National Geographic : 2000 Oct
After the Snow A February storm retreats from Miller Peak in Arizona's Hua chuca Mountains, leav ing behind a mantle of white and the promise of a greener spring for the desert a mile below. The clouds may look soft and innocent, but they're thick with snow crystals that stung my cheeks as I took off at dawn. I had no assur ance that I'd find a hole in the cloud ceiling. If I had played it safe, I would never have seen this spectacle.