The snowmen in the upper Rockies are not as abominable as their reputations do suggest. They are not pleasant, no, none of our crew would accuse them of undue graciousness. They are fearsome, stinking beasts. But they are reasonable, I’ll give them that.

My climbing team and I discovered a tribe of them living on the snow capped peaks of the mountain in the dead of winter – a dangerous period to go mountaineering but preferable to the slippery, perilous climb in the late thaw of oncoming spring. We found them camped on the ledge we had staked as our resting point for the day.

Oswald and Grimsby tried to have a go at them with their rock hammers. They were sent hurtling into the nearest snowbanks. I took up my rappelling gear and tried to swing away from the ledge, to safety, to warn the others below, but they lifted me up in their big hairy arms and sat me down. They gave me a good long talk about the nature of territory, ownership – surprisingly, about the incentives for low-investment real estate and long turnaround periods. And when Oswald and Grimsby came to they pulled them from the snow and gave them the same earful I got. Then, to instill fear in us they ate a whole goat that had come scrambling up the hillside. Horns and all.

We got the message, and left at first light. When we reached basecamp our comrades, who heard the commotion at the peak and fled in fear, asked us what we had seen and learned from the dreaded sasquatch. I learned not to cross them, I’ll tell you that for nothing. No abomination could have taught me that. They prevailed with a level-headed and terrifying practicality. And I don’t climb mountains anymore. I raise goats.

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