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Life (and Death) Imitate Art

Sadly, I just learned (from my son-in-law) of the likely deaths of three world-class climbers (David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and Jess Roskelley) in the Canadian Rockies a few days ago.

Please pray for the families left behind.

The route they were taking lies about forty miles as the crow flies from where I climbed with a partner in 1988, and where a portion of the plot of Covered With Snow is set. Days earlier, the three had made a successful all-day ascent of another difficult route (Andromeda Strain, on Mount Andromeda), directly adjacent to where we were--where two of my characters get into trouble. (No more spoilers!)

This video (not for those afraid of heights!) was shot mid-climb on Andromeda Strain by a different set of climbers. It gives a visceral sense of the focus required and the stakes involved in climbing at this level. Some of their broad perspective shots show specific locations described in the book, while the heavy-metal soundtrack gives an eerie sense of the kind of spirit that sometimes fuels such ambitions.

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