and the weather was getting worse. They had no idea that it was just the beginning of the worst storm to hit the mountain in more than a
decade. Due to the blowing snow, the climbers could not even see what was in front of them, but they knew what was behind them, a 2,500-foot sheer drop. Stopping was not an option. Once again Kelly thought, Got to go up. Got to get off this north face.

     In more than two decades of climbing, it was the most brutal climb of Kelly’s life. The climbing was excruciatingly slow. But finally their efforts paid off. They were at the summit. His spirits rose as he thought, Now we have a chance.
They had reached the top and a way of escape. At least that’s what they initially thought.

     However, the brief flash of hope was almost immediately extinguished. On the mountain top they found whiteout conditions with raging winds up to one hundred miles per hour. The winds were blowing so hard and so much snow was whipping around them that it was impossible for one to hear what the other was saying. They motioned for everyone to move forward. They needed each other to push on in the extreme weather conditions.

     They headed south a short way but soon realized that finding shelter was more important. The risk from exposure was death. The guys could barely stand. It seemed that the wind was targeting them, trying to knock them off the summit. One wrong move could result in all of them taking a disastrous fall to their deaths.

© Karen James. All Rights Reserved (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2008)


Read "Love"- Chapter 10 Excerpt  |   Read "Faith"- Chapter 14 Excerpt


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