February 2, 2023
Chamonix and the French Alps
We arrived by train in Chamonix, via a narrow mountain pass from neighboring Switzerland. Chamonix was destination #2 for my brother and I—two Americans skiing in Europe for the very first time. The Ikon pass (one of North America’s two skiing “mega-passes”) planted the idea in our minds. Alterra added Chamonix and Zermatt a few years ago, effectively reducing the cost of a European ski trip by … not much at all. But never mind the math. Every avid skier needs to visit the Alps at some point in their life. And here we were.
Continue reading “Chamonix’s Vallée Blanche ski descent”
August 14, 2018, Paradise WA
In summer 2018 I signed up for a guided mountaineering seminar on Mt Rainier, in the gorgeous Cascade Range in Washington. My first trip to Washington, four years earlier, was to visit a friend getting her Ph.D. from U Washington in nearby Seattle. While roaming around town, I caught my first glance of Rainier, towering over the landscape. It was unlike any mountain I had seen before, clearly taller and more isolated than anything in the Rockies, let alone the Northeast. I asked my friend if we could hike it. She looked at me like I had three heads and said “What?! No! You need to like, train for that. And acclimate. It’s like a real mountain.” I decided then and there that the next time I was in Washington, I was climbing Mt Rainier.
Continue reading “Mt Rainier (PNW)”