The night had a cold, phantasmal beauty that intensified as we climbed. More stars than I had ever seen smeared the frozen sky. A gibbous moon rose above the shoulder of 27,824-foot Makalu, washing the slope beneath my boots in ghostly light, obviating the need for a headlamp. Far to the southeast, along the India-Nepal frontier, colossal thunderheads drifted over the malarial swamps of the Terai, illuminating the heavens with surreal bursts of orange and blue lightning.
John Krakauer - Into Thin Air