I am often asked what exactly my mind churns when I am doing a dangerous and reckless climb, where the outcome is unknown and I had already crossed the point of no return. Never have I been able to give a satisfactory answer, mostly I would nod and say I don’t remember, since once out of the perilous situation (self orchestrated) my numb and dumb brain would quickly forget all that my mind must have gone through. But in a recent trip of mine, the moment I returned to safer grounds, I jotted down some of my thoughts immediately on a piece of paper and later on reading it, thought it may still not be the right answer to the question of my mind, but it is a convincing one nevertheless, so here it is.
While I was going through the miniscule notebook that I had managed to keep and return with during this trip, through the smudged up pencil marks and torn and soaked pages, I discovered that at the end of the day when I climbed the peak and then came down through atrocious conditions, thankful that the soft snow sucked my body like quicksand lest I would have fallen off the edge, I scribbled few lines and here
they are as they were written : -
‘Always focus on your next step, one more step; the one you are about to take. Sooner or later it will be all that would matter; can you, will you take one more step or not. And remember that in almost all cases that’s all that you can do – take the next step, take one more step.’
I guess I wrote these thoughts since that’s what I had been doing through the night and that brutal blizzard since I had nothing else to do, just keep taking my next step, one more step and that’s the only thing that kept me alive and got me back to the world of living. If I had stopped even for few minutes I would have frozen and gone.
Is the above heroic, or in any way beneficial; either to you or to me? It is completely stupid and I am sure for those few days I had utterly lost my mind. Sitting right now in my room it doesn’t seem that it was I who had undergone that experience; it all seems so distant now as if it had happened to someone else.