Complete white out. Zero vision. Your boots constantly struggling to find grip on the sheet ice. All you can hear is the wind howl and your rasping breathe. Somewhere to your right are bone breaking crags, to your left a 200 feet sheer drop. Holding the ice axe waiting for the inevitable fall. The trail has disappeared. The map is useless. The compass won’t give an accurate reading. Alone. Are you too far right or god help you …. too far left. Too late to turn back. Your only guide is to follow the sharp slope upwards to the summit.

The delights of winter mountaineering. Or is a metaphor for life. Disorientation, lost, no idea where your going, unattainable goals, alone, no plan, fear and panic.

Then hope. A kind word. A caring hand in the dark. Brief enlightenment.

The clouds briefly part. The beautiful mountain summit reveals itself. You survived that crisis. Panic subsides. Your pounding heart starts to ease. The break in the clouds is short lived. But you have a path. You have a direction. You have hope. The climb continues.

65 thoughts on “Alone

  1. Nicely done! Very well written and expressed, I’m sure many others will relate to it – even those not familiar with climbing snow covered mountains in Winter. 🙂

    So do you reckon life should always be an uphill struggle? Or is it OK just to walk on the flats (My current preferred option)? Or do we need to have both the uphill and the more pleasant return downhill in the sunshine for a fulfilling life? Also making that ascent in those conditions on your own would be a very risky task and you’d probably have gone in a group and tied yourselves to one another in case one of you made a foolish slip?

    Sometimes we need to make those ties in difficult times and be part of a team. We can regain our individuality and freedom from them when the conditions are better.

    Alone is not such a great way to be. I’m fairly sure most of the other 7,452,891,266 people on this planet would agree with that statement. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely an accurate metaphor for life. But without the hard (sometimes extremely challenging and scary) bits, we have nothing against which to measure the joy of winning the moment. The Easy bits would be boring without the rest. Keep going! 👍👏

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I think there are still challenges, just different. Life does slow a bit as we age anyway. I know, I have the creaking joints (occasionally) to prove it. I don’t think I’ll be parachute jumping, wildwater rafting (did that once in Chile), or taking perilous walks along cliff edges, but I hope I’m not too sedentary just yet. I’m sure you will find the ‘thrill’ again, eventually. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome. Oh, I’m hanging in there thanks. On a positive note, I am one step closer to doing the nerve stimulation trial, which means hopefully pain relief is coming soon. How about you? Is today a good day (I hope)?

        Liked by 1 person

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