Gargoyle Ridge, Sawtooth Mountains - Idaho
The youthful spines of the Sawtooth Mountains cut the storm clouds with razor-like teeth. These 'gargoyles' and 'gendarmes' (the spikes of stone that sit atop the ridge) create a haunting backdrop when a storm rolls in. The sky becomes gray and the wind whips the lakes with lively dances of spray and waves. The temperature plummets and you are peppered with sweeps of tiny white hail - snowflakes that have been swirled around the clouds long enough to thaw and refreeze, thaw and refreeze. The color drains from the peaks and everything becomes ghostly and repellant. Rolling thunder booms and echoes along tight-walled valleys, amplifying the power - and the worry.
However, at this very moment, to stand under the meager protection of a great old whitebark pine and watch the show unfold, is without a doubt, to witness the greatest show on earth.