Day 2 looked grey and bleak. The fog was thicker in the morning. The wind was still howling like Coyote. And the rain, the rain just kept on coming. I didn’t want to get out of the tent but I didn’t want to stay another night either. I just wanted to cry and wrap myself in a warm cocoon. But girl, get a grip and suck it up!
The descent started off with a 90-degree wall… going down. It was hard climbing down a 90-degree wall with wind whipping at you from all sides. One wrong move, one mistake, one missed step or loose grip could be fatal. This was just the beginning. My mental toughness was going to be sorely tested during the descent. There were pathways I would ask the guide where to go and as he pointed where to proceed, my jaw would drop and look at him dumbfounded – Where?!
I felt like an ant climbing a sharp knife, sprawled on all fours on its edges. This was the story of our lives for a good four hours. When I finally reached the first rest stop to join my team, I was drained physically, mentally and most probably emotionally. After a much needed rest and pep talk, I was ready to push. If we hit the campsite by 2pm, we can finish the climb by nightfall. Just the thought of our resort gave me that boost. I needed that boost, badly.
Next up was the infamous “Kiss the Wall” portion of the climb. I was not only kissing it but also hugging and holding on to dear life. I didn’t dare look down. I felt like I held my breath for a lifetime. When I was totally able to breathe normally, the Knife’s Edge was within our peripheral vision. The Knife’s edge, true to its name, was our next obstacle course to Mayo’s Peak. Yes, the G2 summit wasn’t enough; we wanted to hit another peak (sarcastic laugh). I asked if there was a way to completely pass it – nope, had to, it’s on the way.
What keeps us going? Challenge after challenge and we still push to finish? What stops us from calling it quits and calling the cavalry? It’s the breathtaking view. It’s not just the view per se, it’s the hope that comes with seeing what you’ve accomplished and doing the impossible. That spirit that fights for fulfillment, that’s what, keeps us going.