Posted on: June 8, 2015
[Illustration] Jeremy Collins
BENEATH MY FEET, ancient lichen and granules of rock groaned and released into the air, blown back upward by the soaring mountain winds. I scanned every seam and fissure looking for any possibility of an opening for gear. My right hand curled over a crunchy edge, four inches wide by half an inch deep. On its back side, a small postage stamp-sized seam packed with mud and moss invited some inspection. I dug into it with a knifeblade piton. Without the moss, the promise of a placement of protection was revealed.