The Realm and the Key

Posted on: June 8, 2015

[Photo] Ted Hesser

These are not just memories. They are the core samples of our lives, and if I look, I see a clear connection between what we dreamed about back then, and who we have become now.— Peter Croft, Alpinist X

FOR ME, THE STORY begins with the snow: white flakes falling from an invisible sky, veiling the mountains behind a curtain of dimming light, refracting the glow of street lamps into soft orange globes. I remember how the town seemed as quiet as a forest, how I stumbled through drifts that concealed the sidewalks. The small building emerged like a magic hut in a folktale, surrounded by a fence made of skis that looked almost like the bones of some giant creature. For the past few months, I'd worked, remotely, as a copy editor for Alpinist. Now, on New Year's Eve, 2004, I arrived in Jackson, Wyoming, to start my internship. Christian Beckwith, the founding editor-in-chief, was about to leave on vacation, so he asked me to stop by his house to pick up an office key. I remember how its metal gleamed in my hand, cold and light as the snow.

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