I like climbing with my friend Dan because he’s a safety oriented person. But, during this climb of Montezuma’s Tower (a usually fun, yet uneventful and easy 5.7 in Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs), we encountered a storm that none of us saw coming. We 3-climbed the tower, with the middle person (me) both cleaning Dan’s rope and leading a new rope. As the third person was nearing the top, a storm came over the nearby foothills.

The first indication of real trouble was that Dan’s hair stood up. Then, our ropes started buzzing. I wanted to capture this on camera, and so I took this shot, while my camera was making a high pitch electrical noise that no camera should ever make.

We sent the third climber down on rappel immediately upon topping out. Dan went next. I was left on top, ropes buzzing and all, waiting to unclip my daisy chain asap and rappel down the side of the tower.

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