My dear and energetic friend Miwa guided me up McKirdy Mountain and left me there to camp for the night. It's early May, but we were using snowshoes to get through the snow. By the time we reached a little cabin just below alpine, the snow was about a meter and a half deep (I'm not kidding)! You can tell by the depth of the bowls around the tree bases. The Carsons built this cabin for hikers, using helicopters to get the supplies up.
Hiking back down the mountain the next day was like a fast-forward through the seasons. Up top, there is dead and heavy silence, steadily falling snow, and deep snow everywhere. Then part-way down, the snow gets wet and the woods are a luscious steam bath in the gradually warming air. The woods grow greener and greener, snow-shoes can be peeled off of your sodden feet, and choirs of birds start chattering enthusiastically around as you leave the snow-clouds behind. It reminded me of Lewis's The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, when the four children pass through the magic wardrobe and step into Narnia, which is imprisoned by a never-ending winter. Then towards the end, when the power of the White Witch is conquered, all the snow begins to melt and disappear, leaving the country rapidly bursting into Spring!
I forgot to mention, that I was totally impressed by the people here who have built their own homes and are living in them. People in their twenties who build a log cabin, relax by skipping up the nearest mountain, grow their own food, and are glowing with health!