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Additional resources for Anna Pigeon 06 Blind Descent
A metallic taste flooded her mouth, and her hands grew so cold and stiff she wondered if the rope would slip though the fingers of her right hand and leave her to plummet to the rocks below. Though she remained upright, she had the overpowering sensation of falling in all directions at once. When terror had filled every cell of her being, she gripped the rope tightly and pressed her cheek against it. Screwing her eyes shut she braced herself against the detritus in her head and willed it to move.
But for the pack, the gear was familiar. Climbing equipment: seat and chest harness, locking carabiners, rappel rack, Gibbs ascenders, D-ring, JUMAR safety. All the chunks of metal and rope intended to keep a caver in one piece on the way down and on the way back up. From a lifetime's habit of safety, Anna watched as each link was forged in the chain of devices designed to defy gravity. Letting Timmy and Lisa tell her things she knew, dress her as if she were a baby, she contributed little. Much of her brain was given over to a jumble of dangerous thoughts, dangerous because a preoccupied climber can very easily become a dead climber.
A second strap secured it loosely around the waist. "It's a sidepack," Lisa explained as Anna fussed with the unfamiliar equipment, unable to get comfortable. "In tight squeezes you can slip it off easily and shove it ahead. " Dumbly, Anna nodded. The image gave her the willies. "You could probably take a regular pack where you're going. Tons of room," Timmy said, and Anna wondered what had given her away, the bloodless lips or the slight trembling in her knees. She doubted Timmy's words were meant kindly.