Pascal Derrien

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Skipping The Rope

Skipping The Rope

We are gathering our stuff and doing a final check on the list of essential material that will allow us to conquer the Matterhorn. By We I mean my French guide Guy and myself. Following a short phone conversation Guy agreed to be my guide 3 months ago. At first reluctant, it took a little bit of convincing on my part when I asked him to help me climbing one of the 3 Swiss faces of the Matterhorn.

At first he did not quite understand why I wanted to take a route where there was only a few patches of snow, a route that presented serious challenges being one of the steepest climb in the Swiss Alps. When I mentioned it was part of a larger project including an Everest climb, his mountaineering heart allowed his emotions to take the best out of him and he offered me a big fat yes in terms of response.

It's 7.30 AM at the outdoor workshop where we are finalizing our expedition groundwork. If I have understood correctly it's owned by a Swiss French family, some old business acquaintances from Guy who moved from France to Switzerland 15 years ago. In the corner of the shop there is a little girl, she must be no more than 8 years old. ''Dis monsieur, j'ai deux cordes a sauter tu en veux une pour ta randonnee? ''.

Guy sensing I have not understood what the blond head had just said explains that she was asking me if I wanted to take one of her skipping ropes with me for our big walk. With a big smile I decline her offer and she enthusiastically continues playing with her rope.

We have been at it for 4 to 5 hours now, we have just stopped for 20 minutes for food and hot water. Guy has checked the weather forecast and liaised with the agency HQ, we are thrilled to get the all clear we needed in order to pursue the hike to the top. Guy is a first class guide and has been meticulously securing every step of the way. All is going well when suddenly 10 metres above me I can hear Guy moaning.

He is swearing in French and before I even finish processing the info I hear a big bang above my head. The incident is followed by a rapid deflagration of metal and rock accompanied by an unexpected rain of stones pouring on top of my scalp. 20 seconds later I think I see a mass in a free fall, I have some difficulty to believe what's unfolding in front of me. For a moment I am not sure whether my eyes have mistaken his large rucksack in place of Guy's frame.

I am making an attempt to call him, no response. Within a matter of minutes two hooks too weakly secured fail to keep their grip on the frozen rock. Then two others follow suit and I finally have the weird sensation that I am now falling in an abysmal void. I don't know if I have lost consciousness in the process but I am rudely awaken by a brutal landing. My eyes cast an emergency check on my new surroundings. As far as I can see I have landed on a small and snowy platform. My radio has planted itself a few feet away from me.

I am in pain, I think I must have broken my hip and very possibly badly bruised a few ribs in the process. God knows what else as my entire body is aching. I make another attempt to call Guy. No answer. It's cold, I feel numb and exhausted. It hurts when I breathe and I desperately want to doze off the distention. I must not fall asleep. Man, what a fine mess I got myself into. For the first time in my life I experience fear, an inexplicable state of non existence.

How did this start again? Make the best of your sabbatical he said, push the boundaries, set goals and ignore the limits. Now thinking about it, I am not even sure the chap has ever got out of his air conditioned office in the last 15 years. I have weird thoughts, I have visions of life coaches dressed up as cockroaches, that makes me smile, it s not very PC but what the heck !! Sh*t it hurts when I laugh!!!

I have chaotic thoughts: mother, pasta Bolognese, Auntie Kay, my office key, the bank manager Joe, Julia and Alison, my flat in Haywood Heights, this morning's little girl with the skipping rope, how ironic it is now to think that I am more or less a skipping rope length away from the radio...... It's within reach but I just can't move.

I feel very worn out and I want to sleep, I must not... I know I must not.

I must not.....

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Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #28

Relieved to hear Pascal Derrien. But obviously my concern reflects the power of the writing. Always a pleasure to read your work. My loss when I am not able to read them all.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #27

#31 is.....:-) fiction :-) many thanks for dropping by and read this little story Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #26

It was great reading your post Pascal Derrien, with the added pleasure of reading all the comments. At the risk of embarrassing myself, this is fiction, I hope and not inspired by a real life experience.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #25

ah Thanks Ali this is very much appreciated I may have gotten that one right for once :-)

This is a grabbing post Pascal Derrien. It starts from the title all the way through. Please tag me when you publish the next one.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #23

many thanks Bill Stankiewicz, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador hopefully you had time to relax after this 😀

great post cant wait to read next one. I was tense in reading this thriller....

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #21

ah you too ⛑🚁🚑 ......... 😀

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #20

ah that's very nice of you @Julio Angel \ud83d\udc1dLopez Lopez I have never been described like that before 😀

Julio Angel 🐝Lopez Lopez

4 years ago #19

The mountain combination + Pascal is dangerously attractive. Too much to sleep on. Very good Pascal Derrien ;-))

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #18

No chocolates, Pascal, but I did bring Bernie, the St Bernard from base camp and, more importantly, the mandatory 'cure all' brandy barrel hanging round his neck. Do you take you brandy straight up or with ice?

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #17

thanks Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee Always good to see a great writer like yourself dropping by 😀

Yep--hanging is write.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #15

Thanks Gert Scholtz Wrote that one while cycling I had different versions for three weeks in my head and I ended up with a complete different one when I wrote it yesterday :-) Glad you liked it hopefully a good week end read :-)

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #14

Pascal Derrien A thriller! You had me on a rope with this one Pascal!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #13

oh the pressure :-) Vincent Andrew I will check with the executive producer if we have the budget :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #12

thanks Ian Weinberg who knows .... many thanks for the great words of encouragements :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #11

uncle Ken Boddie why are you dressed as a snow man... did you bring the chocolates? OK got tell you now I think you are the best Base leader.... :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #10

roger that Praveen Raj Gullepalli I will do my best but hurry up it is getting cold....very cold :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #9

cheers CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit this is actually worked beyond my expectations :-) thanks for saying so. Have a soft landing :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #8

thanks Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher I know its not the first time I do that :-) , I am terrible at sequel well actually I have never done one :-) I kind of like leaving it to the reader to make the decision.....

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #7

Calling Pascal Derrien, hello, can you hear me? That's Adele speaking. Ok, part 2 soon? No pun intended but feeling left on the edge.

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #6

Man was I just falling off a mountain or was this so well written that I felt like I was the one falling off a mountain?

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #5


Ken Boddie

4 years ago #4

Base to Pascal. Come in, Pascal ..... Come in, Pascal ..... What the .....?

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #3

Great stuff Pascal Derrien But you've left us on a cliffhanger ... awaiting part 2!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #2

good to see you debasish majumder :-) always nice to see you reading my broken prose :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #1

oh that's good news thanks for mentioning it Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich :-)

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