It gets worse

The young man who was injured in the avalanche that took the life of his guide has died. He was 26 years old and his friends say the Californian was a real nice kid  who smiled often. It was hard to listen to his skiing buddy talking about the event on the radio this morning. You know-- how much fun they had, how great the skiing was the day before, how shocked they were by the avalanche, how helpless they felt as it cracked and thundered, how hard it was to wade in waist-deep snow toward the beeping beacons on the victims. How long it took to climb and dig. I have been looking at the mountains this morning. You really have to try not to see them. Force yourself to look at the ground, even. I have also been thinking how there is usually a comfort in their constancy, and security in the way they lean against us. I would never drop out of a helicopter on skis onto an untracked peak and plunge over the edge. Never.  I have been frightened by the "whump" of settling snow while plodding up the relatively tame Mt. Ripinsky trail on snowshoes. All the same, I'd like the mountains to care more today.  I know it is impossible, and really, they have done  nothing wrong or out of character, but I wish our good mountains would show a little compassion this morning, maybe even a little remorse, instead of being so beguiling. 



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