I’ve never fancied a hardcore snow expedition. I’ve never wanted to climb Everest or trek to one of the poles, noble as those pursuits are. But lately, I’ve found myself more and more drawn to the idea of camping up a mountain. I blame photographs for this. More specifically, the “illuminated tent on a snowy plateau under a starry sky” shots that appear so frequently on the websites and social media feeds of adventure brands and pro snowboarders and skiers.
I wanted to step into that image and see if things really were as cosy and cool as they looked on Instagram, and combine it with some snowboarding. The white snow outside made the inside of my tent surprisingly bright, and as I lay in my sleeping bag, layered up to the max, its fabric flapped wildly in the wind.
At a briefing the previous night, down the mountain ,Our guides had warned us that high winds were forecast, though when I asked what speed they’d need to reach for the camp to be called off, they laughed, and said, “We never cancel.”
Next morning, under blue skies, then walked downhill to our makeshift camping pitch. I had expected it to be in a remote spot, but given the forecast I was relieved that the lift station, with its toilets and “safe room”, if we needed it, was within sight.