photo by John Hucik

Ellie Anderson struggles to stay on the wall in this excerpt from “Climbing Crowsnest,” from the 2021 issue of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry, forthcoming in June:

We struggle through deep, loose scree
to get to the chimney
and rope up.
You go first, the soles of your boots
directly above me.
I wait until I can’t see them
anymore, then I find a foot-hold
slightly to the right.
I hear stones sliding overhead.
Now I have tenuous toeholds
thirty feet above the last flat rock.
I dig my fingernails
into crumbly shale.
I cling to the wall
in a rain of rocks
that try to break my grip…

Deep Wild Journal is the home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads. To order your copy of Deep Wild 2021, visit

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