Monday, January 01, 2007

fresh and clean...

i like the new year - although i don't really make "resolutions" - i still usually feel ready to start fresh and new. this photo is actually from yesterday - unfortunately the weather today is a bit darker, wetter, and windier.
A has been up working on Mt. Cain for the holidays, so i went up to join him and a bunch of friends for new year's eve. there were the usual festivities, but five of us decided to make a special excursion for the midnight hour. at 10:30 in the evening we donned all our gear, four on snowshoes and one on skis, and headed out into the blizzard of the night. our goal was the top of the mountain by midnight. it wasn't especially cold, despite the light snow and driving wind that howled as we ascended up the steep hill. we didn't use our headlamps, finding the snow kept the world illuminated enough to keep us out of the trees. the going was steep and i can't claim i didn't complain a few times, sure i would never make the top. halfway up we stopped at the first liftie shed, cramming ourselves inside out of the wind for a round of beer and a short break. our pace was good, we were sure we would reach the top by 12.

once again we headed out - the second half was much steeper, but stopping let the wind buffet us unrelentingly. the snow sprayed against our faces. we had hoped for a night with a bright moon and stars, but somehow this made it seem more like a real mountain summit we were targeting, not just the shed at the top of the second t-bar.
we arrived with 10 minutes to spare - settled into the shed with more space than the last one, and counted our moments on the clock. at 12:00 we screamed over the wind.
on the way back down i could see the lights of the main lodge and cabins far below us in the snow. it looked warm and inviting, but where i was with friends was much better.

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