I wake and feel my wrist, my watch has gone. With one hand I blindly search around my bag. I give up and slip back into sleep.I wake again, raise myself up onto one elbow and lift the patch from my eyes. The light hits me hard, my eyes water. Where is that damn watch? I find it by my right thigh, 6:47am. I slip my down jacket on over my double layered thermals then swivel around 180 degrees whilst still in my bag, careful not to touch the tent walls where a night’s worth of breath clings frozen, waiting to fall.I unzip the door to the vestibule, a cold gust of air brings me to full consciousness. I pump the fuel bottles to a workable pressure then open the taps until I can see them spit. Digging a lighter out of my jacket pocket I ignite the fuel and place a pan of ice water onto the stoves. Then I lay back down and watch the blue flames, hissing as they dance.Jon stirs next to me and we exchange good mornings, it’s cold..it always is.

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