Managing Editor Grace Fitzgerald-Diaz closes out our annual houses and homes series from a bivy site on Mt. Stuart.
Where: Bivvied on a mountainside; Wenatci, Colville, and Yakama land.
See: The valley floor 2000 feet below, and 1000 feet of granite rising steeply above. Clouds adorning distant peaks. Lake Stuart, which looks very small and very far away from here. Glaciers! Also very sharp trim lines that indicate how much these glaciers have receded in recent years which is depressing.
Smell: Crisp air with a hint of pine.
Sound: The intermittent crash of huge seracs calving off the glacier to the west. Wind. The sound of metal jingling as we get our gear ready for the day. My climbing partner giving me some TMI about his morning bowel movements…
Touch: The handwarmers I’m clutching in an effort to keep some semblance of sensation in my fingers.
Taste: The cold brew I hauled up the mountain because I hate energy gels, a snickerdoodle, the faint citrusy flavor of water treated with Aquamira.