The alarm goes off at 5am to the tune of Thriller. There is no sign of light outside except for the glow of streetlamps. The air is cold and I am not ready to get out of bed. I think I might just roll over and snooze for a few more minutes. Wait a second. I have a mission to go on today. Tumalo Mountain must be climbed before the Sun rises. I'm still wearing my ski clothes from the day before so all I need to do is throw on a jacket and pants. But I do make sure to put on a fresh pair of socks. I check to see if any coffee is left in the pot from the day before. There is not. No time to make new coffee this morning. I've got friends to meet. My van is frozen and does not enjoy being started in this cold weather.
I meet Scott Rowley and Paul Clark at Dutchman Flat Trailhead at 6am. Still it is dark out. I keep my van running with the heater on blast as I put on my stiff cold boots. At home the night before I made sure to strap skins on my skis so I wouldn't freeze to death trying to put them on. I double check that my shovel, probe and first aid kit are packed and transceiver batteries full.
We start skinning at 6:15am. It is very cold out. After a few minutes my mustache becomes frozen. The three of us are moving at a quick pace to fight off the cold. The stars are still out and the only sounds are of skis gliding and poles clanking. After an hour of marching up the mountain, we are at the top. We are victorious in our race against the Sun. For the moment there was nothing we needed to do. Just admire the beauty of the surroundings and the magnificent alpine glow upon the mountains. These moments when the Sun rises and sets become more important each day. Today presented us with a spectacular Sunrise full of vibrant colors and life!
Luckily we found a couple of hidden stashes.