I’m lowering myself down the mountainside off willow and oak branches like some guy in a military obstacle course. The bushwhack is rough. Once in a while I accidentally grab a rose bush. Thorns penetrate my thin gloves, running shocks up my arms like I’ve wrapped my hands around the bare end of a live electrical cable. The big elk is elusive, but when I look back up at one of the pricker bushes, I notice a number of perfectly freeze dried rose hips. I pop a few like a kid shoveling M&Ms from a Halloween candy dish. The berry has a tangy fresh taste. The fleshy exterior yields chewy goodness, with solid seeds inside that tell me I am not in a grocery store.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.