“You look like a beached whale,” Tyler called up to me.
Thanks to fear, I barely winced at the insult. I peered at the vertical ice wall above me through fogged-over goggles. One of my crampons had come unfastened from my boot. I pressed my chest, stomach, and cheek to the ice, wishing my body would somehow merge with the frozen blue liquid to make a 50-foot ground fall an impossibility. I could become a five-foot-two-inch bulge of ice absorbed by this frozen waterfall. A pillar into which other climbers would stab the tips of their crampons and ice axes.