Well, somehow I got logged out of my account on ATS and I don't remember the password, and when I go to live.mail to log into my email account, it
wants me to give them a phone number to access my email which I won't do. So I can't retrieve my password. (locked out of my own email.)
Anyway this is the author of the OP (formerly known as iSomeone). Finally got around to writing a part two to the story because of the comments. So
here it is:
It is an exhilarating feeling to be standing on the top of the world. Mount Everest is by no means the hardest of the 15 largest peaks of the
Himalayas to climb, but it will always be the most coveted summit because of the very fact that it is still considered to be the highest solid point
on the face of the earth.
And it is a feat in itself just to reach the summit. The dead zone is called that for good reason. You’re at an altitude that your body can no
longer acclimatize to the thinning oxygen, and no human can survive for more than a day or two at the altitude.
The last hundred feet to the summit seem like five miles, not mere feet, and they can take what seems like hours to traverse. But there we finally
were at the top of the mountain positioning our skis.
I closed my eyes and scenes from my life flashed before me. My mother smiling down at me in bed when I was a child. The first time I held skis in my
hands. The first kiss Summer had ever given me. Our honeymoon in Hawaii. The first avalanche we had both been in, skiing the powder in Colorado in
the back country. Remembering the thundering sound of the snow behind us and around us as we floated on it all the way down. Screaming in exhilaration
of the rush at the bottom.
And then there he was. A frozen corpse staring at me. We had passed him on the way to the summit. His body was buried up to the chest in snow, still
sitting. His eyes frozen open, staring up into his forehead, his frozen lips parted. You could still see his perfectly preserved mouth and teeth. He
had untrimmed hair and a short beard and mustache.
I breathed deeply and exhaled. The bite of the air was cold and it was thin. I felt my heart starting to beat faster. I opened my eyes letting the
sun’s light flood in, then looked over to Summer. She was still smiling and staring at me.
“Well?” she asked, breathing heavily too. This was going to be it, the magnum opus of our skiing career.
Just a handful of people had been down the mountain in skis, but never a pair together. And everyone told was we were crazy. But there we were, with
our insatiable appetite of mountaineering and skiing.
Then it happened. I raised my hand and gave Summer a thumbs up and gently pushed my feet forward, pushing down with my lower legs. There was a fresh
layer of powder still on the mountain from the previous night and my skis’ blades cut into it as I maintained my balance and headed downward.
I waved a farewell to our mountaineering companions who were already starting back to camp on foot. They all gave us a thumbs up, and then they were
gone, lost behind a hill.
Ahead was the biggest challenge we’d faced so far. Even harder than climbing the mountain in some spots. I was struggling to get air and felt tired
and groggy. My body told me it wanted to be in bed in a hotel down in the Bahamas with Summer at my side, and a warm breeze blowing through an open
window. But my mind was focused on the most exhilarating ride I’d ever have.
I heard a shout and slowed to look behind me, Summer nearly slid off a collapsing shelf of snow underneath her skis off the side thousands of meters
below, just barely managing to keep herself on the slope’s ledge.
We were both on it, it was so narrow that our skis did not have full contact with the surface. To the left our skis were hanging over Tibet, and to
the right, over Nepal. There was no margin for error. One slip up and we were dead.
I struggled to maintain the rhythm of my heartbeat steady, but the long climb up, the sleepiness, the rush of adrenaline through my veins was
overwhelming. I felt tired, and the bite of the wind was ever colder and colder, especially in my boots which were standard snow boots. I wiggled my
toes constantly, hoping I wouldn’t lose feeling in them. But was aware of the danger of losing them if they became frostbitten.
Then we were past the dangerous knife’s edge and a steep decent was before us, and we took it, and we took it fast. I felt the wind start to gush by
my face faster and faster, as my blades cut through the virgin snow, on a surface, which probably never had been graced by human feet. A pioneer on
And then it was before me in an instant. Another body protruding from the ground, frozen in time where it had toppled to from somewhere above. A
morbid reminder of the unforgiving nature of the mountain we were on. It deserved respect and fear.
I slowed as we passed it, too tired to be much concerned about it, just having enough energy to look to Summer as she glanced at the corpse as we
skied by it.
Then we were on again. One hour passed into two, two hours passed into three. It felt as if ten or fifteen had passed. Our endurance was being
pushed to the limit. I felt as if I was not going to be able to keep going, I was about to turn and single Summer that we needed to stop to rest.
Then it happened. A sound of a break in the ice glared out above us, booming down the mountain. Then the snow underneath our feet was shifting. I
looked to Summer and then to the ridge above us, it was moving, all of it.
We were in trouble. I didn’t have any more strength, and I could see Summer’s strength was spent too, and above us it seemed as if the whole
mountain was collapsing as hundreds of tons of snow started to descend upon us.
We had no time to think about our reaction, I took the lead and Summer trailed slightly behind me, we had to ski like we had never skied before. I
could feel the snow giving way beneath my feet. Huge chucks of snow were crashing down around me, but somehow we managed to stay on top of it. I let
myself go faster and straighter down the mountain, gaining speed. We must have been going 80 miles per hour now.
My heart could not beat any faster. I could not gulp in the oxygen quick enough. I felt my head start to get light, and the noise around me began to
I shook my head and looked forward, I couldn’t faint, not now. Then I saw it, a ledge and a crevice that must have been fifty feet to the other
side. I didn’t think. I didn’t have enough oxygen to think about it. I just pointed my skis at it and sped forward. And then I was in the air. I
didn’t have the time or energy to look back but I knew that Summer was in the air behind me.
It was air for what seemed to me an eternity, and then in a perfect landing my skis blades bit into the snow and I was off again with Summer quickly
behind me. Soon the avalanche died down behind us, and we finally came to a stop.
I was grasping for air, she was grasping for air. She fell into my arms, and I fell into the side of the mountain underneath me. We lay there like
that for a good five minutes without saying anything.
“I can’t do it,” she finally said looking me in the eyes. “I can’t go on anymore.”
“You can do it,” I told her as I held her in my arms. “We’re almost there, Summer. Don’t give up now. Get up and finish this.
edit on 21-10-2014 by iNobody because: (no reason given)