Gypsum used the pitons his brother had driven while Feldspar gathered up the ones he passed. Soon Gypsum reached the spot his brother had reached when he had the mishap.
There was a convenient knob of rock--an inviting handhold--and Gypsum grabbed it, tested its strength, and pulled himself by it. As soon as he lifted his foot from its placement the knob came loose in his hand and he replayed his brother's trip down the rock face, to have his slide stopped by the rope It was his turn to pause and allow his heart rate to slow. Then he climbed carefully up to his brother's place and they discussed the situation.
They had heard stories of this spire, but had dismissed them as fantasy. They immediately reassessed. This was the Living Spire. This particular rock was aware of itself and those that chose to climb it. It tried, within the limits of its abilities, to defeat the climbers.
Feldspar again took the lead and when he arrived at his previous spot, the same knob of rock had been regrown by the sentient rock and waited oh so temptingly for the climber to repeat the mistake.
Not this time. Feldspar drove a piton into the rock near the treacherous knob and used it for his hand hold as he pulled himself up. Another piton, and the previous one became a foot hold. This was going to work. The climb would go quickly now, and they were near the top.
But the spire was not yet beaten.
** Due to the possibility of long work hours leading up to Christmas, this may be my last post for a while. If I get to post more, I'll announce it on Facebook. Thanks for reading.