It is two in the morning and still light when the black bear wakes us. Holding a can of pepper spray in one hand, Andrew opens the door and shoots the huge bruin with a sustained blast to the face. The bear snorts explosively, then clawing at its nose, staggers backward and falls off the porch.
I still can’t say what possessed me to climb into an aging Aeroflot M1-8 helicopter with 23 Russian skiers, their skis, packs, a case of vodka and 650 gallons of AV gas. As Vilyuchensky, one of Kamchatka’s hundred plus volcanoes rapidly expands beneath the starboard wheel, I hope that Alexander the pilot aced his last check ride.
Despite making the switch from left to right, I don’t stutter, am fairly creative, very organized, and as well adjusted as anyone can hope to be given the state of the world.
Robert has entered that dangerous time of life when young men believe they are immortal.
Watching the unbroken snow rise to meet me, I realize that much of my adult life has been defined by Bald Mountain. Without the influence of expert runs that plunge from its broad ridges, I might have spent my life in the pursuit of more worldly, but far less rewarding goals.
When high pressure builds over Greenland and low pressure stalls south of Iceland the resulting collision explodes above the West Fjords in a blizzard that crushes visibility and punches avalanche warnings into the red zone.
Prior to December 16, 2010 a major dump amounted to two feet in two days. Not two feet in eight hours