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A MAN IN HIS ELEMENT
A combination of snow craft skills, years of experience and affinity for the snow covered winter environment draw me to the mountains in winter. I’m confident and happy staying out for days on my own in the most challenging weather conditions.
Waking up in the high alpine backcountry in winter is a sublime experience. Yes, it is cold and getting there can be difficult and physically demanding, but the pristine beauty and fragile nature of the snow covered environment more than make up for the effort. Peering out of your tent in the morning to see a fresh blanket of snow is soul cleansing.
Everything about the experience is great for the soul: watching your skis as they cut through fresh snow as you hike up a hill, carving fresh tracks down the other side in deep light powder, watching snowflakes drift down from the sky, skiing head on into a blizzard, getting up every hour during the night to dig your tent out, seeing hoar frost on the surface of the snow and on the leaves of trees, watching the sunset and sunrise from a mountain peak, trying to identify animal tracks in the snow, watching the snow being blown across sastrugi, over cornices and around trees, laying down on a windless day with the sun on your face and experiencing absolute silence, being self-sufficient in such a hostile environment. There is much more to the experience which is hard to describe. It’s a place where I can just be and not think about anything else but the moment – its zen like.
Apart from looking into the eyes of my children there is nothing else that brings meaning to my life as much as the experiences I have in the snow covered mountains in winter.
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