FKT: David Ayala - Montana 12ers (MT) - 2023-08-12

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2d 18h 31m 21s
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you know those ephemeral summer evenings that encase you in black matted heaviness?

maybe it’s the hot air holding more moisture, diffusing the stars

— windless  &   mute — 

500 familiar stars defining your visual sphere.


And, headlamp extinguished, 

the eyes' relative importance diffuses, 

and a star rash emerges, 

limiting to a specific stochastic saturation.


And you become lost 

like, entirely lost, 


in some ancient place
where your attention-mind isn’t important

— confused about what to do — 

—— as if it missed a joke ——

so, in your wisdom, you put it to rest 

before a tantrum of insecurity ruins the moment:

a cognitive dormancy exposing some ambient cognitive scaffolding

of Space, Self, Time.


And you’re like, “oh, that Space is familiar: 

I used it to enact my upward twisting burrow

— a suspended knotted tunnel — 

to arrive at the tip of Villard Spire

(see -1st photo)

just before the waning crescent moon alerts my attention."

(Encased by cognitive structures.)


And, as you begin to seriously consider if your Self is only visual sphere

or, really, as you become willing to try anything on, 

for a moment, 

in that safe privacy even from your attention,

an alien grain of sand incinerates:

a brilliant mute flash that tears Everything open:

a flash diffusely echoed in the 100 lakes 

vertically below

and horizontally everywhere.

And you are bewildered by the brand new introduction to 




which your attention hustles 

to organize as 3 dimensions 

encased by visual sphere. 


And you whisper, "what an evening”, 

though are put off by your choice of words.  

Then you can’t wait for … something … not sure what, exactly 

… maybe a snack, 

or a story to indulgently repeat to yourself

oh, there were some good ones earlier, what were they again?

or to tell your friends about something awesome, 

though that rarely goes as well as just repeatedly imagining how it’d go

… what were those maniacal thoughts again?




You were there

for 66 hours and 29 minutes 

of tender movement.

Held by psychedelic gratitude, 

you were there,


(Space, Self, Time verification stamps)

And, together, we responded with meticulous care 

and generous improvisation

to something alien to us

made of very simple compounds

N_2, O_2, SiO_2, H_2O, Al_2O_3, K_2O, etc

and a bit of life too.

Blatantly inanimate materials, eh?

We noticed that they presented endowed with signals of history, 

scars, dynamism, complexity, reaction, interconnectedness, pattern, and some sort of logic:

a stochastic pattern that never exactly repeated, 

but seemed to be training us toward something.


And, whoa, the animation that bloomed from that twitch of a thought!

Remember that?  

Everything glistened alive.

And we generously and trustingly moved with that gracious


animated creature 

whose of gestures are galactic and quantum, 

whose form comprises Everything.  

And, indeed, it trained us: 

from emptiness, it carved our bodies and minds and sociality.  

This was so clear that we chuckled aloud, 

with unnerving inevitability.  


O, it was the delight of lifetimes to manifest some native movements of those environment-matched instincts.

Instincts which are our ancestors’ voices, genetically recorded.  

Instincts through which our universe could be reverse-imaged.






When I ended 


my grieving was entire:

pathetic indulgent sobbing:

heaving mountains out of my chest 

splashing language on my face

injecting abstraction into my mind

to recover my familiar life

while ruining a delicate encasing ecosystem

which is entirely forgotten.




Documentation of some methods and measurables associate to this excursion can be found here:

This effort would not have been possible without Nate Bender generously sharing his experience & route with me.


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Profile picture for user Jason Hardrath @jasonhardrath

Such an incredible improvement of the execution of these peaks...having suffered haggard through all of them mere days before you did this gives me a special appreciation of your execution here.