I like wine. Pinot, Merlot, Burgundy, Chardonnay….whatever; they are all good. And different, but actually pretty similar. I once participated in a blind wine-tasting and all the participants had to do was distinguish between different types of reds: there was a merlot, a zinfandel, a cabernet, and something else, and some of the folks participating considered themselves to be amateur enthusiasts, and sorta scoffed at how easy it would be to distinguish these very different styles. And yet….they couldn’t. Basically, they represented people I have little tolerance for: wine snobs, who feel like their palette is so much more sophisticated than those of rubes like me that they can’t be bothered with $7 bottles. As they scrambled to explain why they bumbled, I had to restrain myself for social posterity by not ridiculing them (too much). And oddly enough, they reminded me of…..snow snobs!
AMPATO- SKIING IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GODDESS
It has been said that one good thing can lead to another, maybe even more so in ski mountaineering. In May of 2010, I found myself with my buddies cresting out on 21,000-foot Coropuna in southwestern Peru in the Cordillera Occidental. As we gazed out over the edge of the Atacama desert at the dots on the horizon, the Cordillera Real of Bolivia sat on one side, and the Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru on the other, the view was only obstructed by massive volcanos- a few still smoking- the names of which we had no clue. But, what we did know without question, is that we had to come back to do more climbing and skiing.