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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Guide de Montagne...

Chamonix is such a great place in so many ways.  For one example, literally hundreds of mountain guides live and work here full time.  For others is is just a stop along the yearly pilgrimage to see and work in some of the very special places in the world.

I have been lucky enough to visit many of those same places myself.

Really fun if you know some of the personalities involved because in almost any mountain town you'll eventually run into old friends or make new ones as a "friend of a friend."  It is a very small world.  It was 40 years ago and may be now, even smaller yet. 

I've run into some of the best climbers and skiers in the world here on every trip.  In just 3 days this trip has proven no different really and may be even better.  More fun now because many either bring their partners to play with in the down time or work along side them as equals in the mountains, in what has traditionally been a male dominated world.  Things change.

All for the better I think.  

Ran into an old friend today.  Hadn't seen him since 1995 guiding on Rainier.  In the world of Goggle and the Internet I hadn't been able to track him down.  And not without some effort on my part attempting to.  Actually thought about him yesterday when I was skiing so badly.  Though crossed my mind, "wonder what ever happened?"  Years and  tough life choices grinds many up.

Slightly better snow conditions on the Petite Envers today.  Seemed an  appropriate place to run into him again after so long.  Like me, may be a little weak in the knee may be and rather long in the tooth now.  Not that either of us like admitting it!   We aren't the flat bellied stallions we once were.  It is not a bad thing.   But no question he still has that flame burning.....may be a little less visible  now but more intensity in the white hot coals.  The need to be in and show others the glory found only in the mountains is still glaringly obvious.   Good on him!  Nice to see ya again, "Guide de Montagne".  Glad to know you really aren't dead!

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