Tiny turd pellets rained down as I groped for the next jug. What in the world? A scratching sound. Mice? But why- something smacked my hand. I peered at it as it bounced off my shirt towards my belayer below. Gleaming white and picked clean, the tiny skull fluttered to the ground like some kind of demonic blossom. Creepy. Nervously, I peered around the edge of the rock. I jumped a bit to see a pair of perfectly round yellow eyes. “WHOO?” The owl was tawny brown and was slowly blinking regally at me. It was beautiful and humbling. And it was on my next hold.


Related: Climber Spotlight: Alyse Dietel


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