The Sawtooths have been, for me, more than I can describe. It’s not specifically the emerald lakes, the silence of dark forests, the twisted bristlecone or the jagged pink granite peaks that have drawn me in for the past forty years – its something more.
It might be the journey; serpentine boulder hopping along the flank of some un-named tower or a spirited hand-and-toe battle up a chute filled with scree.
Fueled by exploration of the unknown, we learn the craft of backcountry travel, to be gentle, to discover the weaknesses in the mountains that will allow us passage.
It might be the friendships; sharing a rope with your climbing buddy, feeling the warmth of the rock in the sun and the iciness deep within the web of fissures, or sitting in front of an alpine lake with your wife - your best friend - watching the alpenglow fade from the tips of the peaks, sipping wine from a coffee cup, and glimpsing the first bats of the evening.