We all have those days that aren’t fun in the moment but once we get home, take a shower, and let our sore feet recover, become a fun story to tell (and hear), and even a valuable lesson. We’re asking goEast readers to share their Type 2 Tales so we can all learn from them and figure out how to avoid being in the same scary situations.

Courtesy: Jesse R

So, I finished the New Hampshire 48 this past February with a “sunrise” summit on Mount Moosilauke. What should have been a joyous occasion quickly turned into the most terrifying experience of my life. The weather report called for clearing skies early and relatively low winds. Instead, I found whiteout conditions, gale force winds with a -40° wind chill, and knee-high snow drifts. Any other day I would surely have turned around given those conditions. But on the day I was set to finish my big goal, there was no way. What a fool.

After tagging the summit, I turned around to find that my footprints had already blown away. I started heading in the direction I thought I’d come up and after about 500 feet I checked my phone’s GPS. It showed that I was already way off trail and not where I thought I should be. I was disoriented. I continued on towards where I thought the trail should be only to find mounting drifts and no trail in sight due to the poor visibility. I pulled my phone out once more—And then it died. That’s about when the dread started to creep in. I couldn’t find the trail and couldn’t get my bearings so I started heading down below tree line mainly to shelter from the wind. I knew that my gear would keep me warm and dry, that I had plenty of food and water and roughly 9 hours left before nightfall so I didn’t panic. I knew that if I kept going, I would intersect one of two trails eventually, but how long that took in the deepening snow was anyone’s guess.

I spent the next 3.5 hours struggling through waist- to chest-high snow, falling into two spruce wells and hollering for anyone within earshot, but there was no one. I wondered if my last of the 48 might be my final hike ever, or if I’d lose a couple digits. But eventually, after endless walking through the snow, I came out of the brush and onto the carriage road. My feet were soaked and numb at that point but I ran most of the way back to my car, simply excited to know where I was and how to get home. What did I learn that morning? That pride can kill you and that those beautiful mountains that give so much, can also take everything in an instant of misjudgment. Jesse R. (@i_am_not_lost)

Interested in sharing your own Type 2 Tale? Submit your story to [email protected] for a chance to be featured.