We consulted the map, spotted that there was a power line below us which led to a footpath which would consequently lead us back to town. Continuing downhill, avoiding cliff tops and gullies, stopping at the occasional clearing to get an idea of how high we were and how far away the power line was. The bush got less dense and we reached a steep down climb with no way around it.I had 3 options:
1. Refuse to do it
2. Make a massive fuss, cry about it and make it traumatic for all involved or
3. Just do it.
Seeing that we were in it together and making a fuss would help no one, I took a deep breath and talked myself through every move, one step at a time, down to the ground. A moment that, in hindsight caused a change in my mindset that has since allowed me to push myself further than I ever thought I could.
Another hour or two and the trees disappeared, leaving thorny brush down to the power line and the footpath beyond. Nearly 7 hours after leaving the summit, a street of houses appeared as if out of nowhere. We stuck our heads in a sprinkler, asked a confused local to fill our water bottles and hitched back into town in time for a Fergburger and New Year’s Eve celebrations.For me, this was a day that changed me, that I look back on when I’m finding something hard. It was the first time I talked myself through a problem step by step, something I now often find myself doing on a hard climb or exposed scramble.
Never underestimate the power of the mountains, they are wild spaces that get the best of many who dare to enjoy them. They will sometimes challenge you, often reward you and always change you.