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Mt Utsugi-dake, Chuo-Alps, Japan

The map shows six hours to the summit, but in the snow you count on double that. I’m up at 3 a.m. and climbing through the dark night under a planetarium sky, climbing towards dawn in the east. At night, with all the toys and distractions stripped away, your consciousness shrinks down to the pool of light that spills from the headlamp.

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Taken on February 7, 2009