By Alistair MacLean

A teach is barreling via a snowfall around the desolate Nevada territory of adversarial Paiute Indians towards fortress Humboldt in 1873. Nevada's Governor, the fortress commander's daughter, and a US marshal escorting an outlaw are onboard. not anyone is telling the reality, and not less than one individual is able to homicide. Who will make it to their destination?

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One more step, then another; a stumble, a slide, a step, and a grunt of effort. Suddenly Alan started an avalanche of stones and swept past me. The whole slope began to move; acres of scree gathered pace and slid towards the lake, and we with it. I lunged in desperation and grabbed a firm piece of Pic Jean Arlaud, which arrested my slide. 36 • A W A L K I N T H E C L O U D S Alan did likewise, and we clung on as the scree continued down without us. Port d’Oô brought relief. Until we studied the route down, that is.

Until we studied the route down, that is. Sitting astride the ridge at a little under 10,000 feet, our descent to the south looked as bad as our ascent had been, but across the hidden depths of the Estós valley rose our old friend, Pico de Posets. Bold of outline, but broken and unstable close at hand, today it was daubed with less snow than I’d ever known it. Despite that it beckoned as of old, and in a day or two we’d renew our acquaintance. But first we had to descend into Spain, and the temperature was rising.

There was nowhere else I’d rather be. Life’s cup was full and overflowing. Then my solitude was disturbed by a neatly dressed couple (they had to be French) making a beeline towards me, splashing calf-deep through the streams without concern. ” And I couldn’t argue with that. • 32 • A W A L K I N T H E C L O U D S • • ▲ A Pyrenean maestro After spending days climbing routes on Pic du Midi in the late summer of 1984, Alan Payne and I moved on to the granite peaks of the Balaïtous massif that loomed to the east.

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