Alpinist 54

Light Before Wisdom

Posted on: May 9, 2016

Hayden Kennedy, Marko Prezelj and Manu Pellissier descend into shadows after the first ascent of Light Before Wisdom (ED+ 5.11 WI6 M6 A2, 1200m) on the east face of Cerro Kishtwar (6173m), in the Kishtwar Himalaya, India, with Urban Novak. [Photo] Urban Novak

I slammed my axes into the ice, and I leaned back, hoping to find a staircase to the summit. The features of the mountain faded into a flat light of white snow, black rock and grey mystery. Thin cracks in the granite appeared and vanished into spindrift. Have I led us into a no-man's-land? Does this route even go? I looked back at my tools, which seemed to have grown into the mountain.

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