On a cold, clear morning in late spring, 2 hours before dawn, the glacier is a place of peace and beauty. Above this great silent sweep of ice and snow, the mountain stands silhouetted against a star-filled sky. Climbers fiddling with their headlamps or adjusting their gaiters or squirming into their seat harnesses are too busy and too sleepy to think much about the adventure that lies ahead. But from training and experience, they know just what to do to get ready for a long day on a big glacier. It's one of those days when all the training and preparation for staying out of trouble around crevasses will pay off.

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