But lucky me, I'm not suffering the fate of two fellows on December 10, 1909 (100 years ago), as recounted in the December 10, 2009, edition of Leadville's Herald Democrat. I won't quote it in its entirety, but will give you the headlines and the set-up of the story:
Soft Snow His Shroud
Finnish Miner Crossing Mosquito Range with Partner Sinks From Exhaustion
Jack Frost wrapped his subtle drapery around another human on the mountain side Wednesday night and the man lay quietly down and entered his eternal sleep, the unsunned snow furnishing his winding sheet.
Matti Sarasto, a Finlander, aged 32, was the victim. Jan Syrien, his companion, struggled through and escaped with his life though one arm was badly frozen.
It's a weird thing and a strange experience, this struggle with the silent frost king. Strong and sturdy men wooed to sleep, lulled to a sense of security when the danger is the greatest...
From this poetic beginning, the story unwinds of two men who decided to return to Leadville from Alma by crossing the range, rather than taking the train (the train, they decided, was too expensive). That decision took the life of one and the other was lucky to get back to town with a frostbitten arm.
A sobering reminder from a century ago of how easy it is for Nature to sneak up on us, even as we think we've got everything "under control." Unfortunately, that sense of control is mostly an illusion.
For all of you traveling hither and yon this holiday, travel with care.