Friday, February 14, 2014


I was going to write about how this week the mountains I love exploded. Two people will never go home again, killed in a massive avalanche in the deep backcountry, and two others face a long road to recovery.. As I write this, the bodies remain on the mountain; it is still too dangerous to retrieve them.

I was going to write about how easy it is to forget that the mountains have teeth, but I don't want to write about  it. Instead I will write about this:

Last night I heard howling and I went outside. Darkness enveloped the steep-sided canyon. The mountains did not sleep. From behind the fence, our dogs were howling back to the wolves across the river. Their voices volleyed back and forth in some secret language I can't understand.

Wilderness is still the only good thing, sometimes. Even if our lives can end there. Like love, the mountains are always worth taking a chance on.

part of the story

Jake Merrill. and Backcountry Essentials


  1. Thank you, Marre. The mountains, and those who love them, also have tears.

  2. I too heard about the avalanche. So tragic. But it won't stop me from going into the mountains.

  3. Thank you Mary for your beautiful words. I've spent days in Little Eagle meadows and sat looking up at Cornucopia peak, beautiful place.
    I'am sure Jake and Shane were doing what they truly loved to do.
    When I'am there again this summer I will pause for a moment and think of them.

  4. Me too Kim. I have not been there but hope to go.


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