Bryce Canyon National Park

Breaking Light

Dispatch by Delano Lavigne
Photo by Jimmy Martinello

I look at my phone and it reads an unforgiving 4:36 a.m., effectively making my alarm, which is set for 4:45 a.m., obsolete. This is a common practice—turned instinct—for me. After so many years of early morning mountain calls, my mind and body have built an intuition for adventure, defined in many ways by a boundless enthusiasm for helping the team succeed. Today is no different.

While everyone lies peacefully in their warm sleeping bags, I am standing over a pot of soon-to-be boiling water. I shut off my headlamp and let myself become immersed in the beauty of the Milky Way that stretches endlessly above. I tuck my hands between my WhisperLite’s heat shield and my GSI pot to break the -7°C chill from my hands.

Despite the unexpectedly cold night, the glowing heat generated from the stove relaxes my body into a familiar and pleasant space of quiet resolve. I can’t help but feel at home in the breaking light of the early morning, preparing a warm brew for my team that is just waking to the day’s adventure.

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

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