What can YOU say in six sentences?
It was a big jug like hand hold that I clung to as if it was the only thing between me and bowels of hell, which of course it was. I looked down the rope at John, bundled up in his sleeping bag where I had wrapped him after he had frozen to death on the icy bivouac four or five thousand feet above me, I remember promising his dead body that I would get him down in one piece, that his wife and children would see him one more time, be able to say goodbye, but I had to break that promise right now because carrying him like this meant that I was not going to make it, if I tried I would join him in oblivion.
I clung to that huge talon of rock spearing up into the sky as if some vast monster was trying to tear its way up out of the Earth's crust and screamed in rage, frustration, defiance and terror, holding back my tears because this mountain didn't do tears, and had only scorn for those that did.
I cut the rope.
I watched the bundle fall, gliding gracefully down like some beautiful mountain bird until it hit a jutting spike of rock that produced an end over end spin, pure chaos that stopped abruptly on another rocky outcrop a thousand feet below bursting the bag and spewing out pieces of John like the obscene vomit of some dark demon, within seconds the pieces disappeared from view thousands of feet below me.
I still had a mile of sheer face to descend but I might make it now John's weight was off my back, but that load would be replaced by another, the weight of guilt that would be with me for the rest of my days: but at least I would have more days.