The Glacier Camp
Pedro Cuiça © Messner Mountain Museum Firmian (Tirol do Sul, 14/ Out. 2016)
Midnight on the Chogo Lungma La. Moonlight. The steady sweep of the icy blizzards of the north cuts through canvas and eiderdown and fur. Roland Rex, peering out for a moment from his tiny tent upon the stupendous beauty of the snows, almost wonders that the stars can stand before the blast. Yet, dimly and afar, a speck of life stirs on those illimitable wastes. How minute is a man in such solitudes! Yet how much man means to man! No avalanche, not the very upheaval of the deep-rooted mountains, could have held his attention so close as did that dot upon the wilderness of snow.
So far it was, so heavy the weight of the wind, so steep and slippery the slopes, that dawn had broken ere the speck resolved itself into a man. Tall and rugged, his black hair woven into a web over his eyes to protect them from the Pain of the Snows, as the natives call the fearful fulminating snow blindness of the giant peaks, his feet wrapped round and round with strips of leather and cloth, he approached the little camp.
Patient and imperturbable are these men who face the majesty of the great mountains: experience has taught them it is useless to be angry with the snowstorm. A blizzard may persist for a week; to conquer it one must be ready to persist for many weeks.
[CROWLEY, 2015: 285]
CROWLEY, Aleister. Ercildoune in The Drug & Other Stories. London: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2015, pp. 652. ISBN 978-1-84022-734-5