4 A.M. I wake up. Slam a cup of coffee. Pull on my work boots. I count in minutes, seconds, moments, shades of skylight. But, I find that often time is something that cannot be reduced down to a stopwatch; rather it is cataloged and recorded out here in rock steps, structures, rock walls, the pacing of the clouds, and the travels of the undeniable sun.
This work requires something outside the framework of a 9-5 gig. It requires us to adapt, to be giving, and to accept the many temperaments of mother nature that we can be exposed to. Wilderness and preservation are things that always need, but never take. Those at CFI are out there willing because, to put it simply, we love what we do. When my partner and I have exhausted our work hours for the day, sometimes we stay just a little bit longer to get a little more done. We complete a bit more in the effort to be proud of what we have built at the end of each day. We are judged by our movements; movements which are free and lucid, yet calculated. One more rock. One more step. One more foot of trail.
What we do is something that we do not clock out of. The passion that I have found in myself and the others that dedicate their time to the alpine and principles that protect it are not left behind when we leave for our weekends or when the work season wraps up. The yearning for this work lives on, even when I lay awake in the dead of winter waiting to return.