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On the Summit


by Jonathan Copp

February 18, 2002

Originally published in Feb/March 2001 of Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine

On the summit a vast solitude reigns. Peaks and valleys extend to the horizon, swallowing human borders and life. While my senses explore it, the cold, the hunger, the epiphanies of randon moments up to this point are peripheral. A windless calm encapsulates the summit. It's some sort of sacred bubble, existing for only a few sweet moments before the wind rushes in and it bursts. Then, urgency takes hold. The sun begins to dip out of view, and we have thousands of feet to descend. Though I'm gounded by past successes, routes navigated, hardships overcome, I am still swept away by the objective possibility that anything can happen here. This essential awareness continues to draw me back to the mountains, into those places where we can truly be.

I struggle, once again, to find comfort in this uncompromising place, a place I searched out. On this ledge, on this route, in this life (at this desk), the idea of comfort evolves, the compromise taking place within myself.

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