21 February 2007

It was winter torture.

We ascended 1200 feet on alpine touring skis with 40 pound packs. Difficult, but augmented by a heavy snowfall, a fresh 30 centimeters in 24 hours. With the thick gusts of wind, and the drastic change in temperature, we exposed ourselves to considerable avalanche terrain. On the second day, after collapsing our snow shelters and boiling enough water for the descent, this was confirmed. We failed three out of four of our avalanche safety tests.

My hat was an ice helmet. My face was a windburned scarlet. I have never been so vulnerable.