The Ledge begins with a heartfelt and poignant letter from author Jim Davidson to his friend Mike Price, leaving no doubt that Davidson survived their fall into a crevasse but Price did not. This knowledge, however, does not detract from their engrossing story.
Davidson relates his interest in climbing from his beginning efforts in New England to his move to Colorado. He met and became climbing partners with Mike Price, describing the trust and reliance needed in order to be partners. There are fascinating details about climbing—the methodical checking and re-checking of equipment and routes, the mental mindset needed, the safety precautions taken and the unknown variables that can affect the most careful of climbers. Davidson describes in great detail the climb with Price to the summit of Mt. Rainier—both climbers had the experience, ability and mental strength to make the climb. After summiting and on the way down, a collapsing snow bridge causes a fall into a crevasse, where they land part way down on a small ledge. Price is killed in the fall, and Davidson must leave his friend and climb the 80 foot ice wall in order to survive. He meticulously describes his emotions, his precarious situation and the process of climbing out of the crevasse. Afterwards, Davidson’s struggle to cope with despair and survivors guilt is emotional and touching and his will to overcome the tragedy is impressive. This is not only a story of climbing, friendship and courage but of determination to overcome impossible odds in order to survive. The Ledge is an engrossing and inspirational adventure story.