Showing posts from October, 2017

Before The Snow Flies

The crunch of shoes on frozen mud in the morning; yellow aspen leaves fluttering to the ground; and warm afternoon sunshine on rough limestone. But also: north faces dusted with fresh snow; dripping water stilled into icicles by nights growing longer and colder; and bright larches on the valley floor far below. October in the Rockies presents altogether too many choices. For years, I used to spend it chasing one last summery adventure on sunny summits, or the first wintry one in shaded couloirs. But more recently, a growing obsession with rock gymnastics saw me spending my Octobers chasing this or that elusive redpoint, until the days grew just too short, too grey and too miserable to contemplate bare-handed crimping. When I'd finally trade sticky rubber for crampons, I'd realize it was November, and that deep snow and winter cold had already come to the high country. And so I'd tell myself that, the following year, I wouldn't miss that bittersweet interlude betwee