An hour passes. at one point, a stray
thought says you should start being scared, but fear is a concept that
floats somewhere beyond your immediate reach, like that numb hand lying
naked in the snow. You've slid into the temperature range at which cold
renders the enzymes in your brain less efficient. With every one-degree
drop in body temperature below 95, your cerebral metabolic rate falls
off by 3 to 5 percent. When your core temperature reaches 93, amnesia
nibbles at your consciousness. You check your watch: 12:58. Maybe
someone will come looking for you soon. Moments later, you check again.
You can't keep the numbers in your head. You'll remember little of what
Your head drops back. The snow crunches softly in your ear. In the minus-35-degree air, your core temperature falls about one degree every 30 to 40 minutes, your body heat leaching out into the soft, enveloping snow. Apathy at 91 degrees. Stupor at 90.