Thomas walked into the supply shack at the basecamp. There were chairs, tables and a bar, complete with surly bartender. It was sparse, but it echoed the atmosphere of companionship and camaraderie that the entire camp possessed.
Pinned to one of the walls was a water-damaged journal, which Thomas at first mistook for a visitor’s book. He noticed the post-its stuck to the wall around it as he approached.
‘What a dick’ one read.
‘He snored really loudly’ another.
‘Ugly + bad hair. Upset my dog’ a third.
Thomas began flicking through the journal…
My Mountaineering Journal
Day One @ 1340
All is going well so far. I left basecamp at the crack of dawn and have had good weather all morning. I’ve stopped to eat and begin recording my journal. I’ll make a more detailed entry this evening.
Day One @ 1410
Disaster struck. I have become pinned to the ground beneath an icy boulder. I think my leg is broken and my radio is completely unresponsive. Luckily, I’m not very far up the trail and no doubt another group will soon be passing by.
Day One @ 2150
Nobody else has come up the trail. I have tried yelling for help, but there must be nobody within ear shot. I have since stopped yelling, as the ground beneath me began to give way.
Day Two @ 0820
I awoke to a terrible trembling and fell another twenty feet or so. I quickly scrambled up and tried to move away from the avalanche, but the boulder followed me down and has now broken my other leg. I am in a lot of pain. Fortunately, my pack has landed within my grasp, so I have plenty of food and water, as well as my journal. There was a camp here which looks like it was made yesterday evening. If that was the case, I can’t understand why my fellow mountaineers wouldn’t have responded to my shouting.
Day Two @ 1515
I have managed to repair my radio. It turned out the batteries had just been knocked loose.
Day Two @ 1525
Nobody is answering the radio. Must still be faulty.
Day Two @ 1755
I found my flares. I fired one but it bounced off a rock and landed next to me again. I couldn’t see for two hours afterwards.
Day Three @ 1030
I have been trapped on the mountain for almost forty-eight hours. Nobody has found me and none of my emergency equipment is working. I have decided what has to be done and am preparing to amputate my leg.
Day Three @ 1200
I can’t do it. I can’t cut it off. I started but the pain was too much. I’d rather die up here.
Day Three @ 1400
Good news with the leg. I managed to roll the boulder a bit further down it and it turns out it’s mostly severed anyway. Hacked the rest off and now just have to deal with the blood loss. Think the boulder was the only thing keeping in the red stuff.
Day Three @ 1920
Cauterised the wound with my lighter. Passing out now.
Day Four @ 0650
With my legs free, I’ve managed to drag myself over to the edge of the ledge I’ve found myself on. Can’t go any further, so it seems the leg thing might have been unnecessary. I can see the basecamp radio operator’s table through my binoculars from here. There’s nobody manning it though, which I think must be against some safety codes.
Day Four @ 0840
Somebody woke up and headed towards the radio. I started transmitting again and they stopped as they got near it. I could tell they’d heard me and started giving them my name and telling them what happened, but they just walked off.
Day Four @ 0850
The person brought a whole crowd to the radio. I started telling them what happened again. They started talking among themselves but not broadcasting. I repeated my calls for help and one stepped forward and switched the radio off. I think the others laughed.
Day Five @ 1120
Somebody has spotted me up on the cliff! Thank God! Sweet, sweet rescue will be turning up shortly!
Day Five @ 1340
They’re taking their time getting up here.
Day Five @ 1930
Night has fallen. I can see people dancing and playing music down at basecamp.
Day Six @ 0240
They only just went to bed.
Day Six @ 2000
I’ve just woken up on my fifth morning here and there seem to be a group of people sat at basecamp staring up at me. They’ve set up some chairs and are passing a thermos around. I wave down to them and they wave back.
Day Six @ 1200
There’s quite a few of them down there now. They’ve started up a barbecue. Where did they even get that?
Day Six @ 1700
Some of them started writing me messages in the snow. ‘Hey, John,’ one of them reads, ‘you suck!’ Another is just a big face with crosses for eyes and my name under it.
Day Seven @ 1140
I’ve been drifting off all morning. I’m finding it hard to keep my eyes open.
Day Seven @ 1245
The drawings are becoming more elaborate. Somebody has created an ice sculpture of me lying on a ledge with only one leg. It’s pretty good. Another one of the drawings shows a bird flying off with my leg. I think it must be based on true events as my leg isn’t under the boulder anymore.
Day Seven @ 1450
Somebody called back on my radio. I think they sang me a song. It sounded cheery, at least. They also had a cheer for each day I’d been up on the mountain. We’re up to seven now.
Day Seven @ 1900
Everybody is staring up at me again.
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