Monday, May 7, 2007

Cascade Spring

There are a few days in May, like today, when the sun blasts through the dreary Seattle spring skies and the mountains open up for viewing. From the city, you can clearly see Mt. Rainier, often for the first time in months, blanketed with its thick coat of winter snow that in only now starting to recede every so slightly. If you make your way to the quiet peaks, after the ski areas are closed and only the die-hards roam the slopes, you step into a world of incredible brilliance. Sunlight reflecting off the snow at altitude will envelope you in a world of white warmth that overwhelms your eyes should you uncover them.

I have memories of the mountain in spring – an April when I thought the ski season was over and drove to Paradise for a last fling only to be met with a wall of snow over 20 feet high at the parking lot. My naivety about winter in the Cascades was clear to me at that moment. I had no idea that I could be skiing through July if I wanted to. I remember many a May trip, where the sun was brilliant, the snow a perfect compacted corn and the combination of cold mountain air and intense solar heat that made T-shirts the ideal garb for climbing Rainier’s south flank.

After the months of snow, cold, clouds and storms, this splendid sunlight beckons the summer season to arrive. You also learn that you cannot always count on sun for 2 more months as our spring storms make their last assault on the mountains. But the days like today blaze the path for the next season above the snow line.


norman said...

Mikey: You make even a die hard sissy, such as myself, want to go climbing. I'll let you carry my skis.

paragraph 2 needs your attention. In the first sentence you use "though" instead of "thought".

Hope to see you soon.

chimayo bound said...

hi dr telemark--you've been 'tagged' for Seven Things About Me meme. See details at my May 17 post.