Chicks with Stix
I wake up in the darkness. The sun has not yet risen and the world is almost silent. I hear the fire crackling as the smell of coffee drifts up to the loft where I’ve been sleeping. I climb down the ladder to greet the new day, trading in my sea legs for ski legs. Grabbing a cup of coffee and my big Patagonia puffy down jacket, I head outside to breathe in the fresh mountain air. I Inhale. I exhale. I close my eyes.
Step, breath. Step, breath. Step, breath. Five women stepping in sync with our guide, silence beyond the crunching of the snow underfoot. The pace is brisk; beads of sweat are starting to form under my beanie. I’m breathing hard and my mind is focused. It’s a magnificent winter wonderland out here. The mountains surround me, and I get a similar feeling to when I am on a boat offshore with only blue water and the horizon as far as the eye can see. I try to remind myself to lift my head, look around and take in the scenery as we head towards the summit of McMillan, about 12,805 ft, our goal for today.