Just keep walking, just keep walking… Holy balls, I’m hungry or thirsty or maybe just deliriously tired. I squint into the horizon and realize we are only a few hundred feet from the base of our objective. Can’t stop now. I remove my ski crampons, almost melting down as they don’t cooperate and my tired mind looses patience.
I will be the first to admit I am a complete ski mountaineer novice. A huge goal for this season is to get into the mountains more, absorb as much knowledge as I can from anyone willing to share their experiences, and to stop and enjoy the view along the way.
Arriving at the base of Buck Mountain (11,938 ft.) about 4 hours after leaving the car, I can’t focus on the transition, only the bag of meat and cheese in my pack.
After sufficiently nourishing myself, I remove my skins and quickly strap on my crampons. I need to start moving again as I begin to shiver and the wind gusts remind us of the approaching storm.
An hour passes of constantly reminding myself to maintain 3 points of contact while trying to quickly move uphill. My hands are cramping from death gripping my ice axe and whip it. The screaming meanies creep in to my fingers and suddenly I’m in excruciating pain. “Breathe, just breathe Monica,” I remind myself.