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Hut trip day two: once going up proves possible, skiing down might seem challenging

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Part one

Going up to the continental divide, that’s the plan for today. Beautiful day indeed, sun is up and the wind is kind to us. Now that I figured out the rhythm of stepping on skins, the movement seems natural and I like it even more than going up the mountain with boots and crampons. Once we get out of the trees, Jon points towards the ridge. It seems close but this time I am not letting myself fooled by the distance - I know it will take one or two hours or more to get there so I arm myself with patience…. the peak is not going anywhere, it is me heading towards it and according to reason, sooner or later, I will get there.

The conclusion of an experiment from a TED talk pops up into my mind: it seems that keeping your eyes on “the price” can increase your efficiency in sports and not only. In my case, looking at the peak should be the secret fuel. Maybe something like a magnetic field forms between my eyes and the mountain’s eyes if I keep looking at the peak and this will help me get there faster. I am keeping my eyes on the peak and on the back of Jon’s skis. My mind is empty and there are only two threads unfolding: keep constant distance from Jon’s skis and decrease the distance from the peak.

Above the trees, all you can see is the white of the snow, a bit of scattered gray or black where the rocks decided not to hide under the snow but to forever fight the winds, and the sky. It is a bit like an ocean with waves that never break but stand tall for the fearless to climb them. With skis on going up a ridge you are like a surfer catching the wave. The winds make the law up here: they give life, or they take life away. Because of little reference points, the distances are misleading. It is not the rocking of the boat that pulls you into mindfulness but the rhythm of you own steps.

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