We were at the top of the ridge. We’d been going steadily uphill for nearly an hour, winding our way up the slope heading north and east. Finally, we cut through a familiar pass between two hilltops, and were ready to start our descent.
Cross-country ski conditions weren’t great on the ascent, but they were okay: better than we’d expected. At the bottom of the mountain, where we live, the open meadows and farm fields were largely barren of snow. What little was left after the meltdown in January had gradually disappeared until only the woods still held white ground cover.