Monday, May 23


We followed him a little way along a rocky ledge to a platform from which we could see the head of the valley. It was formed like a circus in an irregular closed oval, broken only by the gorge where we stood and surrounded by steep slopes rising towards the summit, from which the huge tongue of a glacier hung down here and there. Bernard lit a fire, threw some moist grass on it, and looked towards the head of the valley. After a few minutes we saw in the distance an answering signal go up, a thin thread of white smoke hard to distinguish from the slow mist of the waterfalls.

In the mountains a man becomes very attentive to any sign indicating the presence of one of his fellow men. That distant smoke was particularly moving for us, a greeting sent us by strangers climbing ahead of us on the same trail. For from now on the trail linked our fate to theirs, even if we were never to meet.

-- René Daumal Mount Analogue
Translated by Roger Shattuck