three friends, a van, and why time together mattersRead More
Our three headlamps pan the steep snow ramp like searchlights as we work upward in the dark. The sweep of light reveals a craggy wall to our left and sun-cupped snow disappearing into the night above. The scrape of our crampons is the only sound in the dead air. We move slow to conserve energy and allow careful crampon placement, wary of a long fall on the firm snow.
Without warning a rock the size of a softball hums out of the darkness above and slams into my thigh.Read More
We’re perched near the spine of the North Cascades, miles of trail-less wilderness surrounds us. The day is calm and peaceful. It’s early June and the hiking trails below tree line are teeming with weekenders from Seattle, but up here the mountains are locked in snow. With two-thirds of the Ptarmigan Traverse behind us, we’ve yet to see another soul.Read More
We’re days from the trailhead when we come upon Jim. “You guys see a solo hiker, guy about my age?”
“No, we’ve been off trail the last few days…” Elliot starts before Jim cuts him off.
“With the way his feet were killing him, he couldn’t follow me where I was going. We split four days ago with plans to meet down at the lake on the 10th or 11th. Today’s the 11th and we got a flight to catch”.Read More
The evening sky darkens and the cold starts to come. I pull on gloves, take a drink, and shoulder my pack to continue up the wide track of cold dust and protruding stone. Within the hour I come to a village, little more than a few teahouses perched above the frothing churn of the Bhote Koshi River. It’s dusk at 11,000 feet and the wind bites. I need to find shelter soon.Read More