Spoiler alert: Thirty seconds into this video is a sickening moment. You see the perspective of lifelong climber and safety consultant, Mark Roberts, look up at the ice cliff above him to see a football-sized ice chunk hurtling down the slope at his head.
He deflects the ice chunk with his arm, but it knocks his ice tools and crampons free from their hold. What happens next is every free soloists nightmare. Roberts falls over 300 feet down the snowbound Parsley Fern Lefthand Gully on Wales’ highest peak, Snowdon.
Surprisingly, Roberts lives. And amazingly, he only breaks his ankle. But the footage is enough to remind us that no matter our skill, experience, or preparation, we can do our best to minimize risk, but there is no way we can avoid it.