“The word adventure has just gotten overused. For me, adventure is when everything goes wrong. That’s when the adventure starts.”
That quote from Yvon Chouinard had always been close to my heart. The love of adventure, the thrill of the unknown. On the 4th of April 2018, that specific quote took a whole ‘nother meaning to me.
Before joining World of Digits and the Positive Thinking Company, I was traveling around the world with my backpack, tent and my banged-up Italian coffee maker. Pitching my tent and enjoying the great outdoors. One morning, I woke up at the doorstep of the Viniguerra Glacier in Ushuaia near the Antarctica. The objective was clear: climb to the top. My friends and I were well equipped: helmets, ropes, ice axes, crampons… We knew the climb would be very dangerous because of the weather conditions. We still had to go for the summit.
About half-way through, after two hours of climbing, we decided to rest for a minute. I remember turning around and looking up to Thomas, he was leading the way on the ice. All of a sudden, his foot slipped…
He started falling. I saw the rope dangling around, tensing up and then it was Thibaut’s turn. I knew I was next. I only had a second to try to use my axe, but it was too late. I started falling as well.
We fell for 22 seconds.
The worst part is not necessarily the fall itself, that you cannot control, it’s knowing you are going to die… We had the time to realize it was the end. But something unexpected saved our lives. A crevasse stopped our fall. I remember waking up, covered in ice, some blood around Thibaut. I soon realized I couldn’t feel my shoulder anymore. Something was wrong and I couldn’t do anything about, I was stuck.
A second thought popped in my head: hypothermia. I needed to find a way out of this glacier. Thibaut and Thomas were able to dig me out of the snow. The pain started to kick in. My shoulder was dislocated. Hitting the side of the crevasse had jammed it into my body, tearing the muscle and ligaments in the process. Not a single soul knew where we were. Hopefully it seems like luck has a funny way of coming back when you desperately need it: a mountain guide found us.
The sky was grey, menacing, full of clouds, we could forget about helicopters. Which meant we had to climb down the mountain and hike our way to the hospital. Ten hours. Ten long hours later we were finally in the ER.
I love adventures, both in my personal and professional lives. That’s why I joined the Positive Thinking Company. You know, for great things to happen, great stories to be told, you have to take a risk. Sure, sometimes it can take a wrong turn, but in the end, doesn’t adventure require that?
Marketing Strategy Consultant at World of Digits