Drew Thayer / October 5
Deciding on a sleeping system is a major consideration when packing for an expedition or alpine climb as a good night's sleep can make the difference between feeling groggy and slow or energized and on-point. With so many mats on the market it can be hard to choose: Classic closed-cell foam mats are virtually indestructible, but inflatable ones are often lighter, more compressible and more comfortable. 3 out of 5 stars
A vague memory of colorful wings, weightlessness and freedom dissolves from my consciousness as I wake to the sound of a repetitive beep. The black of morning brings a familiar recognition of uncertainty.
"How could my alarm be going off already?"
Even before I can look at the glowing red numbers, my hand finds the small, plastic button to halt the disruption.
[Photo] Jeff Shapiro Collection