The mountain goat was chewing on my hair, nudging its bearded lips further into my sleeping bag. I woke with a start, waving away imaginary goat breath. Several feet away, on the other side of our rock-pile wind barrier, three horned chamois nibbled on wildflowers, surely more appetizing than my unwashed locks. The full moon lit up the curved basin of the Lac Blanc refuge area like an amphitheater: chamois, scattered stones, and Mont Blanc all wore the same monochrome mantel of lunar spotlight.

Read more →