"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

30 September 2014

The Land of Storms

Pass Lake and one of its officially unnamed companion lakes...

It's the first accumulating snow of the season. At least above eleven-thousand. Meteorological prophecy foretells of the snow-line possibly dipping to eight-thousand by Thursday morning.

Although I was buffeted by some Tibetan gales upon the Roof of the World, it was not nearly as blustery or cold as I anticipated. The snow was not that deep. Maybe three or four inches in most spots. Although, for some of the places I walked, I was grateful I opted to wear gaiters. The occasional small snow devil danced within my field of vision.

Back at home, a two to three-thousand vertical foot difference, it was partly to mostly sunny with a strong breeze. The high peaks on either side of the valley were not enshrouded in grayish-white cloaks. Looking west, toward the Roof of the World, the clouds were thicker. Being up there, some of the ridges were hidden behind veils of mist and snow and cloud.

This is the time of year when the jetstream dips to fourteen-thousand feet, where it shall stay until April. Part of the reason it can be so windy up here. Anywhere the continent splits in half and waterways flip a coin by virtue of gravity as to east or west, the winter storms can linger for days. Sometimes up to a week and a half. It is said, and there is empirical evidence to back it up, that mountains make their own weather.

I'd simply wager that along the roof of the world, doubly so...

There were a group of snowboarders desperately trying to pile up enough fresh snow to ride. The exuberance and folly of youth. I was out for another late-season alpine excursion. Soon enough, the landscape will be blanket in white that will not melt until as late as early summer. There are some snowfields where I live that I speculate have not melted since before this part of the world was covered with many-miles deep glaciers. Such a thought pleases me.

I don't know how many more excursions I'll be able to make to the tundra this season. I don't know when I'll be snowshoeing for kicks. It doesn't matter. Here and now, I was able to get into that region of my outback. After walking a few hundred feet, I had solitude, silence, and serenity. That alone brings a smile to my face.


  1. I'm glad we don't have your wind, at least in my part of this 'burg. As I drove to the store this afternoon I saw to the west that the Pintlar's had gotten a bit on the upper third. In town here, at 6K, we got rain and 40f.

    I'm not fulsome about the oncoming winter. This might be my last winter here, next summer I'm probably heading back over to the Puget Sound region, be nearer the kids and grands. But for this one, I'm here. Getting the truck cooling system flushed and down to -40.

    1. Dunno if I'm happy or saddened by you saying it might be your last winter there.

      As evening's come to town it's dipped into the lower forties, getting near thirty-nine. A little rain's blowing off Loveland, which I bet money and vital organs is snow up top.

      Tomorrow we're roadtripping up toward Red Feather. A Buddhist monument in that area, to be specific. It seems like we always get the time to do this when the weather is not sunny and warm. Mei fei tsu.

      By the way, I may be able to make room for some of those other items you asked me to think on if you've not found a home for them otherwise.

  2. I had hope the hellish torture was over--the weather has been in the low 70s for a few days now--but no. Back into the high 80s. Guess I'll just stare at your snow photos and dream...

    1. Do you get higher humidity where you are, out of curiosity? I thought of telling you it could be worse; it could be the south. However, if you get humidity, than you might have a base understanding of some of the hot summers I dealt with three years in a row.

    2. Unbelievable humidity. Along with the unexpected heat in what was supposed to be a temperate climate, there is brain killer humidity of epic proportions...