I believe we have another term for this event: "That time when Kevin almost killed Sid." 😉
I was asked a lot of questions about what it feels like when you have an expectation of near-certain death. A lot of us have had fleeting moments of this I think: a close call while driving, a sudden stumble or fall in a dangerous place, a minor house fire, a brush with a dangerous animal. Your life might flash before your eyes and you have that moment of panic or reflex/instinct or shutdown. But it's different when you have that feeling for a while, and you really get to dwell on it.
I jumped back and forth between this surreal and dreamlike depersonalization, and a morbid realism. Like "this isn't happening, I'm just going to wake up and everything will be normal," to "I guess this is it, I have no chance at all," and thinking about how sad friends and family would be, and how I could have done things differently to not be in my current predicament.
It was both superlatively stressful and also strangely peaceful. I was in a harrowing situation, but in a beautiful place. I was obviously wracked with anxiety and stress and bad feelings as I was realizing my imminent demise, but the sheer futility of the situation was also kind of relaxing. If there's truly no chance of being saved, then there's nothing to worry about. It'll all be over soon. Ironically after Will found me and went back for help, and then Kevin and the others made it down to me and began a rescue attempt, that was more stress inducing. Because being saved was now a possibility, which brought all the chances of something to go wrong during the rescue attempt back into play. The return of hope brought back the risk of a wrong move or a slip.
Still surprised at how this story blew up. I left it absent-mindedly as a Reddit comment, deep down in an already-existing thread. It got easily a million Reddit hits and now there's going to be an NPR story about it! Apparently wasting your time on social media CAN lead to fame and glory.