Jumping out of bed at the cold, unearthly hour of 4:30 am I stepped out in the freezing night to have my breath taken away by the galactic arm of the Milky Way stretching over me. But I hadn't much time to lose, as I had to get to the peak of Chandrashila by 6 am or miss the fabled sunrise. So I ran in the lightening darkness, my lungs heaving with the effort in the rarefied air and my head spinning with the cold and the exertion. Behind me the Chaukhamba and Kedar peaks brightened in the fast-approaching dawn. Ahead of me, on the ridge-line the silhouettes of other sunrise-spotters intent on their goal, trudging up. One by one I overtook them, my head spinning. Below and behind, I could see a torchlight in the darkness- Debo and Biru coming up behind me.
A loud yell of exhilaration escaped my throat as I rounded the last hump and came up in front of the temple of the moon atop Chandrashila. The sky had cleared behind me, though Chaukhamba and the other giants had yet to catch fire. I made my way through the gaggle of people on the peak to the farthest point on the ridge. This is what I saw, over a half hour that lasted forever. Night below me and daybreak at 4,100 m. The sun came out slowly, like a grand comedian with impeccable timing, behind the beautiful spire of Nanda Devi.