Showing posts from December, 2021

so this is christmas

Last year I climbed a mountain on Christmas Day. It's one of my favorite hidden backcountry wanders in Colorado. When I tell anyone about it, I say, I'm taking you to the top of the world.  I packed the car the night before and crept out well before dawn, snowshoes and pb&js, carols on the car stereo and coffee in Evergreen. I was parked at the rundown mine shaft by 6:30 and heading up the trail just as the sun started to rise. The first two miles are pretty flat but then it pitches upwards and the final push is about a quarter-mile which, depending on how deep the snow is, can take an hour or more. It's a slog. As the saying goes, they take pictures of mountain climbers at the top, not along the way, because who wants to remember the rest of it? The relentless climb, the searing burn in your lungs as the air thins, heart pounding wild and primitive while you trudge upwards, thick and slow. No one takes pictures of that, no one wants to remember the suffering once it