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They had, for a few hours, traveled away from West Base Camp, and Ben felt like they were making good progress. As the morning wore on, the snow had stopped and the sky had lightened some.

“It is cold…” exclaimed Hob simply at a brief rest stop.


“You said it, friend!” Rokef clapped his hands together for warmth.


“I hope it don’t get much worse than this…” commented Gadalla.


“Perhaps once we get to the dry snow,” suggested Korgol, “the effects of the weather will be less noticeable.”


The idea of “dry snow” like “the warmth of a snow cave” struck Sir Anthony as funny and he laughed aloud for a few seconds before the others forced him to share his amusement. He did so and they agreed that it was a humorous irony.


For the majority of the morning they trudged upward through the heavy, clinging snow and biting wind. They each carried only a small pouch with their lunch and a few other emergency supplies. They intended to reach the cache Tarduunal and Shullas had stocked by dinner.


“As difficult as this climb is,” Sir Anthony said as he pulled himself up after yet another fall, one of many the party experienced over the course of the morning, “I cannot imagine doing this with a heavy pack…”

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Copyright 2018, 2019, 2020  —  Bill Snodgrass