Over the last three days of the climb, wildfires blazing within the distance add their very own form of hell to the combo. “Day-after-day is as hazy as you’ll be able to think about,” Musiyenko says. “Your physique hurts. You’re exhausted. And now you’re respiratory fucking smoke.”
After ascending one other eight mountains on the next day, Musiyenko can barely bend his severely swollen knee. “At this level, I’m getting fairly apprehensive I could also be completely injured,” he says. “Truthfully, I simply need to be finished with this factor.” The near-death march carries on with Mount Powell, Clyde Spires West after which aptly named Crumbly Spire, the place rocks greater than three stacked fridges can tumble virtually simply by taking a look at them the unsuitable method. “That is the worst rock I’ve ever seen,” says Musiyenko, who then hobbles over the summits of Clyde Spires East, Mount Wallace Mount Haeckel and Mount Darwin.
“At this level, I’m very near zoning out,” he remembers. Relentless self-discipline pushes him ahead—in addition to a long-held perception and commentary he gained’t let himself neglect, particularly proper now.
“Folks have a tendency to surrender each time issues get actually robust and the chances begin to really feel virtually insurmountable,” he says. “If you’re at that time, you simply should preserve remembering that that is really the entire level. It’s speculated to be this tough. You’re meant to face adversity and work by means of it with each inch of your thoughts and physique.”
On Musiyenko’s eighth and last day, each inch of his physique (and thoughts) aches. With a nub of a Snickers bar and three gummy worms left to eat, he pushes over extra mountains—Tom Ross, Lamarck, Keyhole Plateau, Keyhole Plateau North—and ultimately the ultimate, anonymous 12,600-foot summit of the Goliath Traverse, merely marked “Peak” on the map. It overlooks Piute Cross and the path that leads him out. He reaches his automobile, parked there like a mirage, leans towards it and sobs for 10 minutes.