It's a cloudy, moody morning up top. The high yesterday reached 35 degrees. The overnight low was 19 degrees. It was 19 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is still about 8 inches of snow remaining up top, with deeper drifts. The trails are still rather tricky up top, with frozen crusts and deep drifts allowing the most zen hikers to lose patience. It is near impossible to develop a rhythm, so be prepared for some frustrating conditions if you intend to reach the summit. Nonetheless, it's far better than the couch - get out and enjoy the real world!
I had another day of mixed ambitions yesterday - I put the finishing touches on a few job applications (unfortunately, I need to come out of this early retirement!), went for some light meandering, but mostly I just read in my cabin. Ironically, I noticed on my trip to Aspen that I live a rather luxurious life. By luxury, I do not mean conventional luxury. I have a different kind of richness - the ability to choose how I fill my days with very little outside influence. It is a luxury in time and feelings, rather than material goods. It is the most distinct aspect of being a winter caretaker - absolute freedom.
I was pretty tired yesterday and it's such a joy to be able to indulge in that, to sit in that fatigue and truly feel it rather than push through it out of 'obligation'. I've learnt how my mind and body react to certain activities. Any time I want a particular sensation, I know just what I have to do to manifest that emotional state. I can read a book, I can go out for an adventure, I can write a postcard, I can bake some bread, I can phone a friend, I can meditate, I can do nothing. It is all amplified up here, nothing becomes something and the little somethings add up to a big everything.