I held on firmly onto the ice axe on one hand and stretched the other to pick up the metal hook my guide dropped.
Firmly wasn’t firm enough when you’re tired.
The ice axe slipped.
So did I.
It was one of those dramatic movie moments when I slid down the ice wall, panicking and fumbling. For a few meters, all I could think was: Fuck, fuck, fuck!
In an instant, I managed to lock the ice axe right into the ice wall and stopped the fall. It’s what they call self-arrest, I believe.
Phew. That was the most intense thing I’ve experienced.
This was my first mountaineering experience and it was up the 5150m Nevado Mateo in the Andean mountain ranges of Peru.