The Ecstasy and the Agony

December 1998

It was snowing with the intensity of the Bronco Super Bowl parade. Minutes earlier, a snowcat from Irwin Lodge deposited me and 12 other powder enthusiasts onto a 12,300 foot ridge somewhere within the boundaries of the Gunnison and Uncompahgre National Forests.

The storm, which dumped nearly 10 inches overnight, showed no signs of letting up. Snowflakes, propelled by determined breeze, reduced the visibility to a few hundred yards. The temperature was 16 degrees.