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Welcoming the New Year: Alpental and Summit East Hiking

It’s when the temps dip below a certain degree, 10 maybe, and the crispness penetrates you to your core. When the clouds are off drowsing in some distant valley and your wintry kingdom declares itself beneath the azure and gold. When you accept the icy cold with a smile that cracks the frozen face; with eyes more acute to the beauty coming to them through the thin atmosphere. It’s then that you feel your soul shaken, awakened.

It never gets old—that rush. Not in these parts—see what summons it? The soul hearkens. What a way to welcome the new year. Or, is it the other way around? A lavish welcoming to the spirit that seeks it.

New Year’s Day I spent at Alpental, accepting the offered views, the good vibes, the fresh air.

January 2nd, Nate, Nick and I hiked Summit East to score powder turns. Hiking a mountain slope at 9 a.m., getting sweaty in 5 degrees, that’s really when my heart bursts with constant joy. When no amount of frosty face pain or stinging toes can curb my smile. As I said, it’s that raw, amplified feeling of being…alive.

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