Once upon a time, thirty-five years ago, Hugh and Lewis were Yosemite legends. El Capitan was their holy grail, and their destiny seemed written on its big walls. Here they met the women who married, then left them. Hugh's wife mysteriously disappeared into the desert. Lewis's wife is divorcing him. Now, the old friends reunite to climb El Cap one last time and make a fresh start.
But "the Captain" seems cursed this time around. Even before the aging "wall rats" leave the ground, disaster strikes three young women high on a neighboring route. Hugh discovers one body in the forest and spies a second dangling a half mile overhead. He and Lewis launch their ascent, desperate to leave the terrible omens behind.
They doggedly climb on, only to be drawn into a deadly rescue attempt by Augustine, a search-and-rescue expert. Like a man possessed, he is hell-bent on saving his lover, one of the doomed women. Hugh and Augustine find a survivor, starved, half-mad, and holding a corpse. The battered young woman raves that El Cap requires one final sacrifice. On this tiny island in the sky, the rescuers become the victims, hounded by some ruthless spirit and caught between the golden summit and terminal velocity.
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"Starred review. The surprise ending is a true shocker in this hurtling, gripping read."' - Publishers Weekly.
" Heart-stopping vertical adventure relieved from time to time by old-guy angst. " - Kirkus Reviews
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