Example for Grade 7: Narrative – Mount Everest - ID: 952
Mt. Everest Journey
As he stood before the snow-capped behemoth, John was eager to begin his long journey to the top. The cool air in his face was like a cold kiss of motivation to start a fire inside of this young 24 year old. John had been climbing since he was 10. At age 14, he began to climb mountains and a few were in the Himalayas. He knew what to bring and had all the essential supplies that he needed. With a smile hidden under his light fleece mask, he headed onward for the journey of his life.
John knew it was not too wise to go alone in the mountains, so he would join with groups after groups of climbers as he trudged on. It was going to be a long journey, but John didn’t mind at all. He informed his boss at work that he would be gone for 7 weeks during the summer for this mission. Thinking about all this and many other things kept the man’s mind off of the cold. He recalled that his trainer, Jack M , had told him to only spend 21 days walking and the rest of the days to camp, rest, and dry out the socks. So, John evened out and planned his times that he would walk and when he would rest. John realized it was growing darker as the light snow drifted lazily to the powdery, white ground. He found a small clearing within some trees and started a fire. John put his wet socks over the fire to dry and traded them for his second pair of warm, dry socks. Quickly was the only manner in which he could do this for fear that his toes would begin to freeze. He ate some snackbars, a cookie, and an already boiled egg which he could only eat now rather than later for this was one of few foods that were perishable. He snuggled his hulking body of coats within his thermal sleeping bag and began to sleep to prepare for the long day ahead of him. This happened as a routine for the next 3 weeks before any interference occured.
3 weeks of this long trek had gone by and John was still eager but that fire was beginning to dwindle down. He began to grow bored and a little home-sick. The snow was beginning to come down a bit more heavily and occasionally hailed. John was running out of groups to merge with and his doubt of making it to the top became a slight lump in his throat. The thought of failing this mission brought butterflies to his stomach. Thinking about this just made him hungry and he kept a balanced diet of calories, he did this so he would stay alive even after burning a good 6,000 calories a day. His food supply was one of the little things that he could always rely on. When evening began to sweep over the sparkling white trail, John made it to the top of a cliff that he spent about an hour and a half climbing with his crampons, ice pick, jumar, etc. John built a steady fire by nightfall when he realized something. The howling wind and the rush of snow on his face made him see that something bad was on the horizon. A blizzard was beginning to sweep in throughout the clearing that John was set up in the middle of! His thoughts were blurred from the high almost as bad as the ground 10 feet away from him was. His mental stability decreased while he was stuck pacing back and forth across the snow in the darkness only illuminated by the fire. That also was an issue, however. The fire was being violently attacked by the snowstorm and John had no way of covering it. He had to think fast. In the distance, he could make out a bundle of trees about 800 yards away. The panicked climber hoisted his backpack onto his shoulder and started to rush towards the trees. After what seemed like an eternity within that disaster, John finally made it to salvation. The trees blocked out the snowstorm enough for him to safely build another fire. He did so and threw all but one layer of his soaked clothes over the crackling embers. He closed his eyes and drifted off with the thought of making it to the top slowly fading away.
When he awoke, the blizzard was thankfully long gone. The incedent had caused John’s clothes to be damp in the morning after drying over the fire all night. He threw on his last dry coat that he packed in the case of an emergency. It had been five weeks and the top could be seen from where John was standing. This fueled a generous amount of John’s fire within him. He felt a small sense of the eagerness he had had back at the foot of the Mountain. He made his way slowly but surely up the mountain slope. The snow was dense here and covered the mountain with about a foot and a half of pure snow. After an hour or so, John had thrown on every layer of clothing he had with him. The atmosphere was thin and the weather was freezing. His oxygen mask supplied him well, though. He had enough to make it to the top and then back down again. As for the top of the mountain, It stood tall before him. The top was like a beacon of triumph in John’s eyes. He used every last bit of force he had to climb, hike, and trudge through the mountain’s obstacles. The sun was going to set soon. John was about 500 yards from the top. He began to slowly run up the hillside before running out of breath. The climber decided it was not a good idea to use up his energy like that. The top was right in front of him. One more rock wall to climb and he’d be at the top of Mt. Everest. His ice pick made a “clink, clink, clink,” sound every time he lodged it into the rock that was glazed in sparkling ice. He hoisted himself up very carefully and when he put his hand to the top, he rolled up and over the rock onto the flat surface of a tiny plateau at the top of the mountain. He had done it! John M had made it to the top of Mount Everest. He had conquered the hulking behemoth and given his all. His lifelong goal had been accomplished and he felt amazed behond what words could describe. The awestruck climber looked over the horizon at the beautiful Himalayas stretched out all across the skyline with a gorgeous setting sun behind that. John took many pictures and sadly said a silent “farewell” to the Mountain’s peak. As he made his way back down after the hour he stood there, he felt as if he could do anything after what he had just accomplished.
The trip down had been much easier than the time it took to make it to the top. John kept a steady pace, kept his calorie diet high, set up camp regularly, and kept himself safe from any sudden dangers. When they young man had made it to the bottom, he was happy to see that his family was there waiting for him. They had been close by in a hotel near the mountain to be there for him when he returned from his long trek. John hugged all of them and explained how exciting the journey was as he showed them the pictures that he had taken of the top. On the plane ride home, John looked out the window to see Mt. Everest one last time below him. It did not look like much of a challenge now. It looked like more of a trophy sitting there to prove that this climber had made it to the very top of Mount Everest.