One of the things about being a writer is the hours. By that you can infer they’re terrible. At any time, inspiration may come to you and you’ll find yourself up at 2 AM or conversely, dragging yourself through a slow afternoon. The upside is, when it’s time for a fall hike or to ski some lines, one can slam the laptop closed and walk out the door. If you’re in Alta, opening that door delivers you to the mountains. It’s unavoidable really.
This afternoon your correspondent set out to climb the south ridge of Mount Superior and gain some distance from the binary curse that haunts everyone who makes a living on a keyboard. Time was short. Soon snow will bury the razor like ridge that defines a route that gives just enough exposure to focus your attention without necessitating actual climbing hardware.
So it was that Canyon Blog found himself on the upper slopes of Superior. Having ascended through the sketchiest parts of the climb he thought a cross slope detour would be preferable to summiting. So predictable, so obvious, summits.
Rounding one of the avalanche chutes he encountered another lone mountaineer. Both climbers would have preferred to keep the slope to themselves, but these things happen. As neither one of us felt inclined to give way, we settled into a quasi détente. In an attempt to build a cross species bridge your correspondent struck up the following conversation.
Canyon Blog: How’s your day going? You have a name?
Bill Goat: Not baaad. Folks call me Bill.
CB: Pleasure Bill.
Social conventions satisfied, your correspondent was keen to gain some perspective from a guy who truly made his living in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
CB: What’s the biggest challenge you find in LCC?
BG: Trash. Too much left behind on the slopes and ski runs, not enough of it good to eat.
CB: I can see that. Ski or snowboard?
BG: Ski definitely.
CB: So boarding is right out?
BG: I don’t mind it, but find the clothing a bit weird.
CB: Really? So other than poor choices in fashion, you don’t mind boarders?
Canyon Blog wasn’t sure if this was an actual response, or merely Bill clearing his throat (He was chewing grass during the entire conversation). It was at that point that your keen-eyed correspondent noticed Bill was clandestinely sipping from a Cutthroat pale ale bottle. Close, but not rude, examination revealed he had a sixpack hidden under his “coat”. Observant readers of this space may be able to identify them underneath Bill.
CB: Say, would you be willing to share one of those beers, in the spirit of common perspective on snowboarder fashion?
And there the conversation terminated. With very little by way of natural coat himself, your correspondent was getting chilled after 30 minutes of shaded idleness. And aside from opinions on boarders and people who leave trash in the canyon, there wasn’t really much common ground.
Besides, Canyon Blog maintains his own stock of Cutthroats, conveniently located in the fridge. And if Bill comes around, hoping for a beer? He’ll get one. We’re not savages here, nor Rocky Mountain goats neither.