I glance at the boots and get a little bump of adrenaline. A whole constellation of memories fires. I’m 27 years old, first time in the Alps, on the knife-edge of the Portjengrat, one foot in Switzerland, the other swinging out over thousands of meters of Italy, bleeding from my knee. The guides are a little lost in the clouds, I’m lightheaded from altitude, scared shitless and enjoying every minute of it. I’m 44 years old on a rope with Rick running clumsily in crampons across the glacier, sprinting for the sanctuary of the telepherique station, ice axe literally crackling from the morning lightning storm that took us all by surprise. I’m smelling the ozone and ice and rock and sweaty wool. I’m seeing the crazy wide-eyed grin on his face when we make it inside. Then I’m with him watching alpenglow on the Matterhorn from a restaurant terrace in Zermatt, drinking white wine and eating pasta with shrimp and garlic, and life is perfect because fuck yeah! we lived to play another day.