Committed: Lightning on Mt. Temple's East Ridge

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Lightning on Mt Temple's East Ridge from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

"It is 6:30 p.m., and we are hiding just below the summit ridge of Mt. Temple. The charged atmosphere is causing my hair to stand up, even thought it is damped from the unrelenting hail. Our ice axes, crampons, and all other metal objects, including my sterling silver earrings, are buzzing. The thunder started just as we overcame the crumbling black towers, which were the final rock section before reaching the glacier. The rock below the towers was relatively solid, but not the towers. The rock there could be compared to fist-sized chunks of granola held together with saw dust—it just kept crumbing off under our hands and feet. We had to belay one another from protected stances, because as the leader climbed, these chunks of rock would shower down the steep slopes..." Read the rest of this trip report at smileysproject.com.