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Copyright 2010 Jay Clayton Wilson

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Entire mountains are washed away by summer snowmelt. Slowly, one grain at a time, rugged peaks disappear into the valleys and then to the sea where they will rest until nature determines otherwise. Erosion in the Rockies takes its toll from grandeur without remorse. Dramatic landslides expose visible scars where trees once flourished. Less dramatic are the arroyos and canyons where vistas abound. Less dramatic still are the steep washes whose narrow sides slash into the mountain as if it will not notice nature's rhythmic intent to gouge a larger path for snowmelt as the ages flow by. Until then, man that is oblivious to their presence in winter when the snow is deep and the cold presses his attention to precious comforts.

There are other gouges in the high country that also take their toll in less spectacular ways. Mountain villages in the Rockies are joined to high ski areas by the effort of man to touch the majestic. Such roads twist and turn in an ascending mosaic between communities like Dalton and the top of the world at wind swept Sun Crest Ski Village where plush condos arise at the foot of gondolas. Hotels and chairlifts suffice for those who ski harder, or who are somewhat less affluent.

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