Mishap on the Mountain
My labored breath is the only thing I can hear as I trudge along the steep path, out of the tree-
line. The violent snows cut down my visibility, and I can only barely see the heels of my companion’s
crampons. The bitter cold numbs my face, freezing the moisture around my mouth and nose. I think
back to the morning when I was warm in my sleeping bag, soundly asleep and peaceful. I break out of
my daydream as I carelessly slip on a patch of ice, which jogs me back to the present.
Suddenly a huge gust of wind screams in from above the mountain. This stops us dead in our
tracks. We take a moments rest, wondering at what had happened. I stop dead when I hear a terrible
roar from above the mountainside, and deep rumblings that vibrate up through my boots and
into my body. I can only yell out one word “avalanche!” before its noise is buried by the falling of snow. I
quickly run backwards back to the group of trees for protection. As soon as I get to the tree-line a white
screen of powder envelopes me. The rumbling blocks out all sound as I suddenly feel extremely
claustrophobic, and start to hyperventilate in fear.
After what seemed like hours I stood up from to survey my surroundings as I realize I am not
buried by the crushing snow. I venture forward on the trail, hoping to find my hiking partners ahead of
me. I instead come upon a mound of snow six feet high which has covered what was the remainder of
the trail. The horrible realization comes to me that my companions are nowhere to be found, and fear
the worst. I begin to dig futilely in an effort to save them. Knowing that to stay digging here was a death
sentence, I think of what to do. What will the others at the base camp think of me? Will they accuse me
of being a coward for not attempting to save them? Will they even believe me? I bury these feelings as I
hurriedly race down the mountainside in search for help.