A shrill alarm blares. Some 20 trekkers wake up to that din. It is time.
It is pitch black. Even the moon seemed to be sleepy. A line of people start trudging slowing, their feet landing on the bare patches of rock and sparse vegetation, lit faintly by the headlamps and torches.
In the dead of this night, the only sound is of shuffling feet and heaving backpacks.
Two hours of climbing, and yet, we seemed to have made no progress. The summit is far as ever, barely perceptible in the distance.
A break, several sighs and sounds of backpacks being dropped on the rugged surface. It is time to don the micro-spikes.