‘The Time of Wild Snow’ — Official Poem of WildSnow.com

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 15, 2017      

Back when I was finishing my Wild Snow history project (circa 1997), we got to be friends with poet Fred Geis (RIP 2007). He wrote this poem specifically regarding my Wild Snow book slideshow tour, and graciously gave us permission to use it in our publishing projects. We’ve enjoyed it ever since — please do the same. Originally published here 02-10-2003, time to bring it forward.

Mount Sopris, Colorado.

Mount Sopris, Colorado.


In the time of wild snow,
when cruel winter abetted many vain intentions,
The allotted time for dreaming slept,
Rubbed out by the exhaustion of hope.

The blue of heaven blotted out by clouds
a thousand feet thick.
Suddenly in the storming of the peak,
The price of winning proved the energy of the heart,

With every sinew, throb of bone, and clasp of flesh,
Exploring white terrain.

For moments despair won out over despondency,
Remember—they deal with you in different ways.

Do not take it for granted, this giving life to time.
And if night comes hook your hopes on the moon.

(Copyright 1997 by Fred Geis, used by permission)


(The late Fred Geis was a Colorado poet, musician song-writer, and lover of mountains who for a time made his home in the town of Carbondale, beneath the heights of Mount Sopris. Challenged by physical problems, he was not a mountaineer, but he appreciated the spirit of winter alpinism and was inspired to this poem by the lofty mountains of Colorado. An obit can be found floating around the web, following pulled from various sources:

Fred Geis — folksinger, composer, poet, bus driver and DJ — died January 26, 2007 in Canon City, CO at the age of 74. Born and raised in California, as a young man Fred spent time in various folksinger circles around the country, including Greenwich Village, Chicago and Denver. At one point he was included on a compilation of upcoming folk artists which included Bob Dylan. Fred composed a tune called “I’m Going Home,” which was recorded by the Kingston Trio in the early 1960’s. As best can be determined, he also wrote “A Lament for Brendan Behan” which was recorded by the Clancy Brothers. Around the turn of the century Fred relocated to California. But he spent his last year in Canon City, Colorado so he could be closer to his church, which is where he was laid to rest.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


2 Responses to “‘The Time of Wild Snow’ — Official Poem of WildSnow.com”

  1. See June 15th, 2017 8:06 pm

    Very interesting poem. It considers how this activity that means so much to us has elements of vanity and despair. But perhaps it’s best not to dwell on the negative— “if night comes hook your hopes on the moon.”

  2. MONOCLE June 17th, 2017 10:56 am

    “For moments despair won out over despondency,
    Remember—they deal with you in different ways.

    Do not take it for granted, this giving life to time.
    And if night comes hook your hopes on the moon.”

    Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Anti-Spam Quiz:

While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version