The Shoulder of Mt.Roberts


We probably should not have taken the Mt. Roberts trail today. Ice formed since the last thaw has made it treacherous. We don’t have any problem on the climb up but I know there will be some falls during the descent. Trusting my old ice grippers, I follow Aki until we reach the place where winter still survives. While last week’s storm washed away snow from the lower mountain, it covered the upper shoulder with a couple of feet of snow. My little dog softens some with her paws so she can rub her muzzle in it.


A thick icing of snow weighs down the branches of the spruce at the tree line. Each twig is further stressed by small icicles that form prisms in the late afternoon sun. The life we temporarily left behind along Gastineau Channel rushes on. People crowd Foodland, making last minute purchases for their Christmas Dinner. Some haunt the downtown stores in hopes of rescuing their holiday morning with the perfect present. Here, on the snowy shoulder of Mt. Roberts, is the peace promised, but often not delivered by the holiday season. All we have to worry about is trail ice and the dying light.


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