The snow crunched and squeaked beneath his tattered boots. He felt his ankles and shins tense, this way and that, keeping his balance. Once every hundred or so yards a foot would slip, and he would steady his weight by grabbing the dry stone wall to his right. Each breath he felt fill every space in his lungs, the air viscous, creeping through the network of tubes, channels and chambers. His face stung on his cheeks and the borders where his lips met his skin. He could feel the hairs in his nostrils turn brittle and feel as though they would shatter with impact. Tears grew in the corners of each eye, brought forth by the weather. Or that's what he told himself, anyway.