Sunday, March 10, 2013

the mountains of winter

J. sends me the same email every March 1st.  This year it says, "Do you remember where you were 11 years ago?"

We were standing on top of this mountain:

Everyone needs something to look forward to.  For some of my employees, fresh off a six month break from work, it's another fire season.  They bounce in with the spring, alive with the possibilities.  After 25 summers of fire, and winters spent dealing with the paperwork side of it, their enthusiasm makes me somewhat tired.  About this time, I'm starting to plan my next mountain.

Cotopaxi,  Ecuador. I climbed this one in 2003.
I'm not a great climber, unlike some of my friends who are world-class mountaineers.  I'll never climb Mt. Everest (too expensive) or Denali (too cold).  I can't ever remember how to set up a Z pulley system, and I'm okay with hiring a guide.  These are the parts I like:  crossing a glacier at dawn, seeing a line of other headlamps lighting the way.  Prayer flags on the summit of a Himalayan peak.  The sun lighting up a sea of other mountains as you descend, the rope connecting you and your teammates, the bite of your crampons in the snow.

Mera Peak, Nepal, 2007
 Fire season will be what it is.  There have been some fires in the west already; then again, it could rain all summer.  We will be busy, or not.  In October the crew will forget how much they wanted to come back to work and will be counting the days until they are done.  But for me the mountains of winter will be out there, just waiting.

Aconcagua, my next project.


  1. Muy bien, sobrina! Impresionante!
    Cuando vas?

  2. Hola, Tia Ann! Si todo va bien, yo me voy en enero.


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