Monday, August 13, 2012

The Mountain of White Death                             

 By D. E. Allen

The mountain was not the highest of all,
Not even measuring 15 thousand feet tall.
Danger, not height, is the reason the Sherpa guides stay away
from the Himalayan mountain called the White Death, till this very day.

When I arose in the morning to a quaint fall of snow,
I looked to the mountain where they’d said “Do not go.”
There above the tree line was a string of red dots roped together. 
It was the Austrian team climbing, they were ignoring the weather.

You are in danger you fools, no glory awaits,
just death and Hell, if you’re lucky, Heavens gates.
You will run low on air as you trudge through the snow,
and climb on the mountain where the Sherpas won’t go.

Huddled together for breakfast at base camp, eating biscuits from a tin
we watched the clouds building, and a squall rolling in.
Then the radio squawked in German that you were turning around.
That’s when everyone in base camp, heard that rumbling sound.

A wall of white death made of tumbling snow
tore down the mountain, where the Sherpas won’t go.
We witnessed the swallowing of the Austrians, each tethered red dot.
We saw them all running in vain, and then… we saw them not.

It is not the tallest of mountains, yet the Sherpas told me not to climb,
"Please Sir, at least not for another month, please wait some more time."
Heed their warning bold climber, when the White Death is topped with snow.
You would be wise not to climb, where the Sherpas won’t go.


  1. "A wall of white death made of tumbling snow,
    tore down the mountain, where the Sherpas won't go..."
    Nice, Don, very nice. You make me (almost) believe you were there.

  2. There is no place that I can’t go…
    I just close my eyes and my mind makes it so.
    No planet so far, or foreboding a nation,
    Can ever escape my imagination!