Huddling For Warmth At Dinner

Tea time was generally 4:00 PM.  We would all assemble in the dining tent and be served tea or hot chocolate and a plate of cookies and/or Ritz crackers.  Most of us would drop in for tea: it was an opportunity to share news, go over the events of the day, and plan for the next day.

Dinner was served at 5:00 or 5:30, so there was a gap between tea and dinner.  Usually it was getting pretty cold, and most people retreated to the only other space they had: their tent.  I would sometimes find a seat in a nearby dining room, where it might or might not be heated, but where I could sit and write. 


By dinner time it was dark and generally getting really cold.  If we huddled together and closed the doors at both ends of the tent, we could generally keep it a few degrees warmer than the outside temperature.  Imagine us, wrapped in down parkas, hats covering most of our faces, wearing gloves, shining our headlamps on the food we were served, trying to figure out what it was.  We were never hungry: there was always more of each course than we could eat.  But as we got higher and higher, the food was less and less appealing, and often we would finish dinner in half an hour or less and head off to our tents with a full bottle of hot water and 12 hours of darkness ahead of us.

Dinner Tent

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