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Just as I was questioning whether my girlfriend would be okay with this risk, my foot slipped off the tiny nub of rock and snow it had been clinging to. I repeated the word shit several times out loud as I retreated to the one good handhold I could reach on this vertical section of rock. Scrambling back over the ledge that I had foolishly advanced past, I sat down on the false summit that I just learned would be the high point of this trip to the Himalaya.

The elevation was somewhere above 18,000 feet in the air, so by all accounts I was high. Still, swirling conurbations of snow, ice, and rock towered over my head. As I swept my head from right no left, I could see some of the premiere mountaineering objectives in the world. Ama Dablam pointed heavenward, Nuptse raked the clouds trying to squeeze over its impossibly high summit, and Everest squatted like the immovable, ugly grey pyramid that it is.

# WORDS: 2500

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