I realise that with my recent departure from Papua New Guinea I have been remiss in keeping my website updated. This is largely because, with my return to my Mac in Melbourne, I no longer have access to Lightroom or Photoshop, and therefore at the moment find it hard to access and edit my pictures. This will change very soon I assure you. I have no intention of letting this site become another piece of jettisoned flotsam in the murk of cyberspace.
With that in mind, a brief preview of three pieces I plan to post in the near future, written following a ski mountaineering trip a little while back:
Wapta Wanderings Part 1: Bow Hut or Bust
I always have mixed feelings leaving the parking-lot at the start to a backcountry trip. On the one hand, there is an element of excitement, of anticipation, and that sweet jangling of nerves that gets the heart beating just a bit faster in preparation for the exertion and excitement that’s on its way. On the other hand, there’s a touch of fear, because every trip has an element of the unknown. Unknown terrain, unknown conditions, and even on a trip that you’ve done forty times before, that unpredictability that is as inherent a part of mountains as the snow, ice and rock that makes up their physical form. And let’s face it, if it wasn’t for that, most of us would probably stay at home…
Wapta Wanderings Part II: Gordon Gauntlet
There is something about being caught in a snowstorm that I love. I don’t think I’m unique in the outdoors community in this regard. It’s a beautiful sensation, an isolation from the rest of the world, where the white envelopes you, cold and heavy and tangible. Chunky flakes of snow drift past, occasionally picked up and whipped by a churning wind, biting into your face as you retreat deeper into your mountain clothing. Sound becomes muffled. Your world shrinks to a small sphere beyond which all is lost to the grey. Nature reaches out and wraps around you, and for a few minutes, you might very well be the last person alive on the planet.
Of course, on a ridgeline at ten thousand feet overlooking a glaciated valley, these rarified senses tend to be usurped by one specific, very pertinent question: How the heck do we get down from here…?
Wapta Wanderings Part III: Yoho Dreaming
It’s an elusive dream. You’re floating, just beneath a cloudless sky. Beneath your skis is a crisp sheet of cold, light snow, flawless, split into two by your blades, barely a whisper as it churns out behind you, your wake. The air is so clear you feel you can reach out and touch the peaks in front of you. The wind bites into your cheeks, the legacy of speed. Your heart is hammering, your chest heaving. Beneath you stretches out a vast sloping field of untouched powder, just waiting for you, and it’s all yours, acres and acres and acres of it, gleaming so white in the sunlight that it hurts to look at…