Desktop favorite, ridges...

Blue skies, sunshine, clean snow, and a good friend.  It is hard to screw this kind of day up.  Wes Knopfel and I were blessed with a set-up like this a while back, and it is still resonating with me.  I like to let adventures sit on my desktop for a while so that the richest stories and photos rise to the top.  I can't even remember when this day was, but the adventure was a classic, and the imagery was scenic.

^Wes is starting up a skin path to the ridge.  We could not have asked for better weather that day.  The wind was ever so slight out of the northwest.  This approach on a northeast aspect was sheltered, but delightfully sunny.  

^The ridge line yielded the long views that serve as the reward for the labor to gain it.  This never gets old.  I really don't know how else to say it, but I spend half my life in these kinds of environments and I never tire of it.  How could you?

^The ridges are very special places that are always a whole mix of emotions.  The ridges have a lot of questions that require honest answers.  Is this a cornice? A wind load? Will it pullout way back? Or wait till I am deep? Does this go? Do I want to ski this? I could go all day long with the questions.  The hard part is the honest answers that you have to give yourself.  This is our constant struggle living lives in these situations.  Many questions, tough answers, and real consequences.

^A view like these can be a real distraction to the decision making, which is going on at all times up here.  However, if your not stopping to smell these scenic roses, then your missing the point.  Maybe it is the elevation, but the air tasted so good from that perspective.

^Wes made his decisions, and committed to the validity of them.  Anything can happen at the point he is in this shot.  Fortunately for him, his calls held up.  Another ridge, another risk, another commitment... another reward.   

^Stop... nice... very nice.

 ^My turn.  Wes shot this on his I-phone from the bottom.  I love letting it all out in big laid back freeheelers on lines like this.

^Clearly I am satisfied with the answers I came up with to the ridge line questions of the day.  Touring is  questioning all day long from trailhead to trailhead, and you can never get them all right.  I know that I make mistakes out there all the time.  Some more severe then others, and I have also paid many light and heavy consequences for them.  At the end of the day I still decide that it is a life worth pursuing in places and situations that rise to the top, just like this one.