Django enjoys morning
first flakes of change
avant garde palette
warmed by late summer sun,
Paonia campo santo
All art (photo & haiku) by Lisa Issenberg
Five years have passed since Jorge took another path. Surely miss your sage wisdom, unquestionable friendship and + life force… you always come up in conversation and thought bringing a smile and usually a direction, “what would Jorge do?” Our community is less with your loss. We miss you.
gentleman’s mental health sabbatical
no yogurt, no stretching-
pisco sours, Amado novel, mountain wandering
print on shoji screen
Django patiently waits
of man cave
late April snow & dust
Corona storm board
Clearing Autumn Skies by Kuo Hsi
A main feature of Taoism is it’s profound naturalism. Nature should not be exploited and abused. It should be befriended, not conquered. The belief in nature deeply affected Taoist art, beginning with its architecture. Taoist temples do not stand out from the landscape. They are nestled against the hills, back under the trees, blending in with the environment. they teach that human beings, too, are at their best when they are in harmony with their surroudings. It is no accident that the greatest periods of Chinese art have coincided with the upsurges of Taoist influence. Before reaching for their brushes, painters would go to nature and lose themselves in it, to become, say, the bamboo that they would paint. They would sit for half a day or fourteen years before putting a brush stroke on rice paper.
Bamboo by Zhu Wei
I drank from many different bottles of pisco over 40 years before I painted my first pisco still life.
February storm ends-
prayer flags wave in
February ?’s still linger,
sounds of the past drifting back-
still here now….
gracias Matt Wylie y Greg Harms
cold December morning
early December storm
Patagonia Catalogue Field Report
Featured in our Fall 2004 catalog
My work involves forecasting avalanches on a highway in southwest Colorado. Once you begin the life, it’s not easy to go back and learn from another. There’s just no time. I recently revisited an old ‘60s favorite, Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, and he stressed that re-education is a necessary and important life process. I decide it’s time for re-education.
Saturday, July 5, 2003. I arrive in Chile to study under master snow-viewer, very old friend and avalanche forecaster for Ski Portillo, Señor Frank Coffey. An unusual six percent, low-density storm is my companion on arrival. Frank and the patrol go to work. One shot into the main gully above the plateau triggers a large slab avalanche that is heading uncomfortably toward us. Henry Purcell, the owner, suggests we cover up. We bend over in unison to take our punishment from a large powder cloud.
Frank descends into the Gargantita cliffs to retrieve a dud and triggers a meter-deep slab. He’s stuck on a 40-degree slope. A line is dropped and he climbs back to the land of the living. What’s the “sage wisdom,” I wonder to myself. “Experience is a series of nonfatal errors,” I conclude. In darkness, Coffey and I walk to La Posada for counseling. Six centimeters-an-hour stellar dendrites fall as we enter the warmth of the refugio for lomo pobre and pisco sours.
Monday, July 7, 2003. Seventy-six centimeters of wet, 14-percent-density snow falls from a morose sky. An inverted storm! It’s snowing eight centimeters an hour and things are starting to get ugly. A break allows us to get the avalanche work started. “Most of the control work is done by the storm,” Frank says. I hear avalanches running on both sides of the valley.
Tuesday, July 8, 2003. A storm stalls over the Andes with dying winds in its low-pressure spin. It’s snowing four centimeters an hour, with decreasing density. We’ve gotten over 200 centimeters in three days. I anticipate widespread slab avalanche activity, but there is little evidence. I don’t understand what’s happening. A half-meter of delicate snowflakes followed by 14 percent high-density snow with wind. The storm dies with goose feathers. Should I throw out everything I’ve learned? I think of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book.
Thursday, July 10, 2003. Sitting on my pack high on a ridge above Portillo, I spot Frank as he digs the first of many snow pits to prepare for heli-ski clients. Silence surrounds me as condors circle above, looking for fresh meat. I descend to inspect the pit and pucker as I stare at three centimeters of weak graupel lying between two slab layers. Frank smiles. “A little paranoid?” he says. “The two meters that dropped here was a pretty big shock to the snowpack. There are rounds mixed with the graupel, good bonding and warm snow/air temps.”
My life experience in a cold/unstable Colorado snowpack has jaded me. My mind drifts back to the Little Red Book. We ski one at a time from the cliff bands to the landing zone. A series of fine powder turns all the way to the valley bottom. Encantado!
About the Author
Jerry Roberts is an itinerant adventurer, mountaineer and guide. He also is an avalanche forecaster for a highway in southwest Colorado and pursues winter snow in the southern hemisphere as a snow safety consultant for the Chilean mining industry. For a diversion from his real life, he sails his motorcycle south.
Tornillos con Cabeza de Estrella Garantia Por Vida