“It’s almost like they burn themselves,” he thought as he looked over his shoulder at the other mountain quaking with the tangle of a thousand ropes. It was never supposed to be like that; the pattern was supposed to be to complete the loop-cross the threshold of familiarity and return from the abyss again and again, each time stronger, wiser, a little closer to your own enlightenment but necessarily tortured along the path, for what path is worth walking if not fraught with its own perils (this, of course, is not a question).
Yet, they were tossing ropes out from peak to neighboring peak, never mind if those latched straight onto the apex or slid down to the nearest stable boulder. And then they would traverse; everyone had their own way as if a gait, some almost gliding their way through while some have to cope with every little letting go of a grip as a mental toll. But everyone would eventually make their way and leave the rope, which burned down in the heat of a moment or wore and tore in the imperceptibility of fiber after fiber giving way to forces that remained in constant conspiracy against their unison.
He looked over his other shoulder, another mountain of a thousand ropes, before winding his rope around himself, curling up, and burning to a cinder that glowed for only a moment that was so fleeting no one would have ever even noticed.
They wondered where the ashes they stepped on came from before roping in another peak.