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Uploaded on Dec 4, 2009
Climbing the Hillary Step, I felt I was in my element, feeling the rock under my gloves. I stuck the crampon points of my right foot tenuously into a tiny crack and the left points into a cornice of snow, slid my ascender as high as it would go on the rope, and stood up and quickly reached for the next knob of rock.
For forty minutes I fought, not letting my mind reach the place where I was tired and almost there. And then with one step, a step that I had taken thousands of time before, the earth flattened out and I could hear the sound of space in all directions.