November 26, 1989 |
I recently climbed a couple of mountains. Not big ones. A couple of low peaks north of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. One of my fellow climbers was an 11-year-old boy. Kids that age keep you honest, particularly after the first half hour of a new activity which is in any way taxing or monotonous. "Why are we doing this?" he wanted to know as we huffed and puffed along the dull middle part of the trail. The excitement of setting out had long since faded. Even the dog had calmed down and was starting to pant.
December 4, 1988 |
Through some serious social miscalculation, you - reluctant neophyte to the slopes - have become involved with a skier. The snow is falling and the mountains are closing in. Take heart. The chances are good that you can survive. Not only that, you can have a lot of fun, and you never have to ski at all. The first trick is to feign delight when he - inevitably it's a he - suggests a run at dawn before the mountain "gets spoiled. " (Although skiers never quit until the ski patrol boots them off the trails, mountains start spoiling for them shortly after 8 a.m. and reach prime decline just when you think you can go outdoors without thermal underwear.
April 28, 2012 |
Surveying a battery of Tibetan percussion that had been transported down Himalayan mountains on horseback, Mendelssohn Club music director Alan Harler had to admit he could not really predict what he was about to hear as 200 singers assembled onstage for rehearsal with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Yet any apprehension about Andrea Clearfield's new choral work, Tse Go La (At the threshold of this life), to be premiered Sunday at Church of the Holy Trinity, was short-lived. The warm, direct music Philadelphians have come to expect from Clearfield, who teaches composing at University of the Arts, has become all the more distilled as it is increasingly influenced by travels to the loftiest regions of Tibet, where she collected folk music and Buddhist songs in 2008 and 2010.
March 8, 2004 |
There really are mountains in South Jersey. You just can't see them easily. But now you can walk on them. In one of the more remote areas of the protected New Jersey Pinelands, deep in a forest more than a dozen miles from the nearest paved road, stand the Forked River Mountains. Unlike the Appalachians or the Rockies, which scream their grandeur for miles, these mountains - just foothills by comparison at 185 feet high - don't reveal themselves until you are standing on top of them.
February 25, 2006 |
You see them huddled at Olympic bus terminals and at mountain venues, old men seemingly unaffected by the raw, mile-high cold. They wear the multicolored coats of the Turin Games' volunteers, but something else as well - a cappello alpino - a little sage-green felt hat that is topped with a black feather that is at least two feet long. They are retired members of one of Italy's most storied military units, the Truppe Alpini. All sorts of Italian police and military units have drawn Olympic duty: There are the Polizia, a kind of state police force; the Vigili, primarily traffic cops; the Carabinieri, or Meritorious Corps, who are a military unit with civilian responsibilities; and the Guardia di Finanza, who, as their name implies, concern themselves with financial crimes.
May 27, 1998 |
While other hot prospects from the Northeast League play Division I lacrosse next year, Abington's Chris Bickley plans to be enjoying the mountains of Colorado. The Ghosts' most skillful player is more interested in snowboarding than in playing big-time college lacrosse. So the University of Colorado's club lacrosse team will be good enough for him. "They have a great club team," Bickley said. "They're working on getting a varsity team. " At whatever level they play, the Buffaloes will be better off with the 6-foot-2, 168-pound athlete.
September 8, 1986 |
The great asbestos mountains loom ominously over the one-square-mile borough of Ambler, providing a curious backdrop to an area known for its small-town charm. There is a shopping district with brick sidewalks and cast-iron streetlights, a coffee shop, a tiny railroad stop and a Christian cinema. And there is the asbestos - a substance found to cause cancer - that has been accumulating in the borough as a byproduct of industry since the early 1900s. The small plot of ground in front of the mountains that used to be a playground where children giggled on swings and teenagers played basketball has been closed down and fenced in, its equipment scrubbed to remove toxic asbestos fibers before being locked away in storage.
April 12, 2002 |
I call it the two-year rule. What it means is that every two years I move from Philadelphia to Colorado. Two years later I move back. Now that I've been living in Philadelphia for almost four years in a row, I think I've broken that rule for good. Recently, I flew back to Colorado to visit good friends, ski good mountains, and experience the things that made me want to move there in the first place. I flew into Denver and learned that all flights to Steamboat Springs, site of the closest airport to my friend's house, were canceled because of a snowstorm.
February 9, 2013 |
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. - All that was left were footprints leading away from Christopher Dorner's burned-out pickup truck, and an enormous, snow-covered mountain where he could be hiding among the skiers, hundreds of cabins and dense woods. More than 100 officers, including SWAT teams, were driven in glass-enclosed snow machines and armored personnel carriers to hunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of going on a deadly rampage to get back at those he blamed for ending his police career.
July 2, 2000 |
It will happen in the mountains. The mountains are where he will try to crush them. The mountains will take their legs, and then he will take their spirit. Or maybe not. Maybe this time he will be the one to be done in by the unrelenting cold and the cruelty waiting in the mountains. But either way, as Lance Armstrong begins to defend his Tour de France championship, he will enjoy the rarest thing we grant in sports - the free ride. Even if he loses, he wins. He has a lifetime pass.