One of Those

Written by Doug Buchanan


Continued from page 1

We got to a place somewhere out inrepparttar middle ofrepparttar 125586 glacier belowrepparttar 125587 unclimbed ridge of our choice. We weren't all that sure how close we were, on account of visibility problems, on account of a certain portion of that cloud stuff curling downrepparttar 125588 slope and lacing acrossrepparttar 125589 glacier about eye level. Calculating fromrepparttar 125590 approaching darkness that we were where we wanted to be, we dug-in forthwith. It was a classic flat glacier cave. We dug a trench, then dug in fromrepparttar 125591 side of it. This time it was a square box shape, without much head room, but a castle compared to a tent. We noticed thatrepparttar 125592 wind blewrepparttar 125593 snow away as we threw it out. When we finished,repparttar 125594 only indication ofrepparttar 125595 cave was a bamboo wand we put atrepparttar 125596 entrance ofrepparttar 125597 trench.

Next day we set out a line of bamboo wands on both sides ofrepparttar 125598 cave, in case visibility wasn't so good when we returned, andrepparttar 125599 cave being otherwise not distinguishable out onrepparttar 125600 flat glacier. We then toddled on uprepparttar 125601 mountain a ways, on a route no man had dared to challenge before us, for lack of any man's interest in such an obscure climb. We pitched our tent on a small spot we hacked out ofrepparttar 125602 ridge, sleeping betweenrepparttar 125603 roar ofrepparttar 125604 rime ice avalanches crashing downrepparttar 125605 faces on either side. One of those faces wasrepparttar 125606 famous ridge betweenrepparttar 125607 summit andrepparttar 125608 perhaps equally high north peak of Rabbit Mountain, which is onrepparttar 125609 map with that name, but you won't find it. We were looking atrepparttar 125610 vertical side ofrepparttar 125611 ridge. The other side was steeper.

Next day we reachedrepparttar 125612 summit, afterrepparttar 125613 usual spots of climbing interest alongrepparttar 125614 way. Crevasses atrepparttar 125615 bottom of vertical ice are common on steep mountain-side glaciers, and always amusing. A bit nippy withrepparttar 125616 December wind being what it was up there on top. We looked torepparttar 125617 right, and we looked torepparttar 125618 left, and we reverently offeredrepparttar 125619 ancient mountain climber's summit dissertation: Yeah, okay, lets get back down off this thing.

Sometimes you can get a day of good weather in December, but not this time. Byrepparttar 125620 time we reachedrepparttar 125621 bottom ofrepparttar 125622 ridge,repparttar 125623 ground blizzard alongrepparttar 125624 flat glacier was as robust as they get. We couldn't see our feet. We took off our crampons and put on our skis and headed out torepparttar 125625 center ofrepparttar 125626 glacier, where we left our cave marked by a string of wands. We got there, somewhere out there, and saw nothing inrepparttar 125627 fading light. We preferred to findrepparttar 125628 cave, rather than dig a new one, since a lot of our stuff was inrepparttar 125629 one we already dug. This was one of those times when you looked down-wind no matter which direction you were moving, on account ofrepparttar 125630 wind would freeze your facial skin, then peel off layers, if you looked up-wind. This made it a bit difficult to look forrepparttar 125631 wands. After aimlessly wandering about a bit, roped-up of course, each yelling at each other that we each thoughtrepparttar 125632 cave was in different directions, we methodically trudged along a grid pattern, by lengths of rope, marking each corner by wands. We were pretty much atrepparttar 125633 point of it qualifying forrepparttar 125634 old desperate story, albeit as usual, since we could not really function too much beyond stumbling around inrepparttar 125635 wind, with our hands under our arm pits and our ski poles dangling.

We huddled forrepparttar 125636 decision to dig a cave, or maybe ski back torepparttar 125637 base ofrepparttar 125638 ridge to find respite fromrepparttar 125639 wind, when we noticed a wand right beside us. That is embarrassing when it happens. Then camerepparttar 125640 debate as to whether this was a wand we had just left on our grid search pattern, or one onrepparttar 125641 line leading torepparttar 125642 cave. Duringrepparttar 125643 astute analysis by our keen minds, it slowly became noticeable that it wasrepparttar 125644 wand atrepparttar 125645 corner ofrepparttar 125646 trench leading down to our cave.

You knowrepparttar 125647 feeling of getting back home after a month long vacation. That's nothing. We dug down to that cave, pushed inrepparttar 125648 snow-block door, and startedrepparttar 125649 party. If I had that cave right here, Id startrepparttar 125650 party and not bother withrepparttar 125651 upload button.

Outdoor adventurer at http://www.AlaskaStories.com.

Intellectual adventurer at http://www.Think.ws


Frustration

Written by Gail Fonda


Continued from page 1
writing talent whatsoever. Maybe there are just too many writers. Maybe I'm just too old and it's too late. I am going to keep trying no matterrepparttar lack of income.

None


    <Back to Page 1
 
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use