What I remember:
Shrine pass, above 11,000 feet, the end of the ski season, my second year living in the high country. We had planned a hut trip for the tail end of the season, seven or eight of us, to one of the cabins high on Shrine. It was no more than a couple of miles to the cabin from the utility road where we parked our vehicles...some of us on snowshoes, some on skate skis. But it was late March, typically a heavy snow month in the mountains, and a blizzard had kicked up just as we started. Half a mile in and we were in a whiteout. There was a wide open meadowland to cross between forested areas, and with the invisible sun lighting up the snow-filled air, we were completely blind. We couldn't tell North from South, up from down. The world was topsy-turvy and our footprints vanished even as we took the next step. In the deep snow, every stride burned the thighs and back. By the time we reached the cabin, we were famished. I think we must have eaten for three hours straight before lapsing into a coma in front of the fireplace. There was a sauna 500 yards from the cabin, and during the night we took turns blundering out through the drifts in our bathrobes, bathing suits and unlaced boots. In the morning, the snow covered 3/4 of the way up the cabin windows, letting in an eerie, underwater light.

1 comment:

Yoli said...

Maia you make me yearn for snow!