An excerpt from:
Somebody Else's Rum
by Mark Jenkins
"Mark, you feel it?" In the firelight, John's eye's gleamed like a wolf's.
Something was happening to us. It was what we'd come for. We were being immersed back into the physical life. It was almost as if all the rain, the frigid river, the wilderness itself was an acid dissolving the shell of our existence.
I threw back my head and howled.
What all grubby anthropologists worth their weight in bones already know, and what too many urban philosophers haven't figured out, is that humans evolved as hardy outdoor animals. Two million years of running naked across the veld hardwired us for life in the wilderness. Confine humans in a cage, physical or psychological, and like every other creature on the good earth, we become flaccid, febrile and feckless.
. . .
For the next two days we skied and climbed through one icefall after another, carefully picking our routes. We were quietly exultant. We laughed easily. The wild man that lurks within every human was beginning to stretch. Hibernation was over. Our faces refurred, our bodies smelled of sweat, and anything, no matter how mad, began to seem possible. When the clouds briefly parted and we got our first glimpse of the mountain, we girded ourselves in our dreams and woke ready.