Unveiling

arvyart

Joined January 2009

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Wheeler peak during intensive shower shower, GBNP, Nevada

The picture has been taken on 6/29/2004. I was driving from Park City, UT to Ely, NV. As I started late in the evening I entered the GBNP at 11 a.m. Oh yes, I had no hiking cloths and was in my sandals. In short, I did not plan was not ready for any kind of adventure. Nevertheless, I saw the mountain from a distance and I could not withstand the lure. I drove here and there first. When I reached the end of the Wheeler road it was 12 a.m. I met about 7-8 guys going down from Wheeler in groups of two or three. Some of them were looking at me as I just escaped a booby-hatch. They warned me of the possible dangers. Indeed what idiot can go to the peak having neither water nor hat? Leaving just before afternoon storm starts, wearing jeans, T-shirt and… in open sandals? The only thing he carried was his camera… First, they were right. Second, I’m really crazy about mountaineering. But it’s not anything about mountaineering. It’s just walking up and down. Third, I walked up and down the Teide, the highest peak in Spain (the Tenerife Island) in the same sandals I bought at Robinson in Bangkok. I agree the sound mind in both the cases was absent. One way or another I got into shower half an hour later and into heavy afternoon thunderstorm just before I reached the summit. Soon I reached the summit. The thundering and lightning were intimidating. It started to hail. I climbed different mountains in different parts of the world and in different weather conditions. However, soon it was the first time in my life I had a “luck” to experience electrostatic shock. Hmmm, not a nice feeling. Accidentally, I found out the effect of that was reduced when I was… in the air. Yes, I began jumping downhill trying to hang in the air as long as possible. It was an exhaustive and dangerous job. I thought that nightmare will never end. Finally, 10-15 minutes later the effect got seared until it was gradually gone. The hail has changed by the shower. 5 minutes later I met two guys walking up. I warned them of the electrostatic shock, however, the expression of their faces told me they didn’t believe my words. I went down and they walked up. Soon the effect renewed but the effect was faintly tactile. Yes, the latter affected me as I was loosing the height, but the guys were gaining an altitude. I am sure they had to believe my words of electrostatic shock. When I was looking back all I could see was a thick curtain of mist. It was still raining and, of course, I was like a drowned rat. I felt cold. Both the instinct and sound mind whispered me, “move, don’t stop!” But His Majesty Biap (Wheeler Peak) started to unveil itself after a heavy and cooooold noon storm. I got under a fir, squeezed my T-shirt and put it over my head to protect my camera. The “Unveiling” is the first picture of that adventure. I was also thinking of the two guys on the summit. So, I’ve decided I’ll go to the bristlecone pine grove and then I see if they got back safely. The sun showed up and it turned a beautiful sunny evening. My clothing finally dried up. When I got to the parking lot I saw the two guys just started their driving down. My worry was not without a reason. I drove to McGill, what is 12 miles away from Ely and a week later I’ve read in a local newspaper of a guy who climbed Wheeler wearing just a T-shirt. He started to climb about 11 or 12 p.m. got into a heavy storm on the summit, twisted his ankle, and the next day he was found dead on the peak. He died from hypothermia. That has happened on the 4th of July. Sad story…

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