Wednesday, February 13, 2008


In Alaska last winter I asked a native hunter what I should worry about, out on the land, other than polar bears.

"Immanjarok," he said, "The little people. They trick you. It's dark this time of year, right? So they trick you with lights. You see a light out there and then you follow it out on the sea ice and then the ice breaks and you drown."


"Yep. Immanjarok. Little people that trick you. If you see a light out there, don't follow it."

Back here in Oregon I see lights in the sky at night. The other night one was on a construction crane, easily 200 feet up. After 15 years of mountaineering, I can't look at a tall object without thinking how to climb it. Seeing the crane I immediately thought "How could I get up that thing, and climb out to the end and then jump, and then open a chute and try to land? Where would I land? There are power lines everywhere!"

But I'm not a parachutist, and I had to push the ideas down. It's just a light up on a crane, I thought, a lure.

Just a light.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Following Immanjarok. This explains A LOT.
Check out the crane scene in the movie Casino Royale - (the one with Daniel Craig).