The climax of the story is when the snow falls off of the tree and onto the man's fire. The reader realizes at this point that the man will not survive because he does not use his instincts to survive like the dog would do. He thinks that he is smarter than everyone else and that his intelligence will keep him safe. At this point in the story, it is common sense rather than intelligence that would have saved him. The tone of the story is serious. After all, it is about a man dying. We don't know much about the man except that he is new to the Yukon and does not have experience up there in the cold. The story is told in a very matter-of-fact way. The reader does not ever care for the protagonist and what is going to happen to him.