Stretching my legs out in front of myself, I take a deep breath while considering her question, and finally reply, "No."
She doesn't ask me anything else as I look out the door of the large canvas tent spread out around us. The snow is still coming down outside. I don't think I saw this much snow fall within 72 hours anytime the last winter, and yet here we are in May, snowed in. The silent figures surrounding me all breathe slowly, hunched over, some stretching their feet out toward the stove hoping for a bit of the limited heat.
During the past few days I've exhausted every subject I could think of without getting too personal. Movies, politics, names, injuries, and a dead-end attempt at sports. And now here we are, some of us waiting for someone to say something, and others of us waiting for the silence to persist.
My shoes lie before me, clinging to my feet like dark brown clods of dirty ice blocking my feet futilely from the frozen ground. Shuddering, I wish that I had spent the extra money for waterproof boots.
Again, someone asks if there's any chance of our leaving the mountain early. Again, someone responds that there is no leaving before the horse team arrives to pack us out. Shuffling in my chair, I look out the door a second time, and seeing the snow, say in the most hopeful tone I can muster, "Maybe it will be warmer tomorrow."