Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Want to read a deleted scene from The Whitefire Crossing?

Then head on over to BookSworn, where I talk about an outrider's most vital possession, and share a deleted scene from and early draft of The Whitefire Crossing to illustrate its use.

(The scene originally took place right after Kiran's near-disastrous encounter with the drover-who-would-in-later-drafts-become-Pello, at Ice Lake.  I'm sure you'll be able to tell why I cut the scene: it's all about the mountaineering, and not about the tension. :)  But I did later use a reworked version of it in The Tainted City - yet another reason why it's good to always, always keep a "cut scenes" file and never truly delete words!)

And to further illustrate the glissade in yon deleted scene, I offer these photos:

Ascending a snow slope near Navajo Peak with my trusty ice axe

Preparing to glissade! (My hiking partner's glissade track is visible as the long furrow in the snow.)

Zooming down, using the ice axe's base spike as a rudder


  1. Such fun! You look like an otter. :-)

    In fact, does anyone ever do one face-first, or is that only inviting a wipe-out?

    1. Ha! You mean, I look like this?

      Face-first: well, there are often rocks lurking just under (or poking through) the snow, and you really, really don't want to hit those with your face rather than your feet. :P (Also, recall you are carrying a viciously sharp, pointy ice axe - also important to not impale your face if you hit a bump!) Of course on a "bunny hill" glissade with a nice safe runout like the one pictured, you could ditch the ice axe and slide down however you like. But many glissades are more like this one on the Middle Teton. There's a reason that glissading is one of the top causes of fatalities and serious injury among Colorado peak climbers! It's terribly easy to get cocky and end up in an uncontrolled slide straight into a rockpile.