Traverse of the Bomber


“This windy mountaintop trough is ours.  It sustains and protects, and you do not arrive here by just straining your neck to look at the mountain.  You must start out and continue on.  You have to leave the place where everyone worries about rank and money, where dogs bark and stay home.”  -Rumi

I drove back to Palmer in a daze—some sort of beauty-shock from the things I had seen.  The final near-vertical snow ridge of Lynx Peak required the blank focus so well known to climbers.  At the release of the summit I wrote:  “Snow molds to rock contours as far as sight allows.  The icy slopes towards the Wrangells shimmer and shine.  Denali to my back has just been cloud blanketed.  The Aleutian Range mountains hover over the brooding blue of the sea.  Quite simply the greatest view I’ve seen in Alaska.”

The long haul up the Little Susitna valley the day before landed me at Mint Hut:  “Hot tea, warm sun.  Snow-sitting surrounded by the dark jaggedness of the Talkeetnas.  Silent—a breeze and breathing breadth.  Whole and tired in beauty.”

Joy-whoops escaped while climbing up to and traversing the Penny Royal Glacier at the thought of having this paradise to myself.  The day was so clear and still every crystal of ice was light dancing.  The B1 bomber wreckage came into view at the next couloir as a speck of wing in the middle of the glacier.  The line on Lynx was shaded and good looking, so I dropped skis and pack headed for upness.

Lunch at Snowbird with snow-clouds, a ski past a non-negligible nunatak, out through warming slush, and the circle was complete.  The wonders of Alaska never cease.

“Journeys bring power and love back into you.  If you cannot go somewhere, move in the passageways of the self.  They are like shafts of light, always changing, and you change when you explore them.”  -Rumi

~ by Scott Hamilton Peters on May 1, 2012.

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