I woke up at 3:42 a.m. on May 5 and quietly unzipped the vestibule of my tent. It was calm, clear, and cold in the Talkeetnas for the first time in five days. In eighteen minutes it would be time to start melting snow for water, for today it looked like we would finally get a window to climb. For now, though, my two tentmates were snuggled in their sleeping bags like so many giant, cozy caterpillars. I suddenly felt a wave of affection for these people with whom I’d weathered the seemingly endless snowstorm. Despite our cramped quarters, our mutual excitement over the increasingly remote possibility of climbing had been enough to pass the time, and our spirits had remained high.