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challenge


by Christensen Sen


I was halfway up, and the fog blurred my vision. Sadly it deteriorated when my low-grade goggles were covered by mist. My partner suffered a pain. He needed instant attention; to descend swiftly in a helicopter, if he were to remain alive. I did not want to be caught in the same situation. I wanted to satiate my desire of completing this quest. My country did not send me all the way there without accomplishing my mission.

I continued to traverse up slowly. I knew i could not hasten my pace any further or else i would be left a dead duck. I took every step cautiously. The snow and the cold air brushed against my face. I looked up at the radiant sun and the clear blue sky dotted with pockets of fluffy white clouds. The snow danced with the wind, enough to upset my mood. My eyes lit up when a cave came within sight - a perfect opportunity to rest before commencing on the next lap.

Trudging with every care, I reached for a glow stick on my belt. I was wary as the cave could be a wild beast's hideout. I threw it as far as i possibly could to illuminate the inside. I discovered several tents and firewood, probably left behind by previous climbers who have successfully completed the ascent. I rekindled the fire and unloaded the tent, my backpack and oxygen tank that made me appear like a beached up turtle. The air within grew warmer and it rejuvenated my dampened spirits and weary body. I was determined to battle against all odds to emerge successful.

A can of baked beans energized me and i was ready to set off. I packed my bad and snuffed the embers with a cloth, and the cave returned to the pitch dark state in no time.

On stepping out, the merciless cold struck me ruthlessly. It was getting dark and with the knowledge that my range of vision would be hampered further, i turned on my torchlight. The beam of light illuminated my path as if divine assistance was at hand to guide me. The howling wind increased in intensity and i tried my utmost not to be affected in any adverse manner.

However misfortune stuck me. The inevitable happened. The cold got to my muscles and I sprained my ankle, with a excruciating pain in the hamstring. I was devastated. I was so close and the journey had to be hindered by my excitement. I would not allow the injury to be a barrier to my progress. I dropped off the articles that I thought would not be crucial to lessen the weight on my back.

I pushed myself up with all my might. I turned the last corner and there i was, at the peak! I teared joyfully, elated to plant my country's flag and an elegant crescent graced the sky overhead. I had conquered Everest. The challenge was mine.
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