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Every picture is worth 1000 words

Lava Tower

Maybe a better title is “The Cheesehead from Flatland meets the Mountaineer”.

This photograph was taken after our scramble to the top of Lava Tower. We climbed it for two reasons; first to climb high and sleep low for acclimatization and second, as our third practice scramble to prepare for our Western Breach climb. Lava Tower Camp (14,500 ft ) sits at the base of the tower.

I wanted a picture with our head Tusker guide, Bwana Stephen. So I gave my camera to my son who was quite happy to stay as far from the edge as possible. I turn around and Stephen has walked over to the rim for the picture. As I stepped, in horror, over to join him I’m doing my best to be cool but my oxygen starved mind was screaming, “Shit, it’s 300 feet down!” Stephen is completely calm and in control but if you look closely at the photo you can see my feet are 4 inches closer to the camera and I’m leaning forward. I even produced a silly thumbs-up cliche to move my center of gravity away from the drop to oblivion…yea; I can do this…no problem.