Sunday, March 2, 2008


Saturday night I went to Fremont Pass to climb up and ski the treed ridge north of Clinton Gulch Reservoir. Ten PM when I arrived, a cold wind blowing off the Ten Mile Range, stars overhead. The waiting come to an end when I popped in the CD, Van Halen playing at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis on July 6th, 1984. A really great sounding bootleg recording. Dave rapped with the screaming Indiana crowd much of the show, happy to be back in his home state. I was flying during the nearly 2 hour recording, flask of tequila in one hand and a cigar in the other. With no one around for miles, I cranked up the truck stereo to LOUD! The wind had picked up, reversed direction and snow began to fall by the end of the concert. My head was spinning when the CD came to an end.

I slept soundly in the back of the truck, snug in my down sleeping bag. Woke up to snowy morning, 3 or so inches having already fallen. I geared up following a quick breakfast inside the truck. I skinned up the adjoining ridge, climbing up through the trees and then reaching a white barren summit swept by a cold wind. If it were a clear day I would have a stunning view of the Ten Mile Range to my east. Came down through the trees, easily carving the fresh snow, only to break through the sun-baked crust beneath, making for difficult skiing. The snow was coming down hard by the time I got back the truck.

The question came to mind this weekend: are my mountain trips really for the skiing or am I more interested in my "parties on the pass", an opportunity to journey back in time to some really good music? I'm finding that both are now equally important and enjoyable. I'm doubly blessed! Not only do I look forward to some of the best skiing in the country here in Colorado, I also have the pleasure of taking a trip back in time to party with Van Halen when they were king of rock 'n' roll!! Party on dudes!

Eddie's Cathedral
His sweet guitar casts its spell
Makes me pray for more

Booze burns the belly
The music sets him on fire
His mind is toasted

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