Nearing the top of Widow’s ridge, I chanced a quick glance over my left shoulder to confirm that Erick Von Ellis, or as I liked to call him, “Erick the Assbag”, was still lagging well behind. He looked utterly exhausted, his Viking-sized body slumped against the wall gasping for breath. Thirty feet of sheer rock face was all that was left between me and the keys to his 1963 Jag. You’d think even Euro trash climbers would have some respect for a woman that had scaled Everest twice. Instead he’s featured in Climbing magazine publically calling me out, betting his Jag against my cherry red Porsche that he can beat me up any mountain I choose.
But I couldn't get sloppy now. This peak had a reputation worthy of its name. One misstep, and you’d be riding the express elevator over 5000 feet down to Pancakeville. I placed two more cams into the finger-sized crack in the wall and clipped on, readying for my assent. I’d just reached for my first handhold when Erick’s shrill scream pierced my ears.
I grabbed on and braced myself for the strain of his weight, vehemently praying to a God I wasn’t all that sure I believed in that the cams would hold. In less than a second the rope tethering us together stretched taunt. My harness sliced into my shoulders, thighs and stomach, crushing the wind from my lungs and yanking me well clear of the wall. All that stood between us and an untimely death were three metal clips wedged a little over an inch into granite.