The Red Curtain
“Climbing can be difficult to comprehend. Climbing on Mars would certainly add a whole new dimension.”
Lynn Hill, USA
In 2006 whilst exploring a rocky outcrop in Antarctica scientists make a geological discovery, a shard of an ancient meteor, that could save the world from catastrophe. In time it is confirmed that the sample came from a mountainous location not accessible by any spacecraft or rover, in the vicinity of Olympic Mons – on Mars. Further samples can only be accessed by climbing.
Secretly, the United States Government engage NASA and Space Force to seek out and secure source samples. Come 2043 and a team of highly skilled climbers and astronauts are tasked to do just that, to attempt the impossible and climb a big wall on the red planet. They name their route the Red Curtain and the climb is fraught with danger and difficulty that will require all of their combined strength and courage to climb. With a training program as tough as NASA can provide and fitted out with cutting edge equipment to assist in the endeavour, they embark on an adventure that is larger than life. 34 million miles from home, and with the future of earth depending on their success, they are prepared for the worst but hope for the best. It will take their best to succeed in their mission as they find themselves immersed in the most challenging environment any climber has ever faced.
How will Mars Mission 5 fare?
This is their story.
About the Author
David Barnes has been rock climbing since he was a boy. He has interviewed some of the world’s most accomplished climbers and adventurers for print publications, including UK Climber and Vertical Life. Dave also gives back as Assistant Editor of Common Climber, an international online climbing magazine. He is the father of Joshua and Charlotte, and partner to Melinda.
This novel is dedicated to his family, to Kim and Ian and their family, and to the staff of The Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania, Australia, who nursed Dave back from the brink after a significant injury. He would like to acknowledge the support of his climbing mates, Conrad Wansbrough and Paul Pritchard, who helped him return to the crags afterwards. The character of Conrad has been named in Wansbrough’s honor. The Totem Pole gets a mention for Paul.
David would not have completed The Red Curtain without the assistance of his Yoda, Keith Bell, artist Karmelo Ornate, and his stoke photography mate, Phillip Booth – all good people. As is everyone who stood by Dave on his journey towards healing. Since his accident, David has used writing to assist with rehabilitation – hence this work and that experience are inextricably linked.
The Red Curtain is Dave’s first published novel.