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Delmar man finds himself grappling with fate

Denham said he knew he was roped, but with his guide already ahead and his climbing partner behind, he didn't know too much else. To the relief of his companions, the flashes of his digital camera told them he was okay.

"So here it is, it's 4 o'clock in the morning and I just plunged into a crevasse and after about half an hour I'm bored out of my skull. I thought to myself that nobody in Delmar is going to believe that this happened so I whipped out my digital camera and the other climbers on the surface could see this."

Nervous about being pulled up the weakened crevasse opening and yanking chunks of ice and snow onto his head, Denham said he knew he had to climb his way out. A guide lowered another rope to hook onto and sent down an ice axe to Denham.

"As soon as I got that ice axe, I knew I was out of there. I was like, 'I'm so out of here,' and it was at that point that it became fun," Denham said.

Shouting up to the guides and gathered climbers, Denham said everyone was relieved he wasn't trapped.

Upon reaching the top of the 30-foot crevasse unscathed, Denham held up his ice axe in the air to shouts and whoops.

"It was like being in the worst car wreck you've ever been in and walking away without a scratch," he said.

After he climbed out, he took some time to ponder the event.

"I sat on my pack and I looked up at the upper portion of the mountain," Denham said. "I just kind of was in the moment, realizing I almost lost my life, and I have a 9-year-old daughter and I have a lot to lose, but I also have this drive to be in the mountains and have a beautiful experience."

Then Denham headed back to his busy Delmar life with just another mountaintop under his belt " well, almost.

"I got onto a plane at 8 o'clock the next morning and I was home here in Delmar by 7 o'clock Saturday night. Sunday I went to the Methodist Church for church services and then I drove to Lake Placid to get my Adirondack 46er Award. The next day I marched in the Memorial Day parade."

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