Winston Francis: Cold Start

Winston Francis


Random: Timberwolf Mountain


My name is Winston Francis, I hate flying at 6’11” I need to have a seat by the door and even that isn’t particularly comfortable. Thankfully I was able to switch seats on this flight, and eventually I even managed to fall asleep, my carry on pack stored carefully under my seat.


When I opened my eyes the first thing I noticed was the faint smell of aviation fuel, then second thing I noticed was the bitter, bitter cold. I was certainly in the wilderness, right in the thick of it, certainly not the destination I expected. All I knew is that I needed to get out of the Cold.


I move fast because I know that they moving I will generate some kind of heat aside from getting to some kind of shelter. After moving over some snow covered hills, and past a wing of an airliner I come out on a large frozen lake. I move into the fishing hut and scavenge items, the most important being a hatchet!


I need to get somewhere more sheltered and start a raging fire and as I come out of the fishing hut I see a cabin just behind a jetty. There’s a wolf to my right but I’m far enough away that I don’t catch his attention. While there are cattails on my route I completely ignore them I simply need to get inside that cabin and start a fire.


The good news is that there is food, clothing, a lantern and a sewing kit inside this cabin. The great news is that there is plenty of firewood cut and all ready to go. Apparently there’s some climbers who were going to meet and then one of them left to catch up with the other and try and find the place where the fire spilled over the mountain. My plane crash. Did I mention that it was a cargo plane? Sometime in the future I’ll have to go up there but for now I have to get better gear and establish myself. Survive.


My goal is to get off this mountain but the weather doesn’t intend too make it easy, I just avoided a blizzard running in here. So I eat some of my supplies and drink some of my water and get under the covers to kill some time and hopefully the weather will pass before I wake up.


Well the weather has passed enough I have to keep moving. By moving towards the waning light I know that I’m heading to the west and west means off this mountain. So I move ahead under the arch of a broken tree and out into a small area of snowy mounds and I see more evidence of the plane crash in set of the landing gear.


Beyond that is a snow covered path winding through a valley between the feet of the mountain. I sense that soon I am going to find myself in new, lower in elevation territory. Whether this will mean better weather I have no idea, but I suspect it will mean more signs of civilization. Better clothing, perhaps some kind of protective weaponry, one can only hope.


So giant guys and ropes don’t go together well, but I’ll try and get down, carefully one hand over the other. The weather is coming in again, I hope I will find some shelter for tonight at the bottom. It needs to be there.


Success, with twilight coming on I find a destroyed one room cabin with a wood stove and more wood, but above that hidden behind a fallen tree is a hatch. After some encouragement from my not at all insubstantial musculature I open the hatch. Descending a few steps I dog the hatch behind me preserving all the heat I can.

I will sleep here tonight, there is a bed in the corner. I have survived Day One.


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